Written with a pace of prose, this novel is based on twin sisters, Callie and Tilda. Callie is dominated by self-doubt, stuck in an undemanding job without prospects, and has lived from childhood trying to absorb shadowy fragments of her sister’s vibrancy. In contrast, Tilda is socially adept, confident, and a successful actor on the cusp of international acclaim. When Tilda introduces Callie to her new boyfriend, Felix, a rich American who is totally in control of even the minutest detail of his life, it appears to be the perfect context in which a bout of sibling jealousy could lead to disastrous consequences. And consequences there inevitable is. In the prologue the reader is given a brief glance of those consequences: Felix is lying in his coffin and Callie is expecting an invitation anytime soon from the police to help assist them with their enquiries. However, the author isn’t going to allow the reader off that easily. Callie is rather too fond of her cans of beer, and increasingly exploited by a belief in the infallibility of Internet postings made by women obsessed with violent misogyny. Whereas Tilda’s world is methodically dismantled and rebuilt to Felix’s exacting standards.
Suddenly, at least in Callie’s estimation, it is her sister who is the vulnerable half of the twinship.
Told from the perspective of Callie, the narrative catches you on a hook, and relentlessly pulls you into the murky depths of mental instability until you are totally submerged in an ocean of despair, not knowing who is holding you down on the seabed, or who is throwing you a lifeline of hope. It’s a conundrum that won’t be resolved until the last sentence, and it is a journey that will take you along a path that will have you questioning every turn until the final destination is revealed.
If you liked The Girl on the Train then you’ll love White Bodies. But don’t be mistaken into thinking that Jane Robins has written just another formula genre book. She hasn’t. This is a carefully crafted novel. It will have even the most ardent psychological thriller aficionado unsure of the principal character’s motives, and as each subtle plot twist unfolds, reality and the musings of a troubled mind entwine to become indistinguishable. Your fingers will be itching to turn the page.
In the United States this book is already available in hardcover. In the United Kingdom you’ll have to wait until it’s issued on Kindle from 28th December 2017 — pre-order it today, and be one of the first to read it. You’ll enjoy the experience and realise how lucky you are.