THE NIGHTSPINNERS

Lucretia W. Grindle, Author . Random $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-375-50776-2

A set of identical twins who communicate telepathically are at the center of journalist Grindle's fine debut thriller. Susannah and Marina deBreem grew up in rural Georgia, raised by a hardworking single mother. While they were children, they became adept at "nightspinning"—sharing their thoughts and emotions without speaking. This closeness faded as Susannah became determined to escape their working-class background; she went off to college in Chapel Hill, N.C., and became a restaurant designer, while Marina stayed closer to home and became romantically involved with some shady locals. Living in Philadelphia, Susannah has virtually cut off all communication with her sister when a burst of horrifying nightspinning tells her that Marina is dying violently, the victim of a murder that will go unsolved. More than a year later, someone with intimate knowledge of the twins' history appears to be stalking Susannah. The dramatic tension spikes when Susannah learns that her sister was stalked the same way shortly before her death. Grindle is an accomplished writer who effectively conveys the eerie, largely one-sided relationship between the two girls ("Marina would send entire paragraphs into my head, whether I wanted them or not. Permanently set to receive, I was a fax machine that never ran out of paper"). Though there are more red herrings than necessary (virtually every new character seems a possible killer), the stalking mystery is taut and suspenseful, and the resolution satisfying. Grindle clearly has the goods for a promising future in the psychological suspense genre. (Mar. 18)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
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