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.

2 comments

  1. Couldn’t put it down? Hmm. I could, and did; quite early on. Found it to be a good teasing premise but it soon became simply irritating. Not the best writing either with far too much telling instead of showing. And stories told in the first person need defter handling than this.
    So I did put it down (may return later when I have nothing better to do or read) and picked up a far more skillfully written book – Transcription by Kate Atkinson.

    Liked by 1 person

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