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Publisher's Summary

The idea is simple, vain, exciting. Tap the app, upload a picture of yourself, find your lookalike. Set up a meeting to see whether you have anything else in common.

When Ella and Jem meet, the physical resemblance is uncanny, but their lives couldn't be more different. One is from a tiny island in a deprived Northern community - pretty much the back of beyond - where she has no job, no boyfriend, limited prospects. The other is a London socialite, an aspiring actress living in a multi-million-pound mansion. By all appearances, she's living a charmed life, but she's got some serious sh*t to run away from. Both of them have.

Can either hide in her double's skin? And at what cost? Will it solve any of the problems or merely compound them?

©2019 Nicola Martin (P)2020 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A tense and compelling story that courageously embraces contemporary themes ranging from new tech consumption to mental health...plays out as a treacherous and disturbing nightmare...will delight fans of Killing Eve." (Daily Mail)

"What a cracking debut! Tense, thrilling, thought provoking." (Alex Kane, author of No Looking Back)

"Page-turning suspense alongside exploring the dark recesses of the human mind...a taut and fast-paced thriller...[and] a beautiful meditation on how opportunities offered by youth, beauty and ambition crash into the hard realities of adulthood." (Joanne Metivier)

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  • Murder Mystery Thriller Fan
  • 03-03-2020

Dynamite zeitgeist idea takes turn for the mundane

It is a fabulous, intriguing, unique concept for an app. A brilliant, thrilling and exceptional premise for a thriller ...... but soon takes a turn for well trod identical twin territory which is a real shame as it could have been so much more. No spoilers here but I think most people have a good grasp of the kind of opportunistic adventures which can ensue from two people who look very similar meeting. Traditionally contrast is always part of the story from "Leila and Leela" to Hayley Mills in "The Parent Trap" to Sean Young in "A Kiss before Dying" there is always a yin to the doppleganger's yang - a country mouse to a gal about town and so it predictably is with "Dead Ringer". Things I loved were the glitzy London scenes, the glamorous Jem and co and discovering all about the little known Islands of Furness in Cumbria (interesting online Guardian article claims nobody else have heard of them either!) and the potential of the "find your double" app. I have always loved all things twin so this was another reason I was fascinated by the theme. Also I thought it was very well written and I will look out for the next thriller by Nicola Martin for sure - but after my initial enthusiasm and enjoyment it all just became a bit dull. The narration, especially of the Jem character was well done but when the story took a turn for depression I tuned out ... literally as I went out leaving it running, as this is how uninteresting it had become. When I returned I thought of going back but could not be bothered, so just heard the rather preposterous end which I felt missed many opportunities for subtlety and twist, double twist cleverness. It was almost as if the author had become just as bored of the well trod plot as I had. It's not that this is a bad thriller, just for me - with the depression theme and (apart from the genius app idea) the very familiar twin thriller format - it just did not hold my attention after its initial intrigue and promise of pizazz. I would recommend to anyone who is new to the doppleganger theme and possibly I would have remained engaged except for the mental illness aspect which I find always muddies the waters of even excellent thrillers. What a shame as I really did think I was in for a treat.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A teacher mum
  • 27-02-2020

Amazing actors, edge of the seat & laugh out loud

I loved the kindle book and so was keen to see how the incredible actors (Nathalie Buscombe and Kathryn Drysdale) chosen lifted the whole thing to another level - they did not disappoint... so talented! Buscombe's accent isn't quite right for a girl from Walney Island, but I quickly forgot that in her fabulous performance. Gripping, though-provoking and escapist. Loved it, loved it, loved it. When is the film coming out?!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-12-2020

a great debut novel

I really enjoyed this book and didn't realise it was a debut novel until I looked for others by the same author. Great modern thought provoking storyline and I went from like to dislike of the main characters. Interesting twist at the end. Only slight criticism was it was slightly too long and veered off the storyline a bit in the middle however this did not prevent it from being an enjoyable read. I would look out for books by the author in the future.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-05-2020

Compelling thriller with intriguing premise

A page-turner with richly drawn characters that takes on the huge topic of social media and mental health, plus class dynamics and the friction between the North and South. Dark and compulsive reading. Would definitely recommend.

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