"Can you remember what we used to say about secrets?"Niles and Holland are thirteen-year-old identical twins; born on opposite sides of midnight just as Pisces turns into Aries, the two boys couldn't be more different despite the fact that they are each other’s spitting image. Actor-turned-author Thomas Tryon has a frightening way with words—pun intended. The Other is his first novel, and yet it reads as if it’s written by a writer at the height of his powers. Technically, it’s a powerhouse of a novel: cleverly paced, skillfully plotted, and with the right measure of psychological insight and uncanny terror.What is also intriguing about The Other is that it is very obviously a recasting of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, that eerie forerunner of the genre of psychological trauma/horror that insists that children are hardly as innocent as they seem. Tryon recasts James’s Miles here as Niles, and the reader is at Niles’s side for the duration of the novel apart from a very clever reworking of James’s frame narrative, as well as a haunting revision of James’s final scene, that Tryon uses to increase the more American gothic feeling of his text as opposed to James’s (yes, I suppose I’m calling James a British writer—at the very least, The Turn of the Screw is a British novel).I finished The Other just as the New York City area is readying itself for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, several days prior to Halloween. The sense of panic, hysteria, and Tryon’s sense of the macabre—while still emphasizing the psychologic over the fantastic—are still very immediate; it does make one lament, however, the fact that Tryon’s novel might sadly lack the power to shock in our day and age as much as it did when it was first published in 1971.