A review of Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh was a bit of a let-down for me, to be honest. I absolutely loved Thirteen; Cavanagh’s use of voice and characterisation was on point to the limit that he could have written a basic plot and I still would have read on. However, Twisted is the complete opposite of that. He appears to have focused so much on writing an intricate plot with many deceptive characters, no trustworthy narration and a multitude of twists that he has forgotten about his characters. Twisted by Steve Cavanagh is out now from Orion Publishing Group.

The story
Paul Cooper is a mysterious man who has been cold toward his wife, so now she is having an affair. After making the discovery that Paul might be J.T. Lebeau, a world famous thriller author writing under a pseudonym, she plans to confront him about it to find out who he really is. With many twists, the police have a firm investigation into who Lebeau is and what he has been up to the past few years.

Why I was disappointed…
Honestly, Cavanagh sets up a nice scene in the beginning; I enjoyed the intitial character building in Maria, Daryl and Paul and was excited to see where they would go and how their personalities and identities would shift over the course of the novel. Then my interest began to fade. As Paul ends up in the situation he does, and the police rehash details time and again in trying to track him down, it gets very dull. I didn’t care for Paul or Daryl and Maria practically disappears from the narrative for a good percentage of it, when she was one of the only characters I actually sympathised with.
Because this is not laid out as a police procedural, the inclusion of the police scenes are so few and far between that it is obvious that they are simply being used as a plot device, but they don’t actually find anything out that the reader doesn’t already know. All they do is break up the monotony of Paul’s narrative.
Additionally, the ending is so ridiculous and predictable, that you’ll only be satisfied if you like your mysteries tied up in a neat little bow no matter where the ribbon comes from to tie that bow. I get that throughout Cavanagh is building toward the big twists all coming at the end, but this made the story drag as I was sick of every hundred pages a character saying ‘do you know how hard it is to write twists convincingly?’. Well, I wasn’t convinced so clearly it is that hard.

Overall, I was disappointed following my love of Thirteen. I personally believe that Cavanagh should stick to writing outlandishly cruel and evil characters, or police procedurals which ultimately work better in my opinion. Thank you Orion and NetGalley for my e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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