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A decade after the operation that separated them, conjoined twins Taema and Tila discover even a bond as close as theirs may be tested in Laura Lam's stunning futuristic thriller that asks 'how well can you ever truly know someone?' False Hearts sees Taema flung into the sinister underbelly of a bright-yet-sterile society, forced to take her sister's place in a high-stakes sting operation after Tila is accused of murder.

Confronted by her sister's secrets, Taema questions how much she knows about her twin. Lam deftly weaves the narratives of Tila and Taema together, giving the plot surprisingly addictive pace without feeling rushed.

The recent glut of novels with multiple narrators means it takes talent to stand out, which Glasgow-based Californian Lam has in spades. She draws on some very established sci-fi imagery but with enough clever twists to present a dynamic new model for the genre.

Lam taps into a publishing zeitgeist for examining cult involvement from within that focuses not on the enigmatic leaders, but on the often marginalised followers.

The sanitised future of False Hearts is almost as terrifying as the sugar-sweet but ultimately sinister recollections the twins have of cult life. Taema's desire to maintain her bond with her sister and her own individuality against the tide of a blankly homogenous future underpins the whole novel and captivates until the very last page.


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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 10, 2016
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