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Shadow Sister by Simone VanDer Vlugt

Published by Text Publishing RRP $32.95

Lydia and Elisa, twin sisters, identical in appearance, different in every other way. Two identical sisters. Born to wealthy Dutch parents there was no need for either to pursue a career but they both did. Lydia teaches the Dutch language to students from other countries, Elisa is a photographer with her own studio. Lydia is married with a young daughter. Elisa doesn’t seem to be able to stay with any one man except her good friend Thomas.

When Lydia is threatened by one of her students, her sister is the first person she turns to. But Elisa is powerless to stop what follows: threatening letters, smashed windows.

Life has been good to both of the twins until Lydia is threatened by her knife-wielding student, stalked, threatened by letter and murdered at her front door. When the police cannot find any evidence of who the murderer is (the student has an alibi), Elisa decides to take up the search. Is it as the police suggest – that it could have been a case of mistaking one sister for another? Is Elisa in danger? Why would anyone want either of the sisters dead?

The story poses many questions and none of the answers are predictable. Shadow Sister is a gripping tale narrated by both sisters.

Simone van der Vlugt was born in 1966. She is a major bestseller of psychological thrillers in her native Holland where “The Reunion” has sold over 200,000 copies. Her three novels have sold over one million copies combined. She lives with her husband and two children in Alkmaar.

Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo

Published by Pan Mcmillan Australia RRP $32.99

The sound of a scream in the early morning dawn leads to a case that will change Kate Burkholder’s life irrevocably…When the police arrive at the Amish farmstead in Painters Mill they can’t imagine the horror that awaits them.

An entire family slaughtered: the men shot, the young women tortured and killed. The Amish are peace-loving, gentle folk and the town is shocked by what appears to be a particularly brutal – and random killing. But is it random?

Every family has its secrets. Kate knows that better than anyone. And as she and Agent John Tomasetti dig deeper into the victim’s lives they discover a young woman who was living a lie. A girl who had to live in silence. With her own past resonating – Kate knows she has to maintain some distance.
From the case, and from Tomasetti. She knows what could happen if she gets too close. But when she puts herself in the line of fire – she realizes that, this time, there may be no going back.

This is the second thriller featuring Kate Burkholder by Linda Castillo. Bestselling author Linda Castillo knew at a young age that she wanted to be a writer and penned her first novel at the age of thirteen. In her spare time, Linda enjoys reading, showing horses and barrel racing. She lives in Texas with her husband, four lovable dogs, two barn cats and two Appaloosa horses. Her first novel featuring Kate Burkholder was “Sworn to Silence”.

Read it? What did think? Who is your favourite mystery/crime author?