Stars: 3 out of 5
There is a fascinating premise in this book. What if all humans have two souls inhabiting one body? One has the reigns during the day, the other one during the night? And those are completely different people. They have different names and personalities. They want different things in life. They have different professions. Heck, most of them are even married to different people either night or day. Or married at night but single during the day. Or the night-brother had committed a crime and stays in prison during the night, but their day-brother is released to live their life every morning because it’s not fair to punish both souls for the mistakes of just one.
Some people are lucky enough to live harmoniously with their night or day sibling. Some even hold the same profession on both sides of the ettienne. Others are not so lucky. In fact, it seems like a horrible way to live, if you think about it. You wake up every morning/night next to a stranger that your day/night sibling is married to. How awkward is that? It also seems like one sibling will be more dominant over the other.
Like in the case of our protagonist. The night brother is a special inspector, so his job takes precedence over his day brother who is a musician. When the inspector has to leave town on an investigation, the day brother has no choice but to follow, no matter how inconvenient that is for his professional and personal life.
I would have loved to explore this fascinating world a bit more. Like what happens to the children of those married couples? If the night sister is the mother of the children, but the day sister is unmarried and leads a completely different life, who takes care of the children during the day? Especially when they are babies? Does the day sister have a choice in the matter or is she forced to care for them no matter what? Wouldn’t that create resentment between the siblings? Wouldn’t the children suffer because of that?
The mystery itself is rather complex and progresses at a very leisury pace. In fact almost half the book is setup, and even though the story picks up in the second half, it can still be a slog. There are also some leaps of logic that I found hard to follow. And some plot holes that were rather glaring. Like we are expressly told that the father packed up his family and left town after his wife was arrested. Yet, both the oldest and the youngest children are conveniently present to be sacrificed for the ritual. How did that happen? Also, where is the middle sister and the father? Also, this horrible murder of children isn’t even mentioned or addressed in any way afterwards. And the mother doesn’t express a single ounce of grief or regret over it. And that is the night-sister that gave birth and raised those children.
All in all, it was interesting mostly for the unique concept and worldbuilding, but I wasn’t totally onboard for the story itself. And while I liked both Christophor and Alexander, I wasn’t as thrilled with the other characters in this book. And I would have loved a few more answers to the day-to-day conundrum that having two souls in one body represents, because from where I stand, this is the definition of hell.
PS: I received a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.