• Shadow Sister - Simone van der Vlugt : Reviewed by CountryGal

    When you read the back cover you assume the books about envy of one twin over the other, but as you read it that's not what you get. The books premise is that one twin Lydia has a perfect life, till a pupil at her school threatens her with a knife in her classroom and a few days later she dies and the remainder of the book unravels the who done it part. Unusually, and I'm not sure it works, the book is written from both twins point of view, a couple of chapters is written as if its Lydia, the next couple are from Elisa.

    My main gripe with the book is that the murder happens far too early on in it, the character development and more background, which would have put some more meat on the bones of the book is missing, and once you know shes died you've taken away the opportunity to build that suspense that I feel the book is lacking in. The ending of the book, the killer being the bit of stuff of the husband who also happens to be the best friend of the second twin, is a bit of a letdown and was guessable towards the end as all the others had been discounted by then.

    Also after Lydia dies, the twists that the story take comes thick and fast but each one eliminates which other person it could be, and with a main cast of just 5 people leaves little room to create a thriller. The other thing that really irritated me was that one of the last clues comes about when Elisa is shopping in Amsterdam and bumps into the mum of her friend, the mum who hasn't spoken to her daughter in over 10 years, but just so happens to know what her daughters best friend looks like hmmmm!!!! This may be down to some context being lost in translations the book was originally published in Dutch) but it irrirritated anyways.

    The book is also quite short compared to others in this genre, and you could tell as you read it, some parts are rushed and under developed for this type of book, for example the love triangle angle of the two twins loving the same man, the husband. The plot, which is a reasonable one, would have been able to be padded out to really create a thriller to hold the suspense until the end.

    Overall, a little limp which seems a wasted opportunity Id give it 2 Wine Glasses.