cover image A Dark Dividing

A Dark Dividing

Sarah Rayne, . . Pocket, $7.99 (567pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-5090-4

Rayne (pseudonym for "a well-known British author") draws readers into four creepy stories in this hefty suspense thriller. Journalist Harry Fitzglen is unimpressed when he's sent to profile a new London artist named Simone Anderson. When Harry begins digging into Simone's past, however, he discovers that her twin sister, with whom she once was conjoined, mysteriously vanished years ago. As Harry's interest in Simone grows, the story branches into several separate tales: in addition to Harry's present-day investigation, there is the story of another set of conjoined twins, Viola and Sorrel Quinton, born in London 80 years earlier; Simone's own history with her twin, Sonia, and her mother, Melissa, dating to the 1980s; and the parallel plot of a novel that Harry uncovers during his research, The Ivory Gate , published in the 1900s. Rayne writes in a semiformal style that evokes turn-of-the-last-century England and lends the novel an appropriately gothic atmosphere. Well-drawn characters reveal themselves through thoughts and actions more than dialogue, as Rayne favors extensive narration over banter. Still, Rayne has crafted a memorable novel with the right mix of suspense, horror and emotion. Amazingly, she leaves no loose ends. (May)