A woman worries that danger lurks beneath the seeming happiness of her twin sister’s relationship with a new man and becomes obsessed with uncovering the couple’s every secret.
Tilda, the vivacious golden-haired sister, has held the limelight since the Farrow twins were children, while the mousier, more observant Callie has stayed in the shadows. Now Tilda is an actress, having starred in the remake of Rebecca, one of many clunky Hitchcock references Robins uses throughout her fiction debut. Callie works a few days a week in a London bookshop, still idolizing Tilda from afar, savoring every morsel of time the two spend together; that is, until Tilda introduces Callie to her new love, American hedge funder Felix Nordberg. Charming, with icy Scandinavian good looks, Felix initially appears to be a healthy, if slightly OCD, influence on the oft-flighty Tilda. But Callie soon notices a change in her sister's behavior and glimpses a darker, perhaps more violent side of Felix that sends her online to a domestic abuse forum called controllingmen.com. There, she’s inundated with typical stories of abusive spouses and boyfriends as well as things to look for in violent relationships. Convinced that Felix is abusing Tilda, claims her sister finds preposterous, Callie is shocked when Felix turns up dead of an apparent heart attack while attending a conference. The sisters’ relationship—undeniably the most intriguing part of the story, especially its push-pull qualities—shudders under the weight of both Felix’s death and the two women’s conflicting ideas on what love really means.
Had this been a character study of the obsessive, bordering on fanatical, relationship between twin sisters it would be a stellar novel; unfortunately, it’s the crime that bogs down the story.