The Sisters by Claire Douglas

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One lied. One died.

When one sister dies, the other must go to desperate lengths to survive. Haunted by her twin sister’s death, Abi is making a fresh start in Bath. But when she meets twins Bea and Ben, she is quickly drawn into their privileged and unsettling circle.

As Abi tries to keep up with the demands of her fickle friends, strange things start to happen – precious letters go missing and threatening messages are left in her room. Is this the work of the beautiful and capricious Bea? Or is Abi willing to go to any lengths to get attention? When the truth outs, will either sister survive?

When Abi sees a young blonde woman standing in the rain handing out flyers to an art show, she is immediately drawn to her.  Not because she looks cold and wet but because she looks just like her twin sister Lucy.  A twin she sees everywhere but nowhere because Lucy died a year previously.

How she died isn’t immediately clear but what is, is that Abi blames herself and is desperately trying to fill the gap Lucy’s absence has left in her life; they were best friends and she misses that.  The young woman in the rain, Bea, seems like the perfect person to fill the gap and they fall into an easy friendship, one that is strengthened when Bea asks Abi to move into her shared house.

Things aren’t, however, quite as happy go lucky as they seem in Bea’s house – which she shares with her twin brother Ben and a number of local artists.  Bea’s moods change with the flip of a switch and she is incredibly jealous of Abi’s burgeoning friendship with Ben.  Both brother and sister seem to be hiding something.  Or is it Abi, whose friends and family are worried that she is repeating mistakes of the past.

Who is who and what they really want leads to plenty of twists and turns in this book, which is a page turner and kept me interested throughout.  It’s a debut novel, and a good one, though there are times when I felt that I was reading something not fully formed – phrases repeated to describe how Abi felt, giving me flashes of “have I read this before” and causing a break in my concentration – and the final reveal wasn’t as good as I’d hope (rather something I’d guessed early on).

This meant I was left slightly dis-satisfied by the end.  It wouldn’t stop me recommending it but it just means I can’t say I loved it – rather, this is a solid “liked”.

Emma

 

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