In 2008 Horowitz's publishers decided to republish his old 1999 Horror anthologies Horowitz Horror: Stories You'll Wish You Never Read and Horowitz Horror 2 (also published under the title More Horowitz Horror). But instead of just reproducing those two volumes in their entirety they chose to divide them up into separately sold smaller books containing usually two (but sometimes three short stories). To annoy those who maybe have one of the anthologies already they decided that these new smaller books would take one story from Horowitz Horror 1 and the other from Horowitz Horror 2. So if you plan on reading all these books it's obviously much better value for money to buy the two anthologies than all these books separately. Incidentally I have no idea why Amazon has put the words (Alex Rider) in brackets after this title as it has nothing to do with that series which came along after Horowitz had made his name as children's horror author and decided to get into the action spy genre (where granted he has probably been a lot more successful), nor is Alex in any of these books.
Anyway back to reviewing Twist Cottage. The two stories in this book are obviously the title story Twist Cottage as well as Harriet's Horrible Dream. Both stories take place for the most part, around the area near Bath in England. The first involves a young boy called Ben whose mother died early on. As the years go on he wants his father to be happy again so when a hot young woman named Louise comes into his father's life, Ben gives their relationship all of his support. Not long after the two are married but then Louise changes and starts being bossy and mean to the both of them. Ben's father realises he has made a mistake but Louise threatens to take all his money and report him to child services so he will lose Ben. She demands they sell their family home. Ben's father finds a luxurious cottage surrounded by Woods and assures Ben their life will return to normal soon. What is waiting at Twist Cottage?
Harriet's Horrible Dream is the tale of a spoilt rich brat getting her comeuppance. Harriet thinks nothing of cheating at school, being mean to others, acting like a snob and her family's maids fired for fun. However her father's business dealings have gone bad and the family faces bankruptcy. Harriet will hear none of this, abuses her father and insists her standard of life not be altered in the slightest. Her father has finally had enough and contacts his friend in London who owns the very successful Sawney Bean to take her off his hands. A very predictable story but still a good read.
If you've only read the Groosham Grange series this series of books is a little bit heavier in subject matter. Groosham Grange and its sequel The Unholy Grail are a bit more cartoony monster horror style than these more realistic thriller scare stories.