Sunday, 7 March 2021

Book review : The Double - Ann Gosslin

The Double is Ann Gosslin's second novel, after The Shadow Bird, which I read and reviewed last year. The Shadow Bird featured Erin Cartwright, a young psychiatrist just starting out in her career, who had to follow up on the story of a man ready for release from a maximum security psychiatric facility. In trying to get a grip on who he really was, she headed back to her (and his) home town and the reader got some valuable insight into Erin's own past. I was convinced this new novel would delve even deeper into Erin's story but I was wrong. Although it follows the same psychoanalytical theme, we are introduced to brand new characters.

The story begins at an awards ceremony in Denmark, where prize-winning neuroscientist and Cambridge don, Vidor Kiraly, is gratefully making his acceptance speech. When he unexpectedly leaps off the stage to attack a man, his life is about to veer off in a new direction. He finds himself sent to a luxurious clinic in the Swiss Alps, where Anton Gessen, the clinic's director, launches into the complex task of trying to unravel Kiraly's sense of identity and motivations.

Is Kiraly really the person he claims to be or is there something sinister being covered up? Where did he start out and what influenced him to become the man he is today? Kiraly is pretty dismissive and doesn't seem to realise the seriousness of the situation he is in. Especially when one of the clinic's other patients goes missing ...

It is a very slow paced novel with lots of descriptions of people and places, all fitting together to build up the complete portrait of Vidor Kiraly. Not a lot happens for the first two thirds of the book, but if you hang on in there, the pace picks up, with several surprises and twists in the final part.

It's not a big action-packed, suspense-filled thriller, so if you come looking for that, you will be disappointed. It is an interesting and complex investigation into the life of Viktor Kiraly though and, let's face it, in the current lockdown, we have plenty of time to settle down for a slower read !

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £8.99

  • Publisher : Legend Press (16 Feb. 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1800319371
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1800319370
  • Dimensions : 13 x 2.2 x 20 cm 

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.


  1. I'm curious to find out what's happened. Slow-paced doesn't deter me in a psychological thriller.

  2. New author to explore fascinating read


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...