Penny and Susan Henderson, seventeen year old twins, share a sibling rivalry that Cain and Abel would have been proud of. As children they played a game: Good Susan, Bad Penny. A game their doting parents knew nothing about.
Following a misunderstanding over a boy, Penny arranged a vicious attack on Susan, six youths leaving her for dead. Susan hasn’t spoken since the attack, and languishes on a psychiatric unit. Medical experts diagnosed deep trauma.
Penny resurrects the old game to experiment on her sister, commencing a series of grisly murders and composing six corresponding pieces of music. With Penny’s composition approaching its climax, Susan breaks her silence.
With devastating consequences …
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
I just love how Mark Fowler thinks out of the box with his unusual mind tangling tales, as this story falls into his own quirky categorisation box again, along with the rest of his books. From the day that 17-year-old identical twins Susan and Penny were born, there had been an unhealthy rivalry between them which had reached Defcon 5, with no option of ever returning to normal. Jealousy and savage vengeance took Susan over the edge and into a care home and Penny on a spectacular, ‘See how much I am sorry’ gesture. Where normal people would do this with flowers, Penny has a lovely body count growing and cracking music portfolio.
This is dysfunctional families at their ultimate extreme. The rose-coloured specs are out in pairs as mum and dad are blissfully unaware of their little darlings antics. As the story unwinds, the depth of the girls twisted minds grow with every compulsion to kill inspiring a new piece of music to be composed by Penny on her piano. Each unique piece having that common thread connecting it to the others until there are six, making up the sextet. In a way I suppose each one is a sort of confession to that killing but through music and one which she believes her sister Susan will understand, connect to and heal.
Music plays quite a large part in the book as both girls are highly talented, so the thought of genius and madness being very close did come to mind quite a lot. There is only a vague sort of dipping into a couple of the victims background, two related to music and the other one a police officer investigating the crimes. Penny certainly has the charm to make all the men in the story do a merry dance to any tune she plays.
If you like your stories a little different then jump in because this is your man to tell them.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR