Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary: When Tess Devlin runs
into her ex-husband Nick on a Boston sidewalk, she's furious at him for
pretending he doesn't know her. She calls his cell to have it out with
him, only to discover that he's in New Hampshire with his current
girlfriend. But if Nick's in New Hampshire...who did she encounter on
Frank Lindbergh's dreams have fallen apart. He wanted
to get out of the grim neighborhood where he'd grown up and out of the
shadow of his alcoholic father. Now both his parents are dead and he's
back in his childhood home, drinking too much himself. As he sets in
motion his plans for the future, he's assaulted by an intruder in his
living room...an intruder who could be his twin.
In an elegant
hotel, Tess will find mystery and terror in her own reflection. Outside a
famed mansion on Beacon Hill, people are infected with a diabolical
malice...while on the streets, an eyeless man, dressed in rags, searches
for a woman who wears Tess's face.
Ahhh, this book.
I'll start off by freely admitting that I was approached to read this book since I previously read Snowblind by the same author. I quite enjoyed that one, so I was more than happy to give this one a shot, and I'm glad that I did!
I've always been fascinated by way that the human brain works. Body Integrity Identity Disorder is both terrifying and interesting when you consider that your own brain can convince you that parts of your body aren't actually yours. So if you start off with that in mind it'll probably be easy to see why this book appealed to me, with its exploration of both doppelgangers *and* horror - (I am a sucker for horror, as well!)
One thing I really liked about this book is how we get into the heads of the characters. We know how conflicted Tess is over the slow fracturing of her marriage to her now ex-husband, her guilt over balancing work and life and being a mom to her precious daughter. We know the anguish of another main character, Frank - a man who has turned to alcohol and despair, but has reason to want to hold on to his life after all when he finds himself facing the prospect of having it stolen away.
Beneath all of this runs a thread of horror, a slowly building edge of creepiness and terror that intrigued me and kept me reading, wanting to find out what happened next. I couldn't help thinking how I would react if I suddenly found myself facing my doppelganger and it turned out that having a twin wasn't so great after all, or that even worse, their existence threatened my own. There's a unique sort of horror to the idea of that - it's one thing to fear the 'other', so to speak, and another to fear something and see it looking back with your own face.
Woven with all of this are other aspects that are sure to please many - magic, demons, a sense of the thrill of the chase so to speak - as the pace and the sense of danger builds throughout the book, right until the very end. A nice contrast to the Christmas season, I have to say!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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