As many of my readers will know, I am a huge, huge, huge fan of crime writer Steve Cavanagh. Last year I sailed through his Eddie Flynn series and they very quickly became one my favourite all time novels. His writing is just incredible and I always look forward to picking up one of his stories.
It was no different when I picked up his standalone novel, Twisted. I was a little nervous when I first started reading it because it wasn’t an Eddie Flynn story, and I loved they books so much. But Twisted turned out to blow away all my expectations.
As far as mystery novels go, Twisted is one of the best.
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…
This killer thriller absolutely more than lives up to its name – it leaves you breathless on a corkscrewing rollercoaster of thrills and switchbacks at a ferocious pace, leading towards a nail-biting conclusion. It is punchy, ridiculously gripping, and cleverly and yet beautifully plotted.
I have to be honest, though, as a side note, one of my favourite things about the novel was all the Eddie Flynn references. It was lovely to see Bloch again and hear that they’re all still doing well and not abandoned after the cover closes.
Anyway, aside from Eddie Flynn, Twisted had some of the most impressive characters that added so much dynamic and drama to the story. And just when you think you have one character figured out, they completely throw a curveball which makes you question everything you though you knew about them.
The main thing that I loved about this novel, however, was the message of it.
This is a relatively difficult message to sum in a few words, because Cavanagh spends a whole book telling it to give a full picture. But, in essence, it’s about the value of storytelling and how storytelling itself brings structure and wisdom to life. We all see things in our own perspective, and, without really knowing that we do it, spin things to suit out story, or, the story that we’re telling.
It’s why the same experience with sound completely different depending on who is talking about it.
I love how Cavanagh explores this message in Twisted, because the world isn’t just the way that it is, it’s how we understand it. And in understanding something, we bring something to it, and doesn’t that make life a story in itself?
Near the end of the novel, Cavanagh writes:
This shows that people don’t exist merely in a fact-based world. The lens through which people view themselves and the words they use to express what they see and perceive actually form the reality around them.
And that’s what matters in storytelling. That’s what it’s about – the selective transforming of reality, the twisting of it to bring out it’s essence.
It allows whoever is telling a story from their point of view to take the essence of an experience and transform the truth in the best way to communicate it from their perspective. It’s how we determine the villains and heroes in a story. And no one is ever the villain of their own story.
The art of fiction lies in having something to say and capturing an audience. With Cavanagh’s last lines in Twisted he gives readers something to think about: Who’s story is truest? What was the ‘truth’? And what was fiction?