By Leslie Kain
Ebook. © 2022
Mirror twins Devon and Gavin are raised in a household where men are tough, where their father believes Devon will always be a winner and Gavin will always be a loser. After years of his abusive indoctrination, Devon and Gavin believe it, too. Devon joins forces with his father to push Gavin down even harder, robbing him of his self-respect, his self-worth, until Gavin believes his only purpose is to look after Devon. To serve Devon. To save Devon. Gavin finally manages to break free and create a life of his own, one where he can, at last, shine. But he can’t stop loving his brother. And when Devon manages to get mixed up with the mob, Gavin must choose between saving Devon, or saving himself.
Secrets in the Mirror is a compelling, twisted tale of family dysfunction that kept me glued to the pages. Even when I could sense a tragic development coming (some of them managed to really catch me off-guard), it was like seeing a train hurtling toward a cliff and hoping that it would stop in time. I couldn’t watch, yet I couldn’t look away—like in a movie where it’s so tense you peer at the screen through your fingers. Kain’s literary style unfolds the story in layers, revealing bit by bit why the characters are the way they are, what drives them, what they really want. Their increasing depth made it clear that “bad guys” aren’t always all “bad,” and “good guys” sometimes slip off their pedestals, too.
No doubt Kain’s background in psychology informed the details of conflict and personal growth, the struggle to overcome impossible odds that weaves through every page of this book. In addition, the author’s familiarity with Boston fed descriptions clear enough to see the scene’s setting without overdoing the detail. Her style is succinct. One scene or episode flows naturally into the next, sometimes leaving small details a mystery to uncover later in the story. I like that Kain doesn’t tie everything up with a pretty bow at the end. Not all stories have happy endings, and even some that do can be bittersweet. Kain spins a tale that left me breathless, not to mention thankful that my own life is not nearly so chaotic or challenging.
Secrets in the Mirror will keep you turning pages, watching that train lurch toward the cliff and wondering what it will take to stop it. If you enjoy stories based on family drama, you won’t want to miss this book, which is scheduled for release on September 13, 2022.