Review: The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell

Saturday 16 April 2016
Title: The Silent Twin
Author: Caroline Mitchell
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 14th April 2016
Pages: 342
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
I’m alone in the dark, please can you find me …

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.

A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life?

When Bookouture promote an author or a book they really go all out on Twitter and so Caroline Mitchell has been on my radar for quite a while, I've just never picked up one of her books until this, The Silent Twin. That's a decision I am now kicking myself about. I was though very excited and went into the book with higher expectations than I normally would and this is because a few of my favourite bloggers, whose reviews I take as gospel have absolutely raved about Caroline's books and now, I can see why. I am already trying to slot her previous two books into my immediate TBR as I can't wait to read them.

As vaguely as possible so as to avoid spoilers, The Silent Twin is about the disappearance of nine-year-old Abigail whose twin sister Olivia has not spoken since the disappearance. DC Jennifer Knight is brought in to find Abigail before it's too late, and, when Olivia whispers into Jennifer's ear, she realises that it's Abigail's voice pleading to be found. The twins live in a damp and decaying house, Blackwater Farm, and the house contains many secrets old and new that Jennifer must unravel if she is to find Abigail. And it could be Olivia's bond with her sister that holds the key to finding her.

Crime novels featuring missing children aren't anything new in this genre, in fact some might say it's a plot that is overdone. I think though that it doesn't matter too much as long as the author brings something new to the table and whilst I obviously can't go into too much detail, Caroline's storytelling and plotting is of an extremely high standard and nothing about this book felt repetitive or like something I had read before. Caroline has a unique writing style, and it is both powerful and immersive, I felt really involved in this story which at times was more than a little unnerving. I had genuine chills whilst reading some of the plot twists in this story that had nothing whatsoever to do with the spring warmth failing to materialise in the UK.

There's something about books featuring missing children that have more of an effect on me as a reader, certainly a lasting one and I don't even have kids. I think it would be hard for someone to read this story and not experience some sort of emotional reaction, be it sadness, anger, disbelief, horror. Caroline takes the reader on such a journey that by the end of it you really feel as though you've been through this case with Jennifer and the family themselves. Nothing is ever done gratuitously but in a natural way to draw that emotion from the reader, and it created a real investment in me wanting to know how the story was going to unfold and so it was the early hours of the morning when I read the final page of this book.

It would be easy to sit here and go on and on about how good this book was but, as well as being one readers should discover for themselves, it's one that I think a lot of people are going to be shouting about and so I think the best thing that can be said is buy this book! It doesn't disappoint on anything that it promises. I will however make one final comment and that is about the setting. Caroline uses a rather eerie setting to add to the overall tension and intrigue, and her vivid descriptions made everything really clear in my mind which, again, only added to the reading experience and The Silent Twin is probably one of the best crime novels I've read this year because of that. Caroline Mitchell is a very talented author, and as well as being excited to read the previous Jennifer Knight books, I also can't wait for Caroline's newest crime series which will be out later this year. With Angela Marsons, Caroline Mitchell and Robert Bryndza, Bookouture have three of the hottest crime authors of 2016 on their books and it's such a real privilege to have access to these books weeks before publication and to hopefully be in a position to introduce these authors to new readers.

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