Carole Johnstone
Published date

“Mirrorland” by Carole Johnstone is a dark and twisty thriller. Cat lives in Los Angeles since she left her twin sister El over a decade ago, not making any attempts to contact her only family or mend the broken relationship. But when El disappears on her sailboat one day, Cat is forced to go back to Edinburgh and finally face her past.

When I first started reading “Mirrorland”, I didn’t think I would like it. For one-third of the book, not much is happening. The author beautifully describes the haunting house where Cat spent her childhood. The building is full of hidden secrets and overflowing with memories, making Cat reminiscence about her childhood every few pages. The whole idea of Mirrorland is excellent, a safe place full of pirates, clowns, and wild west sceneries. It sounds like this amazing place, where all kids could spend hours playing. But still, not much happening plot-wise.

But after that, once the book is starting to pick up the pace, it becomes gripping. With every chapter, more secrets are coming out, and Cat is more and more confused, as she can’t distinguish between her real memories and the lies, she forced herself to believe.

The story revolves around a complex relationship between twin sisters that started to get complicated once they fell in love with the same person. Cat is constantly struggling with her own feelings; not sure if she despises her sister or still loves her. Firstly, she is adamant in her statement that El simply can’t be dead, and the whole disappearing thing is some elaborate plot. But when more and more convincing evidence are popping up, her conviction is starting to waver, and she is not sure of anything anymore.

“Mirrorland” is an absorbing mystery thriller with several twist and turns. I didn’t love the ending, but the author explained and justified every little detail of the elaborated plot, so I can’t complain about that. It’s definitely a book worth reading and a great debut novel.