Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

White Bodies – Jane Robins

Psychological Thriller

I can’t deny I was excited to hear that Jane Robins whose non-fiction books The Magnificent Spilsbury and the case of The Brides In The Bath and The Curious Habits of Doctor Adams  I thoroughly enjoyed and which sit proudly on my bookshelf, was writing a psychological thriller. I also can’t deny that I am reading far fewer books in this genre, because many fail to delight me in the way that they once did. But boy did this one work. The plot was tight, the writing engaging and the characters were weird enough to be chilling but normal enough to be believable.

Callie and Tilda are twenty-seven year old twins with Tilda being the more outgoing and outwardly successful of the two, Callie somewhat hampered by an obsessive nature who dwells on every conversation, every look and every perceived slight to the nth degree. It is Callie that waits for invitations for movie nights with her sister but rarely meets up with Tilda’s fun-loving friends. So imagine her excitement when Tilda introduces her to her new man, Felix. But Callie’s overwhelming need to make sure her twin is safe means that she is on her guard.

It isn’t long before Callie hears and sees things that convince her that Tilda is in an abusive relationship and she trawls an on-line forum, obsessively, for confirmation and advice.

This is one of the creepiest psychological thrillers I have ever read. The premise is similar to many others in the genre – these are not people on the whole that you’d want to spend any length of time with, but there are so many aspects of their behaviour that you will have come across in your friends, family or colleagues that all the way through, I had a feeling that this could be true. This genre really does work best when you believe – a bit like fairies – and because it feels so real, as Callie goes searching for clues, it is impossible to separate the truth from the fiction. Added to that the bizarre but sadly only too believable on-line tales that draw Callie into endless discussions about abusive men, the story becomes not only claustrophobic but has a hue of ghastly inevitability.

White Bodies was absolutely compelling, it was one of those wonderful books which from the moment I read the first page I was sure I would enjoy. I don’t know what it is that makes some books far more ‘readable’ than others but this was one of them. What I do know is that this book is solidly underpinned with brilliant writing. Since childhood, I have been drawn to stories about twins, although I sincerely hope that some aspects of twin behaviour, mentioned in this book were dreamt up in Jane Robins’ imagination! Of course there are twists, that is what the genre is all about, but the author hasn’t gone all out to do a complete about face, the book hanging solidly together from the first to the last page and the book doesn’t rely on the twists for a great reading experience, there is much more to enjoy!

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the publishers Touchstone who granted my wish to read White Bodies which will be published in the US on 19 September 2017. UK readers apparently have to wait until after Christmas to read this book, which is somewhat bizarre as the author is British and the book is firmly set in the UK. Anyway despite the wait, if you enjoy a good psychological thriller, and live in the UK, mark this one down as To Be Read and if you are in the US please note your cover is different to the one above – enjoy!

First Published UK: 28 December 2017
Publisher: HQ
No. of Pages: 384
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US




A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

22 thoughts on “White Bodies – Jane Robins

  1. I always have a lot of respect for authors who can write different sorts of books like that, Cleo. And it sounds as though this one really makes the characters seem believable, which I agree makes all the difference. Stories such as this one are all the more suspenseful when you can imagine a character could be real.


  2. This cover! The contrast is striking! I’ve also noticed that psychological thrillers being my favorites, I’m becoming more and more picky and difficult to satisfy. The genre is very popular and there are so many books being released, but few actually make a difference and have that original X factor that makes you say “yummy!” I’m so glad this one ticked all the boxes for you! Plus, it has twins, and I LOVE TWINS!!! Haha! Fab review Cleo! x


    1. I think there is a risk with all genres that the storylines tend to fall into fairly well-worn grooves and I still really enjoy psychological thrillers but I enjoy them more if I ration them a little. This year I’ve found some great examples, one of which is White Bodies – and yes there is something about twins!! Thank you Meggy.


  3. I hadn’t heard of this author before but co-incidentally White Bodies arrived unexpectedly in the post this morning from the publisher. Reading your great review has made me very excited about it.


  4. I love books about twins, too, and “weird yet normal” characters reel me in. I was pleased to see it will be released here on Tuesday…but I don’t really like the US cover! LOL. However, since I read e-books, the cover doesn’t really matter too much.

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. I’m glad you understood the point I was trying to make Laurel. I’m with you on the covers, if they are on my kindle I’m not too bothered what they look like, although interesting that we get a white cover and the US gets a black one.


  5. Great review! Ooh, I’m even more excited to get to it now! As you know, I’m well fed up with psychological thrillers but the good thing is that that means I haven’t read any for ages, so I’m feeling nicely refreshed and ready to be thrilled… 🙂


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