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December Mysteries Roundup: Wrap up an unsettling year with page-turning suspense | Arts

With wit that leavens the carnage and corruption, Frear’s complex plotting, vivid and nuanced characterization and realistic dialogue confirm her stature as a top-notch practitioner of the genre.


For some fans of soap operas and mysteries, the notion of twins—evil, secret or unknown—has outlived its potential for providing quality entertainment.

But it remains fresh and captivating in Rose Carlyle’s début novel, “The Girl in the Mirror” (William Morrow, $27.99, 304 pages).

Summer and Iris Carmichael are mirror twins—almost, but not quite, identical. Summer, happily married to Adam Romain and stepmother to his young son, Tarquin, have sailed from Australia to Thailand in their yacht en route to the Seychelles.

When Tarquin falls ill, the couple enlists Iris, resentful and in the throes of divorce, to accompany one of them on the voyage while the…

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