Book Title: White Bodies
Author: Jane Robins
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Suspense Fiction, Mystery
Pub Date: 09/19/17
Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless facade, not everything is as it seems.
Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.
Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an Internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies–or was he murdered?
Disturbing, creepy, and unsettling– these are a few of the words that come to mind when I think of White Bodies. I’m usually let down by hyped up psychological thrillers, but this one was an updated take on an age old idea that we’ve seen time and again. I almost hate to categorize it as a mystery, because those who have read similar books in years past will likely see the who and why early on, but that isn’t what makes this particular read so juicy. Robins has taken many characters who are unlikable for various reasons and worked them together in a way that is darkly delicious and easily devoured. This book is truly about the journey, the slow unraveling of the psyche in multiple characters, and the author’s talent in discomforting the reader entirely.
The main reason I find myself so drawn to psychological thrillers is that, when I find a good one, it washes me with a sense of unease and terror that even a well done horror novel can’t seem to manage. White Bodies was the perfect example of a story where we know something really bad is going to happen, and the feeling of niggling unease develops into full blown paranoia and you wonder if you can trust anyone in this book! Without giving away plot points, it’s safe to assume that regardless of the correctness in your guesses on what happens, you’ll still enjoy reading the book and arriving at the end. The smaller, less pronounced twists felt more like dropped bombs than the grand finale, which I greatly appreciated and felt really enhanced the reading experience.
If you’re on the fence whether to read this book, I’ll encourage you to take a chance on White Bodies. This was a fairly short read that I blew through in 24 hours; it felt like the perfect way to say goodbye to the warmth and radiance of summer and welcome in the cooler weather. With a gorgeous cover and an intriguing synopsis, I can see why this is one of the most highly anticipated reads for fall and I can’t wait to hear what others think of this book. If you enjoy twisty mind games with some quirky, dark characters, I think you’ll really enjoy reading this one.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it’s a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.