Review: The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

Tuesday 27 January 2015
Title: The Ice Twins
Author: S.K. Tremayne
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 29th January 2015
Pages: 384
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity – that she, in fact, is Lydia – their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past – what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died? 

As I write this review, it's not yet 2015 but this is my third 2015 book and already I am off to a good start. The Ice Twins is definitely going to be one of HarperCollins' stand out titles in 2015, a book that they are championing to make into the thriller that everyone is talking about and I think people definitely will. Going into this as one of the first people to read it was exciting, and I was able to form my own opinion without seeing other reviews first. From the cover to the blurb, I was incredibly excited and once I started, was absolutely hooked. There is also the mystery of who the author, S.K. Tremayne is - 'a journalist and bestselling writer who lives in London'. I have no idea who it is...

The book opens and introduces us to Sarah and Angus. Angus has been left a remote Scottish island by his grandmother, and after the death of one of their twin daughters, Lydia, the couple want to move to the island with their other daughter, Kirstie. They see it as a completely fresh start, a way to attempt to move on with their lives. In the opening chapter I found myself wondering whether it'd be a bit of a slow starter, I'm a reader that wants to get into the story from the off, so I was very pleased when the first chapter ended with Kirstie asking Sarah why she was calling her Kirstie, telling Sarah that Kirstie died and that she is Lydia... We are told that the twins are basically as identical as it is possible to be, there isn't one single thing about them that was different and so Sarah is torn over whether Kirstie actually is Lydia, and in the beginning keeps it from Angus which really annoyed me.

My proof copy
I honestly had no idea where this book would go from that opening chapter or what would happen, it was totally unpredictable and at times, almost frightening. To say it was haunting would be an understatement. It really played with my emotions throughout, Sarah and Angus are intriguing characters, at times I didn't even like them, and couldn't understand some of the decisions they were making, yet I feel they were both believable characters thrown into a situation I can't even begin to comprehend. Totally blameless though? I did find myself judging them, and found it hard at times to feel sympathy for them. As the story progressed and secrets that Sarah and Angus had kept started to be revealed, I found the book going off on tangents I didn't expect. It all leads towards the book's conclusion, a conclusion which I'm unsure about but oddly was quite satisfied with. Also, we mostly get Sarah's point of view which to me made the book feel very one sided sometimes.

The atmospheric setting of the island was brilliant, and some vivid descriptions completely brought it to life in my head with the help of some eerie photographs dotted throughout the book. I felt at times I was inside the book such was the brilliance of Tremayne's descriptive writing. Even with the heating on I could feel chills, reading this book in the dead of the night just adds to the suspense and intensity. The nature of books like this means it is almost impossible to discuss the plot in any detail and I'm not going to. I can't quite say what it is though, but I just felt there was something missing, and as the story progressed I found it developing in a way that I didn't expect it to. That said, where it did go was incredibly well written, it just wasn't for me. I also think this book would make a fantastic TV drama that would have the nation hooked if a couple of things were changed/improved upon. I will say though that this is a book with characters and a story that you won't forget in a hurry, it will remain with you for a long time and it's a book that a lot of people will be talking about in 2015 and I think it will certainly divide opinion.

Well, divide opinion it has and here is a variety of reviews from some of my fellow bloggers: Jenny (Jenny in Neverland), Karen (My Reading Corner) and Lizzi (These Little Words). 


1 comment:

  1. good review, this book sounds really good. Another one to add to my TBR pile


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