TWIN girls: snowy-blonde, blue-eyed, six years old and absolutely identical in every way – so much so that not even the most advanced DNA testing can tell them apart.
Then comes tragedy for their parents: a death – but whose? Which sister has died, and why?
When Angus and Sarah Moorcroft lose one of their daughters in a balcony fall, escape from mainstream London to an isolated Scottish outpost seems to offer the fresh start the tattered young family needs.
Out-of-work-architect Angus and journalist Sarah are eager to quit their challenged city existence, praying that a new outlook will help to soothe the agony of their loss. On remote Eilean Torran in a Gaelic-language stronghold surrounding the Isle of Skye, the Moorcrofts set out to restart their life together in an abandoned lighthouse-keeper’s cottage bequeathed to Angus by his grandmother. Settling into an island of their own with rockpools, beaches and scrubland for the trio and their dog Beany to explore seems like the perfect antidote to their still-fresh grief.
A mere change of location can not paper over the cracks that are spreading rapidly through the already-tenuous marriage, however – a relationship soured by adultery, secrecy and deceit that even after their move continues to escalate.
For more than 13 months it has been presumed that Kirstie has lived. Little by little, though, doubts begin to surface separately in the parents’ minds, raising the question of whether the girls’ identities could have been transposed and that Lydia instead is the surviving twin.
Rich in psychological tension and blurred realities and with the depths of plot normally associated with the genre Nordic noir, this novel is suspenseful and gripping, at the same time delivering an insightful portrait of community interactions in the Hebrides. Piercing winds, racing tides, cloying mudflats and shattering storms are the ideal backdrop to this eerie saga.