Author: VJ Chambers
Publisher: Punk Rawk Books
My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I enjoy reading books about twins. I find them a fascinating subject. Two people with the same DNA, people who should have been one, but are two. That is why I picked up The Twin Game, and was totally pleased to see what a fantastic thriller it turned out to be.
The first chapter, acting as a Prologue, tells us about a man stalking a woman, hinting at dark things, telling us in the first person how he is planning to do her harm.
The second chapter moves to the first-person account of Hope Ross, who has just been released from a mental health care facility. She returns to the massive manor house she calls home, the one that only houses twin sister Serenity, since their parents are both dead. Returning home, she and Serenity, who hasn’t spoken to her in years, occupy opposite wings of the home.
Hope is concerned about the serial killings that have been plaguing the town for a long time, but the voices of authority, Inspector Radcliff and the family physician, Dr Gunther, both disbelieve her allegations, insisting her mental illness makes it difficult for her to think straight, fostering the belief that she is delusional. Both also insist that Serenity does not exist, that she is making her up.
Hope insists that she was assaulted by a serial killer, Neil Stillwater, who was the drama teacher when Hope was in high school.
Rhys, Hope’s childhood friend, now a film star, picks her up at the facility and moves into the manor, insisting that he is doing it to keep her safe. His presence pleases Hope. Rhys is, after all, the only person who knows Serenity, who played with both girls when they were kids.
Even as a child, Hope had been raised to never tell anyone about Serenity. She and Rhys used to play the Pretend-Serenity-does-not-exist game.
When Hope finds evidence of a deranged woman, her mother’s twin, having been hidden in the attic, and discovers rotting bodies and skeletons in the basement, she realizes that the danger is very real. But then she is accused of attempted murder, and it seems that even Rhys thinks she is crazy.
The book raises questions about whether Stillwater is to blame for the killings, and if insanity does indeed run in the family.
Hope is an unreliable narrator. Her insistence on Serenity being real leaves us feeling confused for a long time. We can’t tell whether Serenity is real or not, whether Hope is delusional, lying or imaginative.
Hope does flip flops between realities, and we don’t know whether to trust her or not. She keeps getting flashes of insights relating to things that her memory does not back her on. Maybe she’s crazy, and maybe she’s also trustworthy.
There are more than a few grammatical and proofing errors, but they don’t take away from the thrill that the book gives us.
There are literally twists and turns on every page. The pace just doesn’t falter.
I look forward to reading the author’s other books.