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A Dark Dividing [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Rayne
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $8.99
You Save: $5.96 (40%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

'Something strange happened within that family, Harry. People died and people disappeared, and although most of us suspected something odd had occurred, no one ever got at the truth.'
Journalist Harry Fizglen is sceptical when his editor asks him to investigate the background of Simone Anderson, a new Bloomsbury artist. But once he's met the enigmatic Simone, Harry is intrigued.
Just what did happen to Simone's twin sister who disappeared without trace several years before? And what is the Anderson sisters' connection to another set of twin girls, Viola and Sorrel Quinton, born in London on 1st January 1900?
All Harry's lines of enquiry seem to lead to the small Shropshire village of Weston Fferna and the imposing ruin of Mortmain House, standing grim and forbidding on the Welsh borders. As Harry delves into the violent and terrible history of Mortmain, in an attempt to uncover what happened to Simone and Sonia, and, a century before them, to Viola and Sorrel Quinton, he finds himself drawn into a number of interlocking mysteries, each one more puzzling - and sinister - than the last.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Rayne (pseudonym for "a well-known British author") draws readers into four creepy stories in this hefty suspense thriller. Journalist Harry Fitzglen is unimpressed when he's sent to profile a new London artist named Simone Anderson. When Harry begins digging into Simone's past, however, he discovers that her twin sister, with whom she once was conjoined, mysteriously vanished years ago. As Harry's interest in Simone grows, the story branches into several separate tales: in addition to Harry's present-day investigation, there is the story of another set of conjoined twins, Viola and Sorrel Quinton, born in London 80 years earlier; Simone's own history with her twin, Sonia, and her mother, Melissa, dating to the 1980s; and the parallel plot of a novel that Harry uncovers during his research, The Ivory Gate, published in the 1900s. Rayne writes in a semiformal style that evokes turn-of-the-last-century England and lends the novel an appropriately gothic atmosphere. Well-drawn characters reveal themselves through thoughts and actions more than dialogue, as Rayne favors extensive narration over banter. Still, Rayne has crafted a memorable novel with the right mix of suspense, horror and emotion. Amazingly, she leaves no loose ends. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"'She has a crisp and intelligent style, and a real way with tension' MO HAYDER 'Clever and atmospheric... a compelling read' Good Book Guide 'When you get halfway through, you won't be able to stop... The varied cast of characters are so well-drawn that they get under your skin long before you reach the grippig climax' Big Issue 'Equal parts Daphne du Maurier, Josephine Tey and Ruth Rendell, Rayne possesses superb storytelling skills' US Mystery Guild 'If your taste runs to psychological thrillers with complicated and riveting plotlines, you will love Sarah Rayne... Fast-moving action with unpredictable twists' Sussex Times"

Product Details

  • File Size: 619 KB
  • Print Length: 436 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743232003
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (April 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0066UL3YK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,514 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very captivating July 31, 2005
By Ingrid
Format:Unknown Binding
This is the second book I've read of Sarah Rayne's and I'm addicted! She writes in way that reveals a mystery in both the past and present, both of which are somehow linked and culminating into a nail biting climax. She also reveals many facts through the different characters' viewpoints that will keep you guessing. Her characters in this book are all interwined even though there is a 100 year gap in between them. The parallels and links are that there are 2 sets of conjoined twins, the two mothers who were both not in love with their husbands and an eerie house called Mortmain. When you start this book be prepared to set aside some time as the characters are so captivating and interesting that you just have to keep reading on to find out what happens. As in the Tower of Silence, the book does feature a mentally unbalanced character or two, and knowing their motives will keep you on the edge of your seat! I'm still thinking about the chartacters and storyline and I finished the book a few days ago.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and atmospheric June 24, 2006
What are the connections between two sets of conjoined ("Siamese") twins born eighty years apart and a ramshackle onetime workhouse named Mortmain (Dead [Man's} Hand)? These are the questions that down-and-out reporter Harry McGlen ends up answering after his editor assigns him to do a story on the enigmatic photographer Simone Marriot (née Alexander).

In this elegant and atmospheric thriller, Sarah Rayne shifts effortlessly among multiple viewpoints (the mothers of both sets of twins, Harry, and Simone, among others) without ever losing the thread of her complicated story, and keeps the reader turning the pages until the satisfying ending, which is the most difficult trick of all, since I find that books that start out with promising premises such as this one often fall flat at the end.

If you enjoy this book I would also recommend Thomas Cook and Robbert Goddard, who write a similar type of fiction - suspense tinged with a nostalgic sadness and often with an all too natural (as opposed to supernatural) horror.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Childhood Destroyed June 28, 2005
Format:Unknown Binding
At the turn of the century, Charlotte Quinton gave birth to conjoined twins, Viola and Sorrel. But before society had the opportunity to ridicule the `freaks', they passed on. Eighty years later, another set of conjoined twins were born to Melissa Anderson, whose husband was willing to exploit them for the sake of his political campaign. In order to escape the clutches of Joe Anderson, Charlotte runs with the twins to a remote part of Norfolk. The events that follow will finally lead the characters in the book to a dilapidated mansion built in the 1700s called Mortmain - Dead Man's Hands. It is the connection that ultimately binds them all. Sarah Rayne has created a dark and chilling atmosphere in this gripping psychological suspenseful novel. Author writes fluidly with titillating drama that will keep your hands attached to the book like magnet, ready to devour the pages when opportunity arises. I am glad I went with my instincts to read the book as it fulfilled its promise of a terrific tale full of madness and mayhem. Days after i have turned the last page, Charlotte, FLoy, Edward, Viola, Sorrel,Roz/Rosie, Melissa, Joe, Simone and Sonia are still lurking in the corners of my mind. Please ensure that you have tossed aside all your other obligations and responsibilities before you start this piece because when you are halfway through, you will not be able to stop...for anything. -Suhainah Wahiduddin -
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wanna know who this author is!! August 21, 2007
Before even finishing this book I started to order more Sarah Rayne books and would order the author's other books under another name if I knew who it was!

