This was my first reading of a Jeffery Deaver book, so I only went in expecting a series of short stories.
Twisted is a collection of short stories, all with a twist (hence the title). It’s a book full of double-crossing, untold intent and intrigue. The cool thing about short stories is that you can pick them up at any time, which makes them ideal bathroom reading.
The protagonists in Deaver’s stories are almost always paranoid, believing themselves to be at the centre of elaborate schemes by family, friends or colleagues. The thing is, they’re almost always right!
However, Deaver skillfully manages to keep the truth in each tale until the very end – you’ll keep guessing, you might even work out who is behind a plot, but why remains a mystery until the end. One example is Triangle, in which the main character plots to kill the man who he’s discovered his ‘wife’ is having an affair with. Of course, right at the end, we discover that the protagonist is a young boy and the woman is his mother who he doesn’t want to share with another man.
The one slip-up is the Shakespearian-era All The World’s A Stage which is riddled with hammy 17th Century dialogue and preposterously drags Shakespeare himself into a plot to exact revenge upon a man in London. In the midst of such slick and appealing stories, this stands out like a sore thumb and is definitely the low point of the book.
If you can remember to skip that one story, Twisted is certainly worth the read. Deaver is certainly a cunning author, and manages to explore just how far the paranoid and dark recesses of human nature will go to satisfy their desires.