I am straight up going to say it. I loved this book.
One of the single best things about my job is the summer holiday. Last Friday I had promised my children a bicycle ride, dog walk and other marvelous things, none of which they actually wanted. I was greeted that morning by Child Number 2 requesting a playdate with his bestie. Child Number 1 quickly followed suit and, being tired and not really in the mood for any of the activities I had promised, I quickly acquiesced. I have a terrible habit of filling my days with things that ‘need’ to be done and so never writing enough and certainly never turning my hand to the novel that I think I have brewing in my own head. However, Friday was different. With a ‘Heavens to Betsy!’ attitude, I finished a couple of small things that needed doing and settled down with The Ice Twins, by S.K.Tremayne
I had started the book a few days previously, reading in fifteen or twenty minute bouts at night, but this was the first time I had really sat down to concentrate on it. Essentially, I lost Friday. In fact, I spent it in the Scottish Isles, absolutely mesmerized.
I had never heard of Tremayne and in fact, the cover of the book is so incredibly awful that I’m surprised that I picked it up at all. In fact, I think Child Number 2 picked it up for me in the bookshop, because he liked the title. It was one of three books that I took on vacation with me and actually the only one that I didn’t get to. Yes, you should never judge a book by it’s cover, because of those three novels, this was by far the most captivating.
The story focuses on the Moorcroft family, Sarah and Angus, who have recently lost one of their identical twin daughters in a terrible accident whilst on vacation in Devon. Coming to terms with their bereavement, they sell their London home and move to an isolated island off the west coast of Scotland with their remaining daughter Kirstie, in the hope of a fresh start. The problem is can they be sure that Kirstie is who they think she is, or is there a chance that she is Lydia, the twin they believe to have died? Kirstie and Lydia were so very identical that, from birth, the twins had to have their nails painted so that Angus and Sarah could differentiate between them. When Kirstie begins to claim that she is her dead twin sister Lydia, things become very interesting.
This is a novel that has it all and is, by turns, difficult to categorize. Do I look at it as a ghost story, or a thriller? Does it even matter? The sense of place, namely the island of Torran to which they move, is incredible and vivid. Tremayne is apparently the pseudonym of travel writer Tom Knox and it shows. The setting is chilling and plays to reflect the uncertainty in the relationships between the characters and the isolation that they feel as their family gradually unravels.