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Book Review: ‘Twisted’ by Steve Cavanagh

Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m posting my review of Steve Cavanagh’s fantastic psychological thriller, ‘Twisted’. After reading Cavanagh’s previous thriller ‘Thirteen’ and absolutely loving it, I knew I just had to read his next novel – and I was certainly not disappointed! I didn’t think he would be able to top ‘Thirteen’, but I actually preferred this book. So, keep reading to discover my thoughts…


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…


‘Twisted’ (April 2019) is the fifth book in the “Eddie Flynn” series, following on from ‘The Defence’ (February 2016), ‘The Plea’ (April 2017), ‘The Liar’ (November 2017) and ‘Thirteen’ (June 2018). Since then, he has also written ‘Fifty-Fifty’ (September 2020). Steve Cavanagh studied Law and currently practises civil rights law, and has been involved in several high profile cases; in 2010 he won the largest award of damages for race discrimination in Northern Ireland legal history. He lectures on various legal subjects and is also one half of the “Two Crime Writers and a Microphone” podcast.

The novel has received rave reviews, from the likes of Daily Express: “Looks set to cement his status as heir apparent to John Grisham” and Sunday Express: “As nastily inventive as his highly successful Thirteen”. Many fellow authors have also praised the novel, such as Will Dean: “Punchy, ridiculously gripping, fast-paced, clever”, Lee Child: “This guy is the real deal. Trust me”, C.L. Taylor: “Brilliant and devilishly twisty and turny”, Ian Rankin: “Another powerhouse thriller” and Mark Edwards: “A corkscrewing rollercoaster of thrills, switchbacks, loop-de-loops and screaming good fun”.

The entire premise behind ‘Twisted’ is centred upon the mystery surrounding the successful-but-unidentified crime author, J.T. LeBeau. Maria believes she has found him after discovering a letter and that her husband, Paul, has millions in a private bank account. But the truth is far more twisted than she first realises…

The narrative is told from the third-person throughout, with each chapter switching in focus between the three protagonists: Maria, Paul and Daryl. The reader is given a deep insight to the characters’ thoughts, feelings and emotions, as well as a distanced account of the events as they occur. The story is narrated in the present day throughout, with some allusions to the past. There isn’t really too much to say about the narrative – it is extremely simple and easy to follow, yet still very effective.

It’s quite difficult for me to pick a favourite character, as all of them are so very fantastically-written. However, I think that Paul just about scrapes the top spot. On the surface, Paul is a very simple man – he is married to Maria and they live in the small secluded town of Port Lonely, where everybody knows everybody. Paul spends a lot of time away from home and keeps many secrets from his wife – he is a successful author and is can often be found out at sea on his boat, writing; although Maria believes that he is a talented marketing professional who is often travelling to meet clients. Paul’s marriage with Maris is on the rocks – they don’t spend much time together, and Paul’s work utterly consumes him, leaving him no time to focus on his marriage. He is an extremely mysterious man, and his true identity is unclear… Paul is an excellently-written, three-dimensional character.

Paul’s wife Maria is a troubled character. She feels alone and neglected by her husband, which ultimately leads her into the arms of another man. She has no friends in Port Lonely, and she essentially lives under her husband’s shadow. The affair is a way for Maria to take back control over her own life and regain the power which she has lost over the years. When Maria discovers the letter and money in her husband’s bank account, her whole life is turned upside-down. She cannot fathom why Paul has been hiding all of this money from her; but then it hits her – Paul must be J.T. LeBeau. She attempts to expose her husband and seek revenge upon him – but she becomes involved in an extremely dangerous situation and must fight for her life. Maria is another very well-written character, and I really enjoyed finding out more about her as the novel went on.

Maria’s love interest Daryl is a seemingly kind man, providing Maria with the love and affection that has been missing in her life for so long. He helps Maria carry out her vengeance against Paul and takes part in her plans for revenge, and they dream of running away and starting a life today. However, there is a lot more to Daryl than first meets the eye, and he has his own secrets lurking beneath the surface. The less said about Daryl the better; you’ll have to read the book to find out more!

** TRIGGER WARNING ** This novel explores the theme of physical violence and murder in great detail, including all the grizzly details of violent acts of murder and attempted murder. We see one character sustain a life-changing injury, and all the complications that follow. The novel also includes some allusions to rape. All of these issues are explored with appropriate sensitivity – but if you feel like they may trigger a negative response, I suggest you skip this book.

As the narrative motors onwards, the characters all find themselves in extremely dangerous situations, and they must fight for survival. The truth about J.T. LeBeau suddenly becomes clearer – but at what cost will his identity be revealed?

So, let’s talk about the ending. There’s a dramatic end scene in which the characters go head-to-head and fight for their lives. The scene in jam-packed full of action and drama; not to mention it is full of spectacular twists and turns. My eyes were glued to the pages, and I simply couldn’t look away! I really enjoyed the ending, and felt that it tied everything together brilliantly. A fantastic ending to a fantastic novel!

Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy psychological thrillers, particularly if you like reading about murders and unsolved mysteries. Boasting an interesting and intelligent plot, fantastically-written characters and a dramatic ending; what more could you possibly want?! I couldn’t fault this book if I tried, and it’s now sitting firmly on my “favourites” bookshelf. I highly urge all my followers to give this book a read – I guarantee you won’t regret it!


Happy reading 🙂

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