Is he who you think he is?
Kate used to be good at recognising people. So good, she worked for the police as a super recogniser, identifying criminals in crowds of thousands. But six months ago, a devastating car accident led to a brain injury. Now the woman who never forgot a face can barely recognise herself in the mirror.
At least she has Rob. Kate met him just after her accident, and he nursed her back to health in his high-tech modernist house on the Cornish coast. Rob is caring, handsome, rich and successful. He’s a tech millionaire with a home to match. He’s got a strange fear of dopplegangers. He says he’s seen his once:
We’ve all got a double out there somewhere, watching, waiting. Shadowless. And I’ve already met mine, a long time ago… They say it’s bad enough to see your double once, but it’s meant to be much worse if you meet them a second time. The day I see him again will be my last. He’ll take over my life… He’ll steal my soul.’
But mostly, Rob has helped Kate in her recovery. When she’s with him, her nightmares of the accident fade, and she feels safe and loved.
Until, one day, she looks at Rob anew – and knows, with absolute certainty, that he has been replaced by an impostor. The man who is ‘Rob’ is not the man she fell for. Is she right? Have her old recognition skills returned? Or is this because of the accident and all in her damaged mind?
This is Monroe’s third psychological thriller and he’s a master of it. J.S. Monroe is actually the pseudonym of Jon Stock, who has written six spy thrillers, so this is one author who really knows how to structure a novel and tell one hellova story. This intricate, original and emotionally charged psychological thriller is perfect for fans of J.P. Delaney and Louise Candlish. It grabs you on page one and doesn’t let up, taking you on a rollercoaster of twists, turns and guessing (I didn’t guess most of this), with short chapters that add to the lightning pace.
It weaves a number of themes into the plot, from technology to dopplegangers to facial recognition software and Capgras syndrome. Told from three perspectives – Kate, her old boss Silas, and her ex-boyfriend Jake, The Other You packs a lot in which makes it very difficult to guess the ending – something quite rare for me. Instead, I enjoyed the ride.
Clever, thought-provoking… I couldn’t put it down.