I know that an unreliable narrator, cliffhanger endings to every chapter and gobsmacking plot twists are all the rage right now. But Twisted proves that you can definitely have too much of a good thing. While attempting to be utterly unpredictable it becomes entirely implausible.
You know from the start that you can’t trust the storyteller – a device which is meant to make things more exciting. In fact it devalues what you’re reading to the point that you start to wonder why you’re bothering.
It’s almost impossible to actually engage with the metamorphosing main characters who change their spots at every opportunity. Only the two investigators from the local sheriff’s office, Dole and Bloch, feel like real people. And they’re frustratingly under-developed, sacrificed to the essential plot conniptions demanded by the genre.
As promised, you never know what might happen next. But that ruins one of the essential ingredients of the crime-thriller – the reader’s opportunity to predict the outcome, to form a relationship with a character and to root for them when the going gets tough.
With a story like this, it’s almost impossible to care about anyone… or about what happens. So I didn’t.
Reviewed by Rowena Hoseason
Twisted by Steve Cavanagh is available at Amazon
(but even at 99p we still don’t think it’s good value)
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