The Silent Twin – Caroline Mitchell
Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.
Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.
A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life?
My thanks to Bookouture for my review copy which I received through Netgalley
DC Jennifer Knight returns in her third outing in Caroline Mitchell’s The Silent Twin. I really enjoyed the first two books so had been looking forward to seeing what would come next for Jennifer – something rather different as it turns out.
A young girl, Abigail, has disappeared from her family home (a remote farm cottage), her glasses have been found seemingly dropped or discarded and her twin sister, Olivia, has not spoken a word since her sister vanished. The police were quick to respond but they have encountered a family dealing with their crisis in very different ways.
The father is a police officer and has mobilised family and neighbours to search the farm and surrounding areas. The mother is behaving extremely oddly as she is calm, collected and playing hostess to the police and searchers – she is not showing any apparent concern about her missing daughter. Olivia is moving around the house like a lost soul – she is not speaking and is seemingly keeping out of her parents way. But there is an added worry for the police that are assisting the family, strange events and disturbances in the family home (objects falling from stable positions and other unexplained phenomenon).
Jennifer is called into action in the unfamiliar role of Family Liaison Officer, this gives her constant access to the family and gets her into the house. Could her special talents and awareness of ghosts and spirits give her any insights into what happened when Abigail disappeared?
I loved this very different approach from Caroline Mitchell. The uncertainty over what had happened to Abigail keeps the reader engrossed in the story. Jennifer’s role felt very different in The Silent Twin too, admittedly she was performing a very different role for this investigation but it was fascinating following her attempts to engage with different family members who all required different approaches. Also the ‘haunted house’ element of the investigation gave the whole book a delightfully creepy edge which allows it to stand apart from the more standard police procedural stories.
The Silent Twin has a narrative from multiple viewpoints which worked really well as the story developed. The police investigation into a missing child had a very realistic feel and the constant frustration over lack of progress was brilliantly conveyed. The supernatural edge to the book was of particular appeal to me and I love the balance that Caroline Mitchell is working into the Jennifer Knight stories, the crime story the dominant element yet enough of the supernatural to make it distinctive.
I highly recommend The Silent Twin, it is a gripping story with more than its fair share of unexpected twists. Caroline Mitchell is putting the ‘super’ into supernatural, 5/5 from me.
The Silent Twin is published by Bookouture and will release on 14 April 2016. You can order a copy here.