It’s another Ultimate Blog Tour from TheWriteReads, Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone, an adult thriller that was a pleasure to read. I was lucky enough to be sent a physical copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I can’t wait to share with you my thoughts!
Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone
Length: 320 Pages
Age/Genre: Adult Thriller
Publishing: 20th April 2021
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.
It is difficult to put into words how I felt at the end of this book. This novel plays on the thriller genre quite well and I found myself surprised often. There was a tenseness to the writing that certainly lended a hand to the feel of the book. The plot is rather intriguing and kept me engaged for a good portion of the book. There were some slow moments, I often wondered when the real thriller piece would come into play.
I was not disappointed, that’s for sure. I enjoyed the characterization of Cat, El and Ross. Flawed characters are rather my favorite because they feel real and raw. Cat was not perfect, I enjoyed her inability to make the right decisions and the aftermath of those choices. El was a hard character to like but I think that’s the point. She is supposed to be the one you didn’t like so that you can empathize with Cat. Ross is written perfectly as the grieving husband. His flaws felt just as real as the rest and it was interesting to see it all play out.
I loved the way the plot itself was twisted into the idea of repressed memories and coming to terms with reason as children they had places like Mirrorland to lose themselves in. To pretend that their world was just a bit magical.
I gasped at the end but to be honest, getting there felt a little too long. How everything happened and the end result felt a little off making it hard to get behind. Don’t get me wrong it’s a beautifully written book but I think it got a bit too Gone Girl for me at the end. I would definitely recommend this one for anyone that wants a good thriller and I look forward to reading more from Carole Johnstone.
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.
Having grown up in Lanarkshire, she now lives in the beautiful Argyll & Bute, and is currently working on her second novel: a very unusual murder-mystery, set in the equally beautiful Outer Hebrides.