False Hearts, by Laura Lam


I imagine twins must get irritated by the stares and questions they get from the rest of the population.

From asking if they’ve ever swapped places to wondering if they can sense what the other twin is feeling when they are apart, their unique status is endlessly fascinating to those of us who don’t have such a bond.

It’s also a subject that has proved popular with novelists, from Viola and Sebastian in Shakespear’s Twelth Night to The Ice Twins by SK Tremayne. The latter is a first rate psychological thriller set on a remote Scottish island, which I devoured in just a few sittings.

A recent addition to this twins `genre’ effort is False Hearts by Laura Lam (Macmillan),  a thriller with a science fiction theme that was inspired by historical events.

Lam has said that the spark for the book came from reading about conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, famous in the Vaudeville era.

False Hearts is set in a world where brain implants are commonplace, and people can be frozen before being brought back to life.

It centres on a pair of conjoined twins who have been separated. When one is accused of murder, the other takes on her identity to find out what happened.

I must confess I’m not a big sci-fi fan. When I come across some piece of fictional technology that sounds too far-fetched my focus on the story is interrupted while I fathom out if such a thing is possible or even likely.

If, however, you can resist such questions while you read False Hearts is a well-paced thriller about what happens when real human relationships and emotions collide with technology.

False Hearts

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