- Megan Bingham
“He is never alone. Not even in the Afterlife.”
Fraternal twins: alike in some ways, but different in others. Compared to identical twins, fraternal twins may not look alike, sound alike, or even have the same interests. They could even have completely different personalities, the twins appearing as just common siblings. In the case of Danny Orchard, the protagonist of Andrew Pyper’s new novel The Damned, he is very different from his lovely and vicious twin sister, Ashleigh.
Ashleigh is the older, beautiful, and popular twin while Danny is forgotten and alone among his peers. However, what her adoring companions don’t see is the truth behind Ash’s ‘uplifting’ soul: she doesn’t have one. The terror she reigns on her parents and twin brother, is never ending: at age 8, she tried to kill the neighbor’s four year-old; while at the age of 10, she successfully mauled the family dog. Ash’s mental abuse is just as bad as her acts--so terrible, that Danny has no life outside of what his twin wants him to have.
Then tragedy strikes. Ashleigh perishes in a fire at the age of 16 and Danny almost goes with her. He experiences an event that he can only describe as, “The After.” Years later, Danny writes a best-selling memoir about his near-death experience and finally meets the love of his life. Despite his rapid success, Ash won’t let him have a second chance. She’s just as wicked in the afterlife.
To protect his new wife and young stepson from Ashleigh, Danny knows he must go to great lengths to keep them from harm. Even if that means following his long-dead twin sister into the hell where she resides now.
Pyper, author of The Demonologist and The Guardians, has given readers a spine-tingling supernatural thriller that is hard to put down. Pyper offers an imaginative, beautiful view on Heaven and Hell and how souls are handled once they leave physical bodies. Not only does the intrigue of the young psychopath Ashleigh ease the reading along, but the powerful and persistent will of Danny Orchard expresses a breathtaking outlook on having a second chance at life. The Damned is a wild, psychological ride and an excellent opinion on how twins really see each other and how others see them.