The story is unique. You never can guess where it is going which is a makes for a truly exciting read. I atmosphere is dark and intriguing. I highly recommend it for anyone who appreciates both a good story and literature grade writing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, eerie and British - 4.5 stars July 26, 2011
Who doesn't love a good psychological thriller, with conjoined twins in the past (Violet and Sorrel) and conjoined twins in the present (Sonia and Simone) and many mysterious and often dark happenings in between. Orphanages, evil men who come calling, loathsome husbands, scheming nurses, forgotten books in forgotten bookstores, solidly supportive best friends. All the great elements are there.....

The story is told in part through diary entries from Charlotte Quintan, beginning around 1900, and partly through the present day activities of freelance writer Harry Fitzglen and others. The pacing occasionally slows down under the intricacies of the plot, but quickly picks up again. Scattered scenes of violence kept this reader's blood running cold.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would Make A Good Thriller Movie November 7, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This novel skillfully weaves together the fates of past and present sets of conjoined twins. It's not as relentlessly frightening as the jacket blurbs might lead you to believe, but it does have enough eerie, taut passages to qualify it as a thriller in the neo-Gothic tradition.

I'm not sure that you can trust this book to give you an accurate picture of conditions in society around 1900. Mortmain, the wretched workhouse/orphanage that is depicted as still operating in full swing in the early 1900's, would, in actuality, probably have been a thing of the past by then. Social reforms inaugurated in the late 1800's had gathered momentum and would have generally precluded the existence of Mortmain in all its dank and deadly horror at that turn-of-the-century. The Mortmain as described here belongs to a somewhat earlier, Dickensian period. However, the author had to place it in 1900 in order to make her characters' connections work.

Also, there's something a little unconvincing about Lady Charlotte Quinton's early 1900's diary whose entries are threaded throughout the story, making parallels with the frightening, oppressive dilemmas of the more modern characters. In some ways, Lady Charlotte sounds too modern, too of-a-piece with her late 1900's counterpart. In other ways, she also seems to be harkening back to a more antique time - in the way her lover addressers her, in the types of proprieties that corset her.

These are quibbles though. You presumably won't be reading this book as a historical reference. You'll read it for a chilling tale, and it delivers on that score:

"But each time she tried to get free the quicksands pulled her deeper, slopping and squelching as if the marsh were smacking its slabby lips over this unexpected morsel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like Sarahs style of writing
I like Sarahs style of writing, nothing is what it seems and it always comes together at the end
Published 29 days ago by browser
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Loved the book. It was again like two books in one - story of the past connecting to present day. Strong characters, good story line. Kept your interest to the very end. Read more
Published 1 month ago by dlg
4.0 out of 5 stars Paperback Book Club review: Compelling!
This is a dark story, with many horrors, and without much opportunity for happy endings or redemption in many cases. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paperback Book Club
5.0 out of 5 stars Multilayered Gothic Goodness
This was my first Sarah Rayne novel but it will not be the last. The stories of two sets of conjoined twins, spanning nearly a century, was skillfully woven into the present... Read more
Published 1 month ago by bethcross
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful emotional read!
Great story! Lots of detail , richly told. A good balance of past and present. Nice blended bits of history, romance, paranormal and adventure. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M.Mann
2.0 out of 5 stars Dark Dividing
I found the book to be less than engaging.
Published 2 months ago by Sandra Starke
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writer!
After I read this book I got a lot of her others. Great writer!
Published 3 months ago by K. A. Loveland
1.0 out of 5 stars not my favorite. trying to seprate the dirrerent people in the
not my favorite .trying to seprate the dirrerent people in the book
Published 3 months ago by charlotte wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful story!
It's amazing how Miss Rayne weaves the story of both sets of twins into one mysterious story. Her choice of words and her characterization of all involved in this story is so... Read more
Published 4 months ago by BARBARA SCIBELLI
5.0 out of 5 stars ... Ive read by this author and I am never disappointed. She is a...
This is the 4th book Ive read by this author and I am never disappointed.She is a female Edgar Allen Poe.I am totally addicted.
Published 5 months ago by sandiandi
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More About the Author

Sarah Rayne's first novel was published in 1982, and for several years she juggled writing books with working in property, pounding an elderly typewriter into the small hours in order to meet deadlines.

Much of the inspiration for her dark psychological thrillers comes from the histories and atmospheres of old buildings, a fact that is strongly apparent in many of her settings - Mortmain House in A Dark Dividing, Twygrist Mill in Spider Light, and the Tarleton Theatre in Ghost Song.

She has written more than 25 books to date, and her work has met with considerable acclaim, with Tower of Silence being long-listed for the 2005 Theakston's Award. Her books are also published in America, Germany, Holland, Russia and Turkey.

In 2011 she published the first of a series of ghost-themed books, featuring the Oxford don, Michael Flint, and the antiques dealer, Nell West, who made their debut in Property of a Lady.

Several years ago Sarah also wrote six contemporary horror books, originally under the pen-name of Frances Gordon and recently re-issued in e-Book format.

To find out more about Sarah Rayne visit her website or YouTube channel, or follow her on Facebook -

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