Publisher: Harper Collins.
Hardcover, 384 pages.
Release date: January 29th 2015.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for review.
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?
Prepare to be haunted by The Ice Twins…
A year after the death of one of their picture-pretty blonde-haired, blue-eyed daughters, Angus and Sarah Moorcroft are slowly picking up the shattered pieces of their once perfect lives. Determined to move on and start afresh, Sarah is delighted when Angus inherits a tiny Scottish Island courtesy of his Grandmother’s will. An escape from London life and the house where they raised Lydia is just what this couple needs; Eilean Torran – which ominously translates to Thunder Island – may be as rugged, remote and as isolated as it gets, with a dodgy phone line and not so much a trace of an internet signal, but to Sarah, it sounds like heaven on earth. She can’t wait to get there. She can’t wait to tell Lydia’s twin, Kirstie, of this new adventure. She’s not expecting Kirstie to whip her head round, fix her blue eyes on her, and say slowly but surely in a spine-chilling end of chapter revelation: ‘Why do you keep calling me Kirstie, Mummy? Kirstie is dead. It was Kirstie that died. I’m Lydia.’
So begins The Ice Twins, a genuinely chilling and wonderfully atmospheric tale which questions how well this young couple – who once had it all and who are now falling apart at the seems – ever really knew their own children. It’s unsettling. It’s spooky. It’s haunting. The Ice Twins will keep you reading late into the night, and yes, like any good ghostly tale (or is it?!), it’ll creep up on you haunting your mind and your memories long after you’ve turned those final pages. It’s fair to say that The Ice Twins contains a lot of positives – and yet I’m rating it a 3.5. Why? Well, I almost rated this one a four, because in setting and atmosphere The Ice Twins is pretty much perfect. But I felt like the story itself was lacking; and it was slow-moving. Like, really, really slow. And repetitive. The pacing is off. This book really lags in the middle, and I felt like the ending let it down. I might be alone in this – but I wanted more. With such a crazy good premise I felt like this book could have been so much more.
But did it creep me out? It did. And books don’t often creep me out, I might add.
Lydia and Kirstie are twins so identical that for the first few years of their lives, their parents had to differentiate between them by paining their fingernails with differently coloured nail polish – in the physical sense the twins are identical in every physical way. So, when one dies, it’s up to the other to tell the truth about exactly who she is. But what if she lies? What if she changes her mind about who she wants to be? And what if you are all alone on a remote Scottish island with a little girl who is slowly but surely adopting the character traits of her dead sister. That, right there, is creepy. Add a dilapidated rat-infested old house, a crumbling marriage, and a riotous storm into the mix, and what you have is a recipe for a really good fireside read on a winter’s night.
The Ice Twins is a true page-turner – and it’s definitely worth a read – it just left me feeling a little dissatisfied in places.
Let’s talk about the cover: I love the cover of this book. I’m always drawn to books about twins with their secrets languages and unbreakable bonds; all mysterious and unsettling. Also, I’m a sucker for doppelgangers and evil twins and harbingers of bad luck – all of that stuff.
Oh, and about the author. S.K. Tremayne is the pseudonym of author Tom Knox. I know a lot of people have been wondering about this – but it’s no secret from what I can tell via Twitter where Sean Thomas Knox often mentions his identical twin sister S.K. Tremayne and her book The Ice Twins.