Review: White Bodies by Jane Robins

Title: White Bodies by Jane Robins
Publisher: Touchstone
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

This chilling psychological suspense novel—think Strangers on a Train for the modern age—explores the dark side of love and the unbreakable ties that bind two sisters together.

Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless façade, not everything is as it seems.

Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.

Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an Internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies—or was he murdered?

A page-turning work of suspense that announces a stunning new voice in fiction, White Bodies will change the way you think about obsession, love, and the violence we inflict on one another—and ourselves.

Review:

Jane Robins’ debut, White Bodies, is a mesmerizing mystery with a very suspenseful storyline.

Twin sisters Tilda and Callie Farrow are as different as night and day both in looks and temperament. Tilda is quite beautiful, outgoing and popular whereas  Callie is quiet, shy and socially awkward. Tilda’s light shines brightly and her acting career is currently on the upswing. Callie enjoys her job working in a bookstore where she is comfortable discussing books with regular customers. Despite their differences, Tilda and Callie talk daily and get together once a month for movie night.

Although Callie enjoys hanging out with her sister, she is a little taken aback when Tilda begins frequently inviting her to spend time with her and her new boyfriend Felix Nordberg. Callie is initially impressed with Felix’s ability to rein in her somewhat flighty sister but after witnessing a couple of troubling incidents, she becomes convinced that Tilda is the victim of domestic violence. When Tilda brushes off her concerns, Callie joins an on-line support for advice and after she befriends two women on the forum, she has to decide just how far will she go to protect her sister.

Callie is devoted to her sister so it is not any surprise that she is a little worried about some of her disturbing observations. With a long history of trying to protect Tilda from her own frailties and any type of harm from the people around her,  she immediately begins compiling extensive notes in which she documents practically everything about her sister and Felix. Callie soon comes across as obsessed as she goes to extreme lengths to gather information about Felix and his relationship with Tilda.

As Tilda begins pulling away from her sister, Callie begins to heavily rely on two friends she has made on the domestic abuse forum.  After tragedy strikes,  one of the women she has befriended proposes a rather extreme plan but will Callie agree to this outrageous scheme? When Felix unexpectedly dies, Callie is under unbearable pressure to act on her online friend’s behalf, but can she take such a drastic measure?

Fast-paced and engrossing, White Bodies is an intriguing mystery that is impossible to put down. With a meticulously crafted storyline, an increasingly unreliable narrator and clever plot twists, Jane Robins brings the novel to a completely unexpected but satisfying conclusion.  A brilliant debut that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Jane Robins, Mystery, Rated B, Suspense, Touchstone, White Bodies

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