The Double is another addition to author Alison Brodie’s body of work, and proof of her genius in writing fiction. The novel is set against the backdrop of a civil war in the Eastern States, and is a story of loyalty, love, and personal conflict.
Sonita La Cruz has it all—a loving fiancé, fame, success—and is ready to get back on a concert tour, jet setting her career with a fresh start. Yet, she is haunted by a stalker, who sends her blood-tinged notes, who has vowed to end her life. Her childhood friend Paolo is concerned for her safety, and wants her to take a vacation. While still in doubt, an accident at her concert scares her numb, and she follows through Paolo’s suggestion despite her manager’s warnings. On her cruise en route to Scotland, she has no idea what is in store for her.
Aleksandr is a man marred by loneliness, and addiction to alcohol. He wants to do more for his crime-ridden country, but cannot find the willpower to do so. Upon his trip to visit his nephew, he realizes how badly his country has been affected by invasion by Moldova. When he reaches the refugee camps, he is shocked to find that his beloved nephew Pavlo is kept in isolation. Pavlo along with other kids were victims of tuberculosis, and the scarce hospital staff had no resources for treatment. Angered by this, he decides to write to the American singer Sonita, and gets a positive response from her that she will help them upon contact. When her manager informs Aleksandr that Sonita is on a break, he and his friends hatch a plan to get her attention.
Beth is tired. Tired of her ongoing tirades with her husband, and her laborious job. Forced into motherhood and marriage at an early age, Beth longs for a life of contentment and love. When her colleague Enrico announces that he’s leaving, she realizes she has feelings for him. Beth reaches Enrico’s farewell bash, she barely misses him. She tries to follow his taxi, but two men appear out of nowhere. She wakes up in a bobbing boat, and realizes she’s been mistaken for Sonita La Cruz.
The lives of these three people cross in this gripping story. The only major flaw is the lack of character development, and the introduction of new characters gradually in the book. It’s an engaging novel, which keeps the reader hooked till the end, making for an excellent effort by Alison Brodie.