Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publication Date: 2019
Review Date: 12th March 2020
Terry's humdrum life is turned upside down by an amazing encounter with his double. He discovers this is the identical twin Terry never knew about. Separated in infancy, his double outshines everything Terry has and does. Thrilled, Terry rushes home to tell his shadowy wife, Gudrun, but, preoccupied with her job and her sculpture, she resists listening. Frustrated, he secretly searches out his identity. This opens a Pandora’s Box of reprehensible characters his twin would prefer to conceal. Terry now finds himself trapped into bizarre situations and misguided actions which he cannot reverse, while he finds Gudrun has dark secrets of her own. Can Terry rise above the flak, or ever discover what he needs to know? Is Gudrun a heroine, a victim or a packet of trouble? A psychological mystery involving suspense, hidden and mistaken identities, confessions and heavy guilt.
The story starts with a prelude set a year before the main story, where a man is watching his wife and grown-up daughter (adopted from wife’s sister who had too many children already) as they coo over the adopted daughter’s new adopted baby.
Chapter One then moves to the present-day where the protagonist, 28-year-old dull and boring Terry, is going through the motions of his everyday humdrum life with his dull wife and dull job, when his world is jolted wide awake when he bumps into somebody who looks exactly like him. Terry can’t wait to tell his wife, Gudrun, all about what has happened but with a job in social care that soaks up all her time, she isn’t interested in listening to him.
Terry soon discovers that his lookalike is his twin, Gerry, and they were both adopted out to different parents. This sets a spiralling set of events in motion as Terry decides to trace his blood family; with little white lies scattered here and there as he tries to explain to Gudrun what is going on but can't quite get her to listen. But what really drives the story forward is the fact that Gudrun has a secret of her own that she is hiding from Terry - a much bigger one...
The narrative has a ‘fairy tale’ feel to it, and they way the author tells the story is utterly addictive. I had no option but to race through this story – but now I’m left thinking did I read it too quick? Have I missed something? The story ends with the same characters as the prelude and whilst I have an inkling I’m still not 100% sure how they fit into the story. There is a sequel Uncommon Relations part II, and I am just itching to read it…
I’m not sure who I would recommend this book to. Rosalind Minett really does have a unique voice all of her own. A truly wonderful and mesmerising one suitable for anybody who likes a good story.
About the Author
Rosalind Minett writes novels and short stories, with several short and long-listed in competitions. Rosalind trained as a dancer, but grew to love acting more. She gained a place at RADA, but took parental advice and let academic life take over. She gained a B.A. Cert. Ed and Ph.D then became a psychologist working with both children and adults. If she hadn't, she would have spent her life interpreting characters that dramatists and scriptwriters had created instead of working with real people. Now, later, she very happily creates them herself especially their quirks. In her career, she met and worked with a wealth of characters whose characteristics she can draw upon. However, she does not write biographically, much preferring to work from imagination. Not surprisingly, it is the inner life of her characters that determines their fate in her stories, whether humorous, historical or criminal. Whatever the genre, Rosalind's stories always have a keen touch of humour and a dark edge. This is evident in her first short story collection "Me-time Tales: tea breaks for mature women and curious men", quirky and satirical. Rosalind lives in the South West of England and spends non-family time enjoying the scenery, sculpture, theatre and fine art of the region.