The Other You by J.S. Monroe #BookReview #BlogTour

Kate used to be good at recognising people. So good, she worked for the police, identifying criminals in crowds of thousands. But six months ago, a devastating car accident led to a brain injury. Now the woman who never forgot a face can barely recognise herself in the mirror.
At least she has Rob. Young, rich, handsome and successful, Rob runs a tech company on the idyllic Cornish coast. Kate met him just after her accident, and he nursed her back to health. When she's with him, in his luxury modernist house, the nightmares of the accident fade, and she feels safe and loved.
Until, one day, she looks at Rob anew. And knows, with absolute certainty, that the man before her has been replaced by an impostor.
Is Rob who he says he is? Or is it all in Kate's damaged mind?

I'm thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for The Other You today. Many thanks to J.S. Monroe, Amber from Midas PR and Head of Zeus for inviting me and for sending me an advance copy of the novel.

When I read the blurb for The Other You it gave me chills and I knew instantly that this was a book I wanted to read. There is something really quite frightening about the idea of questioning the identity of a loved one - especially if you're not even sure whether you can trust your own suspicions. This is the position Kate finds herself in as she tries to figure out whether her unusual talent for facial recognition is returning - meaning she is correct about her boyfriend not being who he claims to be - or the brain damage she sustained following a terrible car accident has left her with a condition which means she irrationally believes people have been replaced by impostors. If Rob is the same man she has grown to love since they met in hospital when she was recovering, Kate has to hope that she is delusional; if however, she is of sound mind then what has happened to her boyfriend and what does the man who has apparently replaced him want with her?
The idea that everybody has at least one doppelgänger (apparently we all have seven) is a fascinating, albeit rather unsettling thought and it's one which particularly disturbs Rob who is terrified of the bad luck which will befall him should he come into contact with his lookalike. The story is told through the perspectives of three of the characters - Kate herself, her ex-boyfriend, Jake and DI Silas Hart, whom she worked with prior to her accident. Silas and his partner, Strover are concerned when evidence comes to light which suggests that Kate's work for Swindon CID brought unwelcome - and potentially deadly attention - her way.  Kate is an engaging protagonist and I thought her inner conflict was handled beautifully as she wrestles with her fears about her own state of mind and her growing acceptance that she has to know the truth, regardless of what that means. She is fortunate to have a number of people on her side; Jake is a real stalwart and her best friend, Becky wants to support her but understandably can't help wondering whether somebody who suffered a devastating brain injury can be considered in full control of their thoughts and beliefs. Meanwhile, the guilt Silas feels regarding Kate's accident means he is prepared to go the extra mile for her. Rob is an enigmatic figure and as the novel progresses, readers experience the same inconsistent feelings about him as the characters.
The Other You is a compelling and seriously unnerving novel which crosses genre boundaries as J.S.Monroe combines the drama of a psychological thriller which perceptively explores identity, trust and obsession as it deftly casts doubt on the reliability of Kate's experiences, with an increasingly terrifying exploration as to what the future may hold with regards to surveillance. I read a lot of thrillers and while I'm often shocked and surprised by the revelations within them, there aren't that many which actually scare me but I found The Other You really alarming; there are some scenes which are truly creepy but the whole premise is deeply disquieting. This is a fairly long book at almost 500 pages but it is so addictive, I begrudged having to put it down. I loved The Other You, it is a clever, original and intricately plotted story which kept me reading long into the night - and then I couldn't sleep afterwards! Very highly recommended.

The Other You will be published by Head of Zeus on 9th January 2020 and can be purchased from Amazon, Hive, iBooks, Kobo and Google Play.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

J.S. Monroe read English at Cambridge, worked as a foreign correspondent in Delhi, and was Weekend editor of the Daily Telegraph in London before becoming a full-time writer. Monroe is the author of six novels, including the international bestseller, Find Me.
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