Tom Knox, also knows as S. K. Tremayne is a british writer born in England of 1963. Tremayne, who has written over twenty novels in his career, is known as a best author in the UK. His novel The Ice Twins, a mystery/thriller novel, published in 2015 is about a married british couple, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft who move to a tiny Scottish island that the couple inherited from Angus’ grandmother with their surviving twin that they are concerned they have mistaken her identity. The novel is well written and meets the criteria of a famous quote by Joseph Pulitzer.
Pulitzer once said “Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light. ” The Ice Twins meets the norm of Pulitzer’s quote as it is written briefly so it can be read, the novel is written clearly so the reader can appreciate it and also picturesquely so the reader can remember it. Firstly, The Ice Twins is put before the reader briefly so they read it. In this novel, Tremayne does not go off on unnecessary tangents, and it is rare if he does.
The information given is brief and follows the plotline precisely. In the first chapter, as Tremayne is introducing the characters and the plotline, the reader does not know a great deal. However, Tremayne gives the reader some very important information, “I want to give my surviving daughter some good news, for once, some nice news: something happy and hopeful. Her twin, Lydia died fourteen months ago today” (Tremayne, 12). The news is that they are moving away from their current home in London to Angus’ grandmother’s island that the Moorcrafts have now inhibited.
Withal, the reader is given a great deal of knowledge very briefly. The reader has been provided with the info that Kirstie’s twin, Lydia passed away which is major. This is the first time in the novel where the reader finds out for sure that Lydia has died. Tremayne does not drag this on, he states that Lydia died, and continues on with information instead of rambling on. As the novel progresses, details remain to be given to the reader concisely. As Angus is talking to Josh later on, he speaks about what he thinks really happened with the death of the identical twin.
The news is shocking for the reader, “Six months ago my surviving daughter came to me and said to me: ‘Daddy, I did it. I killed my sister. I pushed her. ‘Cause Mummy always liked her more, and now she’s gone”(172). The reader is given a lot of information although it is brief. The quote shows that the novel is succinct because the reader has just found out that Kirstie did not actually fall but her sister pushed her off the balcony and killed her because she was jealous. This information is given to the reader very succinct because it so clear and easy to understand while keeping it brief and advancing the plot.
Throughout the entire novel, Tremayne does not take the reader in irrelevant directions. Secondly, not only is The Ice Twins written briefly, but also clearly so it can be appreciated. The novel is written beautifully, it is simple and easy to understand. Tremayne gives excellent descriptions and details of the characters in the story. Sarah Moorcroft, is described as a women going through some pain, “She is not what I used to be. Her eyes are as blue as ever, yet sadder. Her face is slightly round, and pale, and thinner than it was.
She is still blonde and tolerably pretty – but also faded, and dwindled; a thirty-three year old women, with all the girlishness gone”(3). Sarah is portrayed very clearly, the reader is given a great visual and emotional explanation. The reader is able to clearly understand that Sarah is not doing well but she is still a blonde pretty middle-aged women. Also, the reader receives a short but clear explanation of the twins, “My dad even gave them a nickname: The Ice Twins. Because they were born on the coldest, frostiest day of the year, with ice-blue eyes and snowyblonde hair”(15).
This allows the reader to fully visualize the physical appearance of the twins. Tremayne uses “ice-blue” and “snowy-blonde” which are perfect words to enhance the clearness of the description because it gives the reader something they can picture to compare their eyes and hair to. Also, throughout the entire book, the reader is able to visualize the events that occur with the Moorcroft family clearly and understandable rather than fuzzy. During the novel, there is a certain event that the reader is able to clearly understand and visualize. This event is one of the times the twin freaks out, “Angus realized what was happening.
Too late. Lydia screamed: ‘Go away, go away, I hate you! ‘ And she ran at the window and she charged into the glass with her little fists raised – and the glazing cracked and shattered with a terrifying crash; and there was blood. So much blood. Too much blood”(147). Without a doubt, Lydia’s accident is very distressing to the reader. The reader is able to clearly see that Lydia is in a discomforting state and needs help as she is seeing her sister’s ghost or being reminded of her twin that is now scaring her as she sees her own reflection.
This event is scary for the reader as it is speaks of the little twin getting hurt and her hands spilling with blood. This event is not fuzzy for the reader but much more sympathetic because the reader can connect to the characters as for the clear understanding of the novel. Another event that the reader can grasp clearly is towards the end of the novel when Sarah is planning on going out into the storm with her surviving twin. This is the last event of the novel but the reader is able to connect to the novel because it is clearly written. I’m sorry I fell, Mummy. I’m sorry I died. ‘I kiss her one more time. It doesn’t matter, Lydie, it was all my doing. Not anyone else’s. But I still love you. ‘ I reach over. ‘And now it’s time for us to go, to go and find your sister, so we can all be together’ She nods slowly, and quietly. Then we stand, hand in hand, and we turn and walk to the door, and we unbolt it, and twist the handle. Her overclothes are in the living room:/ slip her feet inside her boots, and sleeve her arms in her pink anorak, and I zip her up, tight”(293).
Tremayne clearly shows the reader that Sarah is crazy and is going out into the storm which is suicide. It also seems that Sarah is speaking to her dead daughter although she doesn’t realize it which is also showing the reader that she is crazy. So, the reader is able to get a clear understanding of how Sarah has gone crazy and that she is ready to be with her two daughters meaning that she wants to kill herself and her daughter. This is a crazy part of the plot and it is gives the reader a clear understanding of what is happening.
Lastly, the novel is not only brief and clear but it is also picturesque so the reader can remember it. In the novel, Tremayne often uses vivid descriptions of places. Tremayne does an excellent job giving detailed descriptions of the setting. He is describing Torran island from afar, “It is harsh and daunting – and very handsome. Bright lozenges of late autumn sun blaze on the farther hills, like organized fires moving silently and very fast. And when we slow right down, on cattle-grids, I can see the details: the way the dew in the grass is struck, by the sun, making tiny, shivering jewels”(70).
This follows Pulitzer’s saying perfectly, the reader is able to remember and it puts an image in the reader’s mind of what Torran island really looks like. He uses words such as harsh, daunting, shivering, and handsome to emphasize the beautiful place. The description makes the reader picture the outstanding place and the details of how stunning it really is. Another part that proves that the novel is picturesque is when Angus is picturing Josh’s house he is about to design, Angus looked at the field, sloping down to the shell sands of the loch shore. At once, his thoughts teemed. He could already see it; first you’d level half the field away. Then you’d use the simplest and purest materials: stone, wood, steel, slate. Then fill the whole place with gorgeous light: floor-to-ceiling windows, a glazed enfilade, make the entire thing half glass, so the place just melted into the air and sea and sky. At night it would shine”(168). This quote of Angus envisioning the house puts an unforgettable image in the reader’s mind.
The image put in the mind of the reader is visually attractive so it is much easier to read and visualize this novel because it is magnificent. In conclusion, The Ice Twins meets the criteria of Pulitzer’s quote as it is brief and well said, the novel is clearly written and very easily understandable, and finally it is picturesque as it is extremely detailed when it comes to giving descriptions. Tremayne’s writing is outstanding in this novel and exerts the criteria of Pulitzer’s quote as it so well written. Tremayne is currently 53 years old and is still spending his time writing novels.