18 May, 2019

#BookReview :: Liars' Paradox (A Jack and Jill Thriller #1) by Taylor Stevens

They live in the shadows, Jack and Jill, feuding twins who can never stop running. From earliest memory they’ve been taught to hide, to hunt, to survive. Their prowess is outdone only by Clare, who has always been mentor first and mother second. She trained them in the art of espionage, tested their skills in weaponry, surveillance, and sabotage, and sharpened their minds with nerve-wracking psychological games. As they grew older they came to question her motives, her methods—and her sanity . . . 

Now twenty-six years old, the twins are trying to lead normal lives. But when Clare’s off-the-grid safehouse explodes and she goes missing, they’re forced to believe the unthinkable: Their mother’s paranoid delusions have been real all along. To find her, they’ll need to set aside their differences; to survive, they’ll have to draw on every skill she’s trained them to use. A twisted trail leads from the CIA, to the KGB, to an underground network of global assassins where hunters become the hunted. Everyone, it seems, wants them dead—and, for one of the twins, it’s a threat that’s frighteningly familiar and dangerously close to home . . . 

Jack and Jill are twins who were raised by a very paranoid mother, Clare. Clare had made it her priority to train her children in the art of survival. As a result both Jack and Jill are masters of combat, weaponry and in the art of espionage. But they were often pitted against each other and in addition were the mind games that Clare played with them. As a result, though Jack and Jill can work together, they lack the bonding that we usually see in twins. Now, they are all grown up and are trying to lead ‘normal’ lives separately… Yet when Clare’s safe house explodes and she is nowhere to be found, Jack and Jill will have to set their differences aside and work together; especially because it seems that wherever they turn to, someone wants them dead.

Jack and Jill are interesting protagonists. I have always wondered about nature vs nurture and here the ‘nurture’ provided by Clare was unconventional to say the least. The twins are as different from each other as they possibly could be yet their banter and squabbling throughout the book was entertaining for most parts. I kind of had a love hate relationship with the character of Clare because of the way she handled Jack and Jill. Once the plot unravels, the readers get to see where her paranoia was coming from, but I still wished that she had handled it differently. The kind of dysfunctional familial relationship portrayed through the book was bit disconcerting. 

The book is not very plot driven as the plot outline is very simple. It is the characters and the action, even though it was sometimes a bit too exaggerated, that keeps the pages flying. Add in a bit of humour and you have a thriller that keeps you excited. However, a personal quirk of mine disrupted my reading experience of this book. While I do not mind a couple of slangs here and there to get the point through, I really had trouble with the overuse of it in the book. It kind of takes away the effect of using an f-word when it is used so copiously.

If you are looking for an action packed thriller, give this book a try.

Review Copy received through Netgalley

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