Twisted (2019) by Steve Cavanagh

BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK

I WANT YOU TO KNOW THREE THINGS:

  1. The police are looking to charge me with murder.
  2. No one knows who I am. Or how I did it.
  3. If you think you’ve found me. I’m coming for you next.

After you’ve read this book, you’ll know: the truth is far more twisted…

Thus reads the blurb for this standalone thriller. It certainly sets its stall out clearly – it’s out to try and fool me. OK then, book. Game on.

There are two main types of twists in novels. There a character doing something unexpected and the more impressive everything-you-know-is-wrong. A lot of modern thrillers seem to hang on a single iteration of the second type of twist, a twist that generally isn’t easy to pull off without people spotting it a mile away. The best way is not to advertise that a twist is coming – so bury it in what looks like a standard thriller.

Jeffrey Deaver was the master of this – I say was as now when reading Deaver, I find myself anticipating what is coming. You get used to the beats of a reader – not that I don’t enjoy his work, rest assured that I do, just that I’ve never been wowed recently like I was with, say, The Coffin Dancer or The Devil’s Teardrop. But it was early Deaver that I was reminded of when reading this book.

Yes, the reader can spot/guess some of the twists in the first half of the book – well, this reader did, anyway – but it’s a cracking opening to the tale, with a few impressive game-changing twists. But…

… while it still remains a very entertaining page-turner, the surprises in the second half are less exciting for me, consisting almost entirely of unexpected-behaviour twists. The blurb suggests some sort of meta-thriller but that never really materialises. It’s a very entertaining read that I couldn’t put down, a clever thriller, especially the first half of the book. But for me, I was expecting that little bit more from the blurb. Go in with expectations of “just a really good read”, and you won’t be disappointed.

Availability: Twisted is out now in the UK.

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