Heyhey, BookNerds! Welcome to my stop on the blogtour for Mirrorland, by Carole Johnstone! A big thank you to #TheWriteReads for the spot on this tour! Mirrorland is a twisty, clever and meticulous thriller that will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. So let’s dive in!
- 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
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.
Mirrorland, by Carole Johnstone is a twisty thriller that will keep you tense and intrigued from start to finish. Mirrorland is clever in it’s execution and brings an original look at some more traditional thriller concepts but my favourite thing about the story overall is the ‘Mirror’ theme that plays out on more levels than expected! I was delighted to see how Johnstone had taken the idea of mirroring (??) and almost dopplegangers to make a story full of reflections in characters, plots and more – it was very cleverly done and made for an engaging story with many layers.
The writing is clever and carefully constructed, pulling you in with the mystery of what is real and what is not – with adventures and stories of pirates and monsters taking centre stage. The fantasy and imagination entwined with the realities in the story were engaging and compelling – I particularly enjoyed the focus on the stories of Blackbeard and Bluebeard, and the pirate focus, it created a dark and captivating story that draws you in. The second fantasy-type element is Mirrorland itself. I found the idea of Mirrorland fascinating, its importance to the twins, its escapism, its safety and semblance of control – all of it worked really well to portray coping, and the power of childhood imagination, as well as the dangers of/behind it.
While I loved the fantasy-type elements that created a complex and intriguing psychological thriller, I also quite enjoyed the main plot. The mystery behind El’s disappearance, her presumed death, the truth behind it all worked very well to create mystery and tension. Fear and tension was built well over the course of the book, and Cat’s slow realisation and reflection on her past memories keeps you interested about the truth behind El, but also about the twins past. The twists and turns throughout the book will definitely keep you on your toes and unravel to create a strong and shocking ending. I also particularly liked the ‘follow the clue’ element, allowing us to try and piece together the truth alongside Cat.
The characters in the story are interesting and relatively realistic, the relationship between Cat and El being the most compelling element of the characters overall. Ross was also an intriguing dynamic thrown into the mix, altering the dynamic between the twins. I didn’t like Ross at all though, from the start I didn’t warm to him but he was a compelling figure in this thrilling story. While individually the characters weren’t the most likable, the relationships between them were incredibly strong and kept you hooked on what would happen next and how this would all develop.
Overall, Mirrorland, by Carole Johnstone is a compelling thriller that is clever and meticulous in its construction.
About the Author:
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.
*I received an eARC via #Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and for a spot on this blogtour by #TheWriteReads! Thankyou!*