In Another Light – AJ Banner

Published By: Lake Union
Pages: 252
Released On: 05/10/2021

Three years ago, mortuary cosmetologist Phoebe Glassman lost her husband in a tragic accident. No longer the hopeful wife and mother she once was, Phoebe is disappearing into her grief and into the quietude of her job – restoring to the dead the illusion of life. Then the body of a woman named Pauline Steele arrives in the mortuary, and for Phoebe, everything changes.

Pauline is unmistakably Phoebe’s mirror image and bears an alarmingly familiar tattoo. Even more startling is that among Pauline’s effects is a faded photograph of Phoebe. Aided by an eccentric colleague, her curiosity sparked, Phoebe investigates her doppleganger’s life and death – and uncovers surprising clues to a shared past.

*****

Thanks to Lake Union for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

This could have been such a simple story; a case of mistaken identity or a mysterious doppelgänger (the idea that we all have someone who looks like is terrifies me slightly); but it was so, so much more.

Banner writes grief exceptionally well. What I wouldn’t give to see my lost loved ones again, and that want can drive you to distraction. To this point, she also describes mental health and mental illness in a very sensitive way. In my opinion, Phoebe is never described as crazy, just sick, and that’s a fine line to balance. This is sad but not over the top, a psychological thriller that feels so real.

I read this in one sitting. It is fast paced and thrilling, with multiple layers and twists. You’re never comfortable in knowing what’s going on, she keeps you on your toes from the first page to the last.

I didn’t know Banner had written other books but I will definitely catch up on them if this is anything to go by. This will be a book I try to get on just about everyone’s bookshelves – utterly fabulous.

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