Review – The Chinese Twin by Sarah Engell

blog post - the Chinese twin

Digital Review Copy Details.

  • Title: The Chinese Twin
  • Author:  Sarah Engell
  • Narrator: Olivia Vinall
  • Genre: Mystery & Thriller
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Publication Date: 5th August 2021
  • Format: audiobook
  • Duration: 7 Hours, 8 Minutes

I listened to the audiobook version of this book in July 2021 and I think it was the right move, the narrator Olivia Vinall was excellent.

I am conflicted about The Chinese Twin, not because of the strange premise: a couple who experience a stillbirth, with the father becoming inexplicably paralysed from the neck down, the day after and the mother deciding to hold on to this family unit no matter what. Amidst this tragedy comes a series of difficult, mysterious and desperate events happening in their local town. Which seemly they are directly and indirectly related to. How much misfortune can one family experience before it begins to crack? Culminating in family secrets and desires revealed.

That wasn’t the problem, nor the way the story was revealed, eerie in places and the slow drip feed of information tantalising the reader to discover more with the insight of fleeting glimpses into the past.

I guess it’s more about character perception and development which I took with a pinch of salt and the stance that going through a traumatic event allows one to be oblivious in part and unobservant in others. Living in a small town, perhaps allows you to do things a certain way, because it’s small town and you’ve always done it that way.

In truth, it may have been the theme of Chinese heritage and descent, which was central to and drove the plot, but it did not resonate. It was more of an interesting vehicle to surround the story. Plus there were minor gripes around race which bugged me such as why a character could not tell the difference between Korean and Chinese. And if the ethnic minority population was that small, it would have been obvious about who was who and where they resided.

However, all in all, I liked this mystery, the double bluffs, being wrong footed on occasion but overall it was a straightforward tale told well. If perhaps there was less references to the movements of bluebottles, it would have been more amenable and I certainly, would have sincerely appreciated it.

My thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a digital copy of this book in return for a candid review.


3 Stars - Liked It
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Engrossed Reader

Female, in her 40's who reads when she can, often to the detriment of sleep. Enjoying most genres and formats with a preference for ebooks, mainly for convenience

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