I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Because of the synopsis, I was expecting this story to be told mainly from Laurie’s point of view, but actually the character of Charles was a more prominent figure than Laurie herself.
Charles is the Deputy Prime Minister, and Laurie’s twin sister Lorna was his mistress. He ended the affair with her six months after it began, and Lorna ended up dead a few months later. Everyone assumes that Lorna committed suicide, and Laurie is the only one who is convince that her sister would have never done that so she travels to London and implores Charles to help clear her sister’s name, and find out what really happened.
All of the characters in this book were complex, but Charles more so than any other. Being privy to his train of thought was very strange. In his mind and heart he was convinced that what he felt for Lorna was a deep and abiding love. He did not think the way I would assume a powerful politician who sleeps with his intern thinks. He lacked the arrogance that is usually attributed to unfaithful politicians.
His obsession with her did not become as severe until after he found out about her death. I mean he did dump her after all. But something happened to him when he learned of her death. He couldn’t sleep, and he finally stopped being able to deny how much he hated the life he chose to lead. He resented both his job and his wife for not being enough for him anymore, and started to think nothing but selfish and self-destructive thoughts. This was only worsened when Laurie, Lorna’s identical twin sister, entered the picture.
Laurie needed to know that her sister did not kill herself, and she thought the only person who could help her was Charles, but Charles believed that this meant Laurie needed him. I almost hoped that he wouldn’t transfer his obsession for Lorna onto her sister, but how could he not? They looked so much alike. If anything, his determination not to fail Laurie as he did her sister drove him to be even more committed to Laurie than Lorna.
Although I completely disagreed with almost everything about him, I never hated Charles. He was pathetic and selfish, but I also felt bad for him because he honestly didn’t know what love was. He wanted to give and receive love, but he confused it with lust and infatuation. The only thing he was certain of was that he did not love his wife. He was fond of her, and at times he even respected her, but he never loved her.
I liked the way the points of view included his wife, Elaine, because I did not have to just rely on his assessment of her. He felt that she was vapid, materialistic, and only cared for her position as the wife of the Deputy Prime Minister. She was all of those things, but she was also determined to be the best wife that she knew how so I felt sorry for her. Actually I felt sorry for everyone in this book. There was no one who was easy to hate, and that just made the story all the more mysterious and enjoyable to read.
Because she was dead, the only way I got to know Lorna was through the eyes of Laurie and Charles. Charles saw her as this sweet innocent little angel who also happened to be a sex kitten behind closed doors, but Laurie saw her as her sister. She did not have her on the same pedestal as Charles. She was well aware of her flaws, but she loved her all the more for them. It seemed that everyone was under the impression that Lorna was this sweet little innocent except for Laurie. She was the only one who knew what a spitfire she could be, what scared her, what truly made her happy, or how selfish she could be. But, while investigating her death, Laurie finds out how much she may not have known about her other half.
It is difficult for me to write about my assessments of Laurie as a character because she spent so much time defining herself by her sister. Because they were twins, they both felt like halves of a whole, but they were also so different. I felt that Laurie was more honest and straightforward than her sister. She would never have allowed people to place her in a box and put her on display as the perfect daughter, girlfriend, student, and mistress the way everyone did to Lorna. She may have felt like she was the less spectacular of the two because she preferred reading to shopping, but she was also clearly more grounded. However, because she is still reeling from the loss of her sister, Laurie is less stable when she meets Charles so she ends up doing some uncharismatic things that keep the reader guessing about how the story might progress.
Just like any true mystery, nothing is quite as it seems. I second guessed the motives of everyone and suspected several people of killing Lorna, and the ending was satisfying if not a surprise. I had a blast reading this, and it made me really miss the days when I would sit down and devour a mystery in a few sittings. This is the second book that I have read from this author, and although the story does not focus on action, the attention to detail when it comes character development makes up for that. When it is difficult to hate a cheating politician, I know the character is well written.
If you’re a fan of mysteries, give this a read. 🙂
Because of language and mild sexual content, I would recommend this book for ages 17 and up. There are no detailed sexual descriptions.