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This is an intensely personal and affecting SF novel. Set in San Francisco in the near future there is much to recognise here and little in the way of outlandish science to alienate the reader. But at its core is a relationship that will initially feel very alien to most readers, yet Lam deals with it with such honesty and sensitivity that we are soon drawn in.
Taema and Tila were born as conjoined twins. Bought up in reclusive a Californian cult that eschewed modern medicine and all technology it is not until they leave at sixteen that they are able to be surgically separated. It is an operation that give them renewed freedom but ten years later they are still, in some ways, and despite an intimate knowledge of each other, coming to terms with independence and separation. Their lives have gone different ways but there is still a bond.
When Tila is accused of murder (this in a society where surveillance and brain implants have all but banished crime) her sister Taema can barely believe it but when the authorities ask her to impersonate her twin in order to investigate a crime syndicate she seemed to have been involved in she soon learns much about her sister and herself.
Taema and Tila are amazingly vivid characters and their unique relationship is explored with great grace. Lam explores their bond and the ramifications of scientific developments that are already breaking down boundaries of identity to make a gripping and caring SF thriller.
To save her twin, she must take her identity One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood. She's then arrested for murder, the first by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, a powerful drug, and offer her twin sister Taema a chilling deal. Taema must assume Tila's identity and gather information to bring down the drug syndicate. The police may then let her sister live. However, Taema's investigation raises ghosts from the twins' past. The sisters were raised by a cult, which banned modern medicine - yet as conjoined twins, they needed life-saving surgery to replace their failing heart. And with help from co-conspirators, they escaped. Taema now discovers that Tila had found links between the cult and the city's criminal underworld. The twins were once unable to keep secrets, but will learn the true cost of lies.
Closing date: 30/04/2020
'False Hearts is that rarest of things - a fast-paced thriller with tons of heart and soul. Set in a chillingly believable future, it's bursting with original concepts and unforgettable characters. I defy anyone to put it down' -- Sarah Lotz
'I thoroughly enjoyed it, from its explosive beginning right through to a very satisfying end. This is very much a character-driven piece, and although the story is of twins, it is really Taema's tale. I can happily say False Hearts has been the highlight of my year's reading so far' -- James Oswald
'A strong debut from someone who's clearly got what it takes' -- Peter F. Hamilton
'False Hearts has an ingenious premise, and Laura Lam executes it flawlessly. Gritty and wise, your own pulse will be racing as you get caught up in this exciting tale' -- Robert J. Sawyer
Publication date: 20/04/2017
Publisher: Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 16/06/2016
Publisher: Macmillan an imprint of Pan Macmillan
|Publication date:||16th June 2016|
|Publisher:||Macmillan an imprint of Pan Macmillan|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Sci-Fi and Fantasy,|
|Categories:||Science fiction, Crime & mystery, Thriller / suspense,|
Laura Lam was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart's desire, colour outside of the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams. She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn't. At times she misses the sunshine. Follow Laura Lam on instagram Author photo © Elizabeth MayMore About Laura Lam