Friday, November 4, 2022

Book Review: Her Perfect Twin

By Jami Denison

It’s every kid’s fantasy to have a twin – a best friend to switch places with when one is better at math; a constant companion in the journey of life. And twins switching places has always been fodder for entertainment, from Disney’s The Parent Trap to the recent Netflix series Echoes.  Debut novelist Sarah Bonner has taken the trope of twins switching places, put it in a psychological thriller, added one global pandemic, and come up with Her Perfect Twin, which has excited fans of domestic suspense since its publication in September.

British identical twins Megan and Leah were rarely the best friend type. Although as schoolgirls they switched places and shared secrets, Leah would always use Megan’s trust to her advantage. As adults, the breaking point came when Leah wrote a tell-all book about their father’s secret double life, telling her version of a story the twins once promised to tell together. Leah became rich and famous off the tale, while Megan settled into a middle-class life with her husband Chris.

When Megan finds a suggestive photo of her sister on Chris’s phone, she’s had enough of Leah’s constant effort to steal her life. She goes to her sister’s rustic cottage and ends up killing her. After stuffing her body in the freezer, Megan decides to impersonate her sister. But when the lockdown happens, Megan finds herself trapped with the husband she despises… and he might know more than he’s let on.

Her Perfect Twin is a quick, twisty read, and there’s just enough about the pandemic to flavor the story without taking it over. Leah had a fabulous life as an author/influencer, and the reader can’t blame Megan for wanting to take it over, even though it might have been easier just to leave her dead on the floor and stage a break-in. While it can be difficult to root for a murderer, Leah is so awful that the reader wants Megan to get away with it, to live that fabulous life and enjoy a new love interest to boot.

The novel has multiple first-person points of view, including Chris’s, Megan’s, and a male lawyer. Chris is a psychopath, and his telling of the affair with Leah reveals she’s psychotic as well. The two gaslight Megan and laugh about it. It makes for uncomfortable reading. The male lawyer is also a raging misogynist. As much as I disliked being in certain characters’ heads, I also wished for more of an explanation of how these characters got to be so sick. There’s really nothing in their backgrounds that explains Leah’s hatred of Megan or Chris’s pathology. On the other hand, watching Megan’s machinations as she plotted to avoid the consequences of her actions was enjoyable. And the ending is completely satisfying.

Author Bonner is a Sussex, England resident who spent fifteen years as an accountant. When the pandemic shut everything down, she wrote Her Perfect Twin. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take another lock-down to get Bonner’s next book. 

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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