I’ve just finished reading “The Ice Twins” by S.K. Tremayne.

“The Ice Twins” by S.K. Tremayne (via Goodreads)

I chose it because it is about twins, a subject which I’ve always been interested in.

The blurb reads:

“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?”

The novel starts with the family moving away from the city to the wild tiny island in Scotland in the hope of moving on from the terrible tragedy of losing their twin daughter Lydia. It is clear that something is not right when Kirstie announces she is actually Lydia and this causes so many cracks in Angus and Sarah’s relationship.

We see the action from both parents’ point of view and it tells us something very different about the version of events which they saw unfold. Sarah is desperately trying to make the move work, while trying to keep her relationship with Angus going for the sake of their surviving daughter but doubts start to form in her head about Angus and his actions towards his daughters on that fateful day.

Angus has his own secrets and is still tortured by the death, knowing a secret which could destroy his wife. He drinks heavily and struggles to get his life back on track but still loves his daughter and tries to love his wife as he resists the urge to hurt her.

Then there is poor Kirstie, struggling to come to terms with her twin’s death and being confused about who she is. She struggles to fit in with the children at her new school and is watched all the time by her parents who are trying to work out which twin really died.

It is pretty horrendous having a child die, but having a an identical twin die is worse when the survivor will always remind you of the one who died. I feel sorry for the parents and it’s hard to know which side to pick when trying to guess what really happened and who is at fault. It kept me guessing until the end and it was a surprise what really happened, but it was also obvious that somebody was ultimately going to die in the end. The atmosphere on the island is quiet and eerie and really lends itself to the plot, which wouldn’t work as well if the family had stayed in London.

I thought it was going to be more of a horror type of thriller novel with a bit more suspense but it disappointed me as it fell short of my expectations and was a bit lacklustre. I give this novel 6/10 because it was fascinating but by no means the best novel about twins or the best thriller novel that I’ve ever read.

“It’s not so much my own death that is intolerable, it’s the death of those around me. Because I love them. And part of me dies with them. Therefore all love, if you like, is a form of suicide.”

― S.K. Tremayne, The Ice Twins

I recently read “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” written by David Lagercrantz, the next installment in the Millennium series by the late Steig Larsson.

“The Girl in the Spider’s Web” by David Lagercrantz (via Goodreads)

I loved the Millennium trilogy and thought it was brilliant and original writing. I was not happy to hear that someone else was writing a follow-up to the series which I felt was good enough to leave as it was intended by its creator Larsson. I was in two minds about reading it because I was curious as well as worried it would ruin it for me, but I eventually got around to reading it.

The blurb reads:

“She is the girl with the dragon tattoo—a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit. He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.

Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker—a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it . . .”

The plot is OK, although it took a while for me to get into it and one of the new characters seemed kind of boring until it emerges just how important he is. Blomkvist is having more problems with keeping his role at Millennium and desperately searching for a new story. Salander has her own issues to deal with but ends up helping Blomkvist bring the truth to light.

Lagercrantz has tried to keep their characters as alive and interesting as Larsson made them, but there’s still something missing. Salander is just not as unique as she was portrayed originally and seems a little too normal. The story is interesting eventually, but the problem seems resolved too easily and quickly and there are a few loose ends, maybe they are for building on in a new novel? He also killed off 2 characters just as they were getting interesting, which kind of ruined it for me.

The book did keep me reading until the end but it wasn’t anywhere near as special as the original writing. I give it 7/10 because it is well-written and you can see what the fuss is about, but at the end of the day, it’s a poor imitation of the greatness of Stieg Larsson.