Posted 20 hours ago

Mirrorland: the dark and twisty fiction debut from 2022's new voice in psychological suspense

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Although a somewhat unreliable protagonist, I became utterly drawn into Cat’s world – and into the world of Mirrorland – very quickly. Cat lives in Los Angeles, far from 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. Over the past seventy-two hours, the temperature of the firth has been no more than seven degrees Celsius. My thanks to The Borough Press for providing me with a copy of the book via Netgalley and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for an invitation to join the Blog Tour.

Johnstone has plenty of tricks up her sleeve in this suspenseful tale of betrayal and revenge, memory and imagination, and the thin line between love and hate. El and Cat – Ellice MacAuley and Catriona Morgan – were twins who lived in their own wild world when they were children. That this is the only thing about America that I won't miss makes me feel more tired, more pissed off.Though I received a complimentary hardcover for this tour, I initially started off listening to this on Audiobook so that I could continue doing work at the same time. It is a fantastical world which feels incredibly real and I could almost feel the ship listing in a storm and was there in the Clown Cafe with the twins. identical twins Ellice and Catriona show up at Edinburgh's Granton Harbour at dawn, covered in blood and badly beaten, seeking passage aboard a pirate ship. A picture of El and Ross on holiday somewhere fills the screen'all tan and white teeth; his arm flung around her shoulders as she leans in, tips up her chin to laugh.

And, I’m beginning to realize, I can trust nothing that came out of it,” Cat observes about their childhood (page 135). Mirrorland is both a classic childhood invention and a device to escape the reality of their real life. From the very beginning, the reader is thrown into a confusing world of Clown Cafes and Princess Towers, and it is unclear which characters are real and who has been plucked from the fragments of Cat’s childhood imagination. Mirrorland is a beautiful, complex and dizzying tale of sisterhood and coming to grips with the past via a rather horrifying trip through the present. I was in two minds at one point whether this was going to be my type of book, because part of the story delves into this magical fantasy land of pirates, clowns and witches that the little girls created for themselves as a way of escape.These are the questions that establish themselves early in the story and you are obsessed with turning the pages until you have the answers for them. Dark, dazzling, full of surprises and perfectly executed' Sheri K 'An adult fairy tale, a domestic noir and a heartbreaker, all in one' Rebecca W 'Creepy as hell and absolutely brilliant' Vikkie W 'Poignant and compelling. 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. It weaves in elements of fantasy and horror, but at its heart this is a psychological thriller and complex drama about the relationship between two sisters.

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