Author: Amber Rigby Grosjean
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Imagine waking up one morning and finding out that your entire life was a lie. What would you do? Matthew Peters lived his life thinking he was an only child and had no siblings or real family. In a flash that changed when his mother, on her deathbed, told him that he was adopted and the truth behind his birth and the circumstances that led up to his adoption.
Distraught, angry and frustrated he sought out legal help and an investigator to find his real mother and learn the truth about his identity. One phone call from the investigator caused his whole world to come crashing down and a chain of events that followed so horrific, deceitful and cunning it grabs the reader’s attention and holds it throughout the entire novel.
Rather than deal with the issues of his adoption and the knowledge that he has a twin brother; Matthew becomes hateful, resentful and angry at the life his brother is living and has decided it should be his. Lurking in behind bushes and spying on his brother and his family he learns their daily routines and decides to eliminate his brother John by taking him out of the picture completely along with anyone else that might stand in his way.
Pretending to be another person and learning everything about that person proved to be a difficult task, although at times the author lets you think that he has totally accomplished becoming his brother she is clever and masterfully draws the reader into this web of hate and deceit that Matthew has created and you think he might actually pull it off.
Matthew cleverly learns all he can about John’s wife Allison but the important differences and nuances about his life and his personality he tries to emulate, but really can’t. Allison and John’s marriage was rocky and he cheated her on with another woman. He was not very attentive and stayed late at work most nights. He rarely, if ever made advances towards his wife in any manner and would not sit down and do homework with his children or have a family fun night.
Although Allison and others noticed the differences in him not only at home, in the bedroom and at work, he was able to convince everyone that he had changed. Taking over John’s position in the advertising firm where he worked and encouraging his wife to return to modeling, set up alarms in Allison’s mind, but she never let on.
But the best-laid plans do not always pan out. After taking over John’s life he is arrested for murdering his best friend and a suspect in the killing of John’s lover. Although he does manage to talk himself out of it and create a veil of innocence around him, the reader hopes that he will eventually get caught and that Allison is playing along with him in order to find out what really happened to John and why.
Then, in walks his real father who found him and wanted to get to know him and his brother. Knowing that each had a different birthmark, Matthew did not deem it necessary nor want to prove his identity to him or anyone else. However, in the shower Allison does question him and stated that John had his birthmark removed. Matthew replied, it must have grown back which leads the reader to believe that Allison might now have confirmed in her mind that this was not John. Encouraging her to go back to modeling and taking her on, as client in his firm was another red flag for Allison to be careful.
Throughout the novel Matthew finds himself in many difficult situations that he attempts to talk his way out of. He meets people that he knows as John and as Matthew and eventually his worlds become intertwined and the results: Well you will have to read the book to find out what happens and if he comes out ahead or gets caught.
Falling in love with another man’s wife does not always result in wedded bliss or a happy ending. Bangs of guilt and anguish force his to start seeing John wherever he went and the ghosts of others that he killed.
Through Allison and her cool and collected manner and sharp personality the author masterfully lures the spider (Matthew) in Allison’s web only to get snared.
Fran Lewis reviewer