Mirrorland (Hardcover)

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Mirrorland By Carole Johnstone Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Cat has been summoned to Edinburgh by her mirror twin’s husband Ross, who tells her El is missing and assumed dead. The twins haven’t spoken since Cat left for California ten years ago; still, Cat doesn’t believe El is dead because she doesn’t feel it. El and Ross live in the house the twins grew up in, shockingly restored and refurnished to replicate the house as it was when they were children. Long-buried memories flood Cat when she arrives. The next day, Cat receives the first of many texts from ‘johnsmith,’ which give clues to a treasure hunt, a game right out of the twin’s childhood. The clues lead Cat to pages from El’s diary, which further awaken Cat’s memories of the fantasy world she and El had lived in, with pirates, cruel tooth fairies, nasty clowns, and more. The treasure hunts and memories alternate with uneasy interactions with Ross, detectives, and local folks. This thriller is a marvelous combination of complex and fascinating stories from the past and present, brilliantly drawn characters, terrific twists and turns, and an end that knocked off my shoes.

— Kay Wosewick

May 2021 Indie Next List

“You will tie yourself in knots trying to figure out what’s happening in Mirrorland, the story of two sisters growing up with different stories attached to the games they play, stories that take on a life of their own years later as buried memories come to the fore.”
— Pete Mock, McIntyre's Fine Books, Pittsboro, NC


“Unnerving.” —People
“Unsettling...unlocks its mysteries slowly.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A dark, twisty, and richly atmospheric exploration of the power of imagination” —Ruth Ware, author of The Woman in Cabin 10

“Beautifully written and told with a watchmaker’s precision” (Stephen King), Mirrorland is a thrilling psychological suspense novel about twin sisters, the man they both love, the house that has always haunted them, and the childhood stories they can’t leave behind.

Cat lives in Los Angeles, far from 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. As kids, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs, full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days, Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband, Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to 36 Westeryk Road, which hasn’t changed in twenty years. The grand old house is still full of shadowy corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues: a treasure hunt that leads them back to Mirrorland, where the truth lies waiting...

A brilliantly crafted story that “feels like the love child of Gillian Flynn and Stephen King” (Greer Hendricks, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Mirrorland is a propulsive, page-turning debut about love, betrayal, revenge—and the price of freedom.

About the Author

Carole Johnstone is the award-winning author of the novels Mirrorland and The Blackhouse. She lives in the Highlands of Scotland, although her heart belongs to the wild islands of the Outer Hebrides.

Praise For…

“Unnerving.” —People

“Unsettling... unlocks its mysteries slowly.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A dark, twisty, and richly atmospheric exploration of the power of imagination.” —Ruth Ware, author of The Woman in Cabin 10

"I loved Mirrorland. It’s dark and devious, a neo-gothic featuring twin sisters and a deeply frightening old dark house. Beautifully written and plotted with a watchmaker’s precision." —Stephen King

“Johnstone’s debut had me flying through the pages while also wanting to sink into her gorgeous writing. Paired with twists and turns I didn’t see coming, readers will certainly be in for tons of surprises.” —Buzzfeed

"It's Gone Girl meets Rebecca . . . atmospheric, tightly plotted and utterly gripping, a must read for fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn." —Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes

Product Details
ISBN: 9781982136352
ISBN-10: 1982136359
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: April 20th, 2021
Pages: 320
Language: English