- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: HQ; First edition edition (28 Dec. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0008217548
- ISBN-13: 978-0008217549
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 74 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
White Bodies Hardcover – 28 Dec 2017
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‘White Bodies will keep you up all night and have you turning to your sleeping soulmate with the thought, “Who ARE you?”’ Julie Burchill
‘This book is immensely gripping – kept me on the edge of my sun lounger all day, till I got to the end’ Sophie Hannah
‘Gripping, creepy and very addictive!’ BA Paris
'A totally absorbing and compelling read – loved it! At the halfway point, it made me gasp out loud and I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough to find out what happened.' Sue Fortin
‘An incredibly compelling, horribly believable tale of obsession, sisterhood and the mental rabbit holes that can creep up on us all.’ Phoebe Morgan
‘White Bodies is a masterpiece of manipulation – a dark and twisting exploration of a complicated love that's at once pure, corrupt, and blinding, with an ending that's as inevitable as it is unexpected. It's not often I read a novel and wish I'd written it. This is that book. A triumph!’ Karen Dionne
‘Breathless, sharp and dark. White Bodies is hard not to obsess over.’ Ross Armstrong
About the Author
Jane Robins began her career as a journalist with The Economist, the BBC & the Independent on Sunday. She has written three previous books of non-fiction, The Rebel Queen (Simon & Schuster) The Magnificent Spilsbury and The Curious Case of Dr. Adams (both John Murray).
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As Callie’s loneliness breeds paranoia and with Felix’s presence driving a wedge between the two twins by commandeering and isolating Tilda, Callie resorts to the “when in doubt turn to Google” for a solution and latches on to a forum detailing the stories of controlling men. Egged on by some clearly delusional online buddies in the form of nurse Belle and abused Scarlet, Callie soon turns her attentions to the role of investigator, becoming Tilda’s possible rescuer and finds this in itself brings unexpected pleasures. Not only has this outlet captured her interest but she finds herself making friends, finding solace and understanding in an online community and feeling duty bound to intervene. Against an endless narrative of females in danger online and readily open to suggestion, Callie finds herself pulled into an audacious plot.. whilst still mourning the death of one of her online friends she finds herself soon questioning the forceful and insistent urging on one increasing authoritative voice. But never the most circumspect with privacy concerns, Callie’s online contributions make Felix readily identifiable and thus his death is the springboard for establishing whether he was murdered or died a natural death. With the unfolding consequences seemingly careening out of her control, Callie’s erstwhile efforts to question Felix’s previous love, confident Francesca, and Callie’s exasperated editor, Felicity, begin to make her question her own judgement. And with one delectably twisted last turn, events spiral and Callie finds herself suddenly coming to question everything she believes.
Admittedly some of the events that unravel will be readily foreseeable to many readers, with a glaring reference to a classic black and white movie, a summary of the plot and Callie’s swift recourse to the Internet heavy-handedly signposting much of Jane Robin’s intent. A subtle hat tip afterwards would have been both classier and far more crafty. Interestingly in the opening chapters Callie points out that she neither spends a great deal of time or is that close to her twin, very often not privy to the weekly events of her sisters life and I did find myself questioning how Callie had contented herself from watching on the sidelines all these years. On several occasions, Felix’s willingness to pay for therapy for Callie is made mention of, and acknowledgement of her fixation with the life of Tilda relayed, yet despite this overt acknowledgement I was itching to see why this hadn’t be addressed before.
The Farrow twins couldn’t be more different but crucially they are both mutually dependent on each other for reinforcement of their position in the world, with Tilda fully expectant of her sisters adoration and support and Callie deriving some of her self-worth from her devotion to her sister. The tantalising insights into the childhood of the twins makes clear the obsessive interest of Callie with key revelations coming is the shape of Tilda’s starring roles in Peter Pan and Liam, her teen love interest with narcissistic attention seeking and a resulting breakdown following.
Despite the ominous news of Felix’s death opening the novel in Autumn 2017 his demise feels of secondary importance to the most fascinating aspect of this novel, which is the dynamics of the twin sisters and perhaps the most discomfiting aspect is envisaging the future devastation these two could wreak. Despite this foreshadowing, the knife-edge suspense makes this an immersive read and it is testament to Jane Robins unique and dangerous characters for combining for a truly compelling read. For all the addictive delights that White Bodies holds in store for its readers, there was never any doubt in my mind as to which twin was directing the action from behind the scenes and exquisitely manipulative. Yet despite the collateral damage resulting from this throughly modern spin on Strangers on a Train, I doubt either Tilda or Callie Farrow would have it any way else. One rather doubts that Callie’s plan to take hold of her life and direct her own script will stand the test of time when both twins derive so much succour from their validation of each other.
Review written by Rachel Hall (@hallrachel)
It is first rate and I was surprised to learn that it is a debut novel.
I am very much looking forward to reading more of Ms Robins' work.
Nevertheless I enjoyed reading this and and was completely taken in by the author.
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Most recent customer reviews
A classic tale for a new audience. Twins, Callie and Tilda, are what you could describe as opposites in life.Read more
Callie and Tilda have a deep bond, sisters and twins, each of whom have an obsession with each other that is creepy, compelling and so so...Read more
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.
A psychological thriller, a tale of two twins and a who done it puzzle. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and am annoyed with myself for taking so long to get...Read more