“We’ve all got a double out there somewhere, watching, waiting. Shadowless.” (Page 9)
Have you ever wondered if you have a double out there somewhere? Would you want to meet them or are you happy not knowing?
Rob, a 29-year-old tech entrepreneur is living his best life. He has a wonderful house in Cornwall, stops in London during the week in a stunning penthouse loft conversion in a hip part of town, has a multi-million-pound business and for the last five months has been seeing Kate, an artist and a onetime super recogniser for the police force.
Five months ago, Kate had a bad car accident that fortunately she walked away from. After extensive surgery, that has left her constantly exhausted; she can no longer recognise faces as she once did making her job with the police force impossible. She also used to be a very good portrait painter, a skill she is desperate to regain, but as of yet, she is struggling with.
The only stable thing in her life is Rob, whom she met during her long stint in the hospital when he was arranging a charity gallery exhibition featuring some of her work. Since then they have been inseparable while she attempts to recover in his wonderful Cornish house.
But what if he wasn’t really Rob?
One weekend, while relaxing on the beach, Rob confides in Kate that his worst fear is meeting his doppelganger. Apparently, he has already seen him once and the theory goes that if you see them again it leads to devastating consequences.
“The day I see him again, will be my last. He’ll take over my life, me, you, the house, my company, all that I have achieved, everything that’s precious to me.” (Page 10)
Worryingly, the following weekend Kate begins to notice odd differences in Rob. The side of the bed he is sleeping on, the way he takes his coffee. In fact, she is so worried that she enlists the help of her best friend, Bex, to investigate on her behalf.
Alongside this main plot, there is a second narrative running, also impacting Kate.
At the time of Katie’s accident she was seeing someone called Jake, a guy she has been with since university. Together they were both extremely creative, a painter and an author, the only problem… It didn’t bring the money in. Kate, however, had a unique skill, she could recognise a face after just a quick glance, and therefore would be any police forces dream.
In the year running up to her accident, she had helped to put so many criminals behind bars that her name had become well known. Her last case was especially memorable as she helped to put away an organised crime gang for modern slavery and people trafficking; something that she gained particular praise for.
The night of her accident, everyone believed she drove into the tree simply because she was exhausted, but is that really the case? Has the organised crime gang got anything to do with it? After all ‘her memory for faces was instrumental in convicting some deeply unpleasant people.’
After receiving a package from an unknown source, Jake also doubts what he has previously been told and turns to DI Silas Hart, Katie’s old boss, to try and uncover the truth.
Perhaps Kate is simply unlucky? She could have been tired the night of the car accident, she had been working long hours at work and therefore no one was shocked when it was declared she fell asleep at the wheel. Since then, however, the coast guard has had to be called after she got into trouble out at sea during what should have been her normal daily swim. Was it just a bad case of cramp, or something more sinister?
Is she the only person in harm’s way? It seems that anyone close to her may potentially be in danger – Rob, Jake perhaps even Bex.
Kate feels like she is going insane, but is that it or is someone playing tricks? Has someone taken over both Rob and therefore Katie’s life as well?
Even the people in the sleepy little Cornish village believe they are seeing Rob when he denies ever being there.
If I was Kate I would also be feeling extremely unnerved and paranoia.
Could she be in danger because of her previous life as a super recogniser? Is she the only one that has been targeted or is there a wider attack taking place on those that were successful in putting criminals behind bars?
My Thoughts on The Other You
The Other You by J.S. Monroe is an extremely well-composed story set over a very short period of time. In just five days we see the plot unfold and Kate’s world as she knows it falls away from her. From the opening pages, I was completely hooked and flew through this novel as I genuinely felt a need to find out what had actually happened to Kate that devastating night when she had the accident. I needed to know who had a helping hand in her downfall but also whether Rob was actually Rob or someone playing at being him.
I have never really thought about the prospect of having a doppelganger somewhere out there and after reading this fantastic novel I am not sure I want to meet them either if they did exist.
There are so many threads running alongside one another in this novel that there is no chance of getting bored. It is a novel that looks at some difficult themes including the impact of drug abuse, families falling apart and the potential reach of a dangerous, criminal gang. It explores the external lives of the main characters rather than just the criminal thread of the story.
The Other You is a gripping crime novel that will draw you in quickly and keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Just when you think you know what is coming next, something comes completely out of left field leaving you stunned all over again.
Have you read The Other You? Is it a crime book you would recommend?
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