Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone – Ulitimate Blog Tour

A huge thanks to Dave and crew over at #TheWriteReads for organising this book tour and to Carole Johnstone, Penguin and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

Twelve years ago my life began again.

But it was a lie.

With the startling twists of Gone Girl and the haunting emotional power of Room, Mirrorland is the story of twin sisters, the man they both love, and the dark childhood they can’t leave behind.

Cat lives in Los Angeles, about as far away as she can get from her estranged twin sister El and No. 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where they grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to the grand old house, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. No. 36 Westeryk Road is still full of shadowy, hidden corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues all over the house: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting…

A sharply crafted mystery about love and betrayal, redemption and revenge, Mirrorland is a propulsive, page-turning debut about the power of imagination and the price of freedom. Perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Ruth Ware, and Daphne du Maurier.

Publisher: Penguin

Length: 320 Pages

Age/Genre: Adult Thriller

Publishing: 20th April 2021

ISBN: 9781982136352

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BZXHFR2/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54304146

My Thoughts

There’s something intoxicating and malevolent about this book from the very first pages.  I was instantly drawn in by the opening chapters and in places.  Charmed by the creative and imaginary stories of Cat and El’s childhood and but with a constant feeling that something sinister was lurking within the coming pages.  Very cleverly written to play on a variety of emotions and send the reader’s brain into a spin, this is a unique and fascinating thriller.

The narrative is told over two timelines, childhood and now.

In the past we learn about the girls’ childhood home and how they create the ultimate imaginative games and spaces to play until their heart is content.  In theory it sounds delightful and innocent but there’s a constant niggle that things are not all as they seem.  In the present timeline El is missing, (presumed dead by everyone except Cat) and Cat has returned to their childhood home to deal with things. 

The past and present are plaited together to create an intense story of family, revenge and grudges.  Slowly in each timeline things are revealed to create an intriguing but intense thriller where nothing is ever as it seems. It’s like nothing I have read before and the second half really picked up pace and began to mess with me.

A superb thriller with a difference – highly recommended.      

Author Bio – Carole Johnstone

Carole Johnstone is an award-winning writer from Scotland, whose short stories have been published all over the world. Mirrorland, a psychological suspense with a gothic twist, is her debut novel.

Having grown up in Lanarkshire, she now lives in the beautiful Argyll & Bute, and is currently working on her second novel: a very unusual murder-mystery, set in the equally beautiful Outer Hebrides.

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