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38 Reviews
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and satisfying read...
I really enjoyed this book - the characters are interesting yet accessible, the atmosphere is tense and realistic and the plot is gripping with the author clearly drawing on knowledge gained through studying criminology. I read many crime novels and this is definitely one of those that I have enjoyed the most - with character interaction of a far better quality than in...
Published on 7 April 2009 by K. O'Donnell

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lone voice (so far!)
I'm afraid I have to disagree with all the other reviews here. Yes, the central idea is fantastic - but what about the writing?

The first half of the book, in particular, is terrible. I found it impossible to `see' the action happening, and to get into the world of the story, because the author failed to paint a picture of anything - settings, characters,...
Published on 19 Feb 2010 by Reader 11


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lone voice (so far!), 19 Feb 2010
This review is from: Twisted Wing (Paperback)
I'm afraid I have to disagree with all the other reviews here. Yes, the central idea is fantastic - but what about the writing?

The first half of the book, in particular, is terrible. I found it impossible to `see' the action happening, and to get into the world of the story, because the author failed to paint a picture of anything - settings, characters, situations etc. I'm not someone who likes a lot of description - I just need to be able to visualise things. For example, a crucial crime scene is described as a room up a staircase in Ariel College - `a room bustling with people' - and that's it. In my mind's eye I imagined some sort of common room, but later discovered it was a bedroom.

There was a lot of this kind of confusion. I assumed that the body Denison and Weathers looked at in the first chapter was that of Amanda because the investigators kept asking people about their relationships with her - but I later realised that Amanda died years earlier.

This bit of text illustrates the general confusion created by the bad writing throughout the book:

`...Parrish was sitting on the last step of the victim's staircase.'
`So either he saw the killer...' said Denison.
`... or he is the killer,' finished Ames.
`Not necessarily,' protested Halloran... `The rooms on the south side of the building have windows out into the street.'
`Or,' said Weathers. `The killer could have hidden...'

At first I wondered what relevance the windows had to this character maybe being the killer. Then I realised that the `Not necessarily' speech by Halloran is a real howler of a non-sequitur. To correct this, the remarks by Denison and Ames need to be switched (`So either he is the killer...'/ `...or he saw the killer')

The characters are one-dimensional and I didn't care about any of them. The writing often descends into clichés (e.g. the room that was `bustling with people'; colour `draining away' from faces) and there is absolutely no sense of menace until right at the end. I felt the author really got into her stride only in the last few chapters - and even then, the writing wasn't great.

I did enjoy the little bits of psychology that pepper the book, and the twists in the plot, but otherwise it was a chore to read. Presumably the publisher was `hooked' by the premise and so was able to overlook the flaws in the writing, but as a reader I need to be pulled into the story's world if I am to enjoy it, and I can't think of another book I've read recently that failed so spectacularly to do this.

Sorry to go on, but in view of the overwhelmingly positive reviews here (which persuaded me to buy the book in the first place) I felt I had to explain my measly one star!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Lone Voice, 10 Mar 2010
By 
Marham - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Twisted Wing (Paperback)
I agree with "Lone Voice". This is a terrible book. The best part was the blurb on the back and after that it went downhill. To even try to like this book you have to have a complete suspension of belief. The plot is absurd. The characters have no depth and resd as if they had come from the pages of a comic and a bad one at that. A complete waste of time. I can only wonder how this came to be published.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating..., 7 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Twisted Wing (Kindle Edition)
One of those annoying books where the bare bones of a really good thriller crumble into dust because of clunky prose, paper-thin characters and a frankly wildly implausible ending. Undeniably gripping in parts, I found it ultimately a very frustrating read. The killer morphing into a bargain basement Hannibal Lector at the end didn't help.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful waste of time, 22 Nov 2011
This review is from: Twisted Wing (Paperback)
I am another lone voice saying how awful this book is. I mean really awful. So bad I had to force myself to finish it. Bad characters, bad writing, bad storyline. Just such an incredible waste of time and honestly, nobody is either that clever or that stupid. Unfortunately you do have to rate the item as I tried submitting it with no stars.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to love it, but it was a let-down, 12 Dec 2010
This review is from: Twisted Wing (Paperback)
I love this type of psychological thriller - usually - and couldn't wait to read this book. It started off well and the plotline gripped me, but after a while I started to lose interest, and I also became quite confused. The storyline jumped around a good deal which was incredibly irritating, and I wasn't given information that as the reader, I thought was essential. It was only as I struggled on to the end of the book that I realised why everything was so confusing with so many apparently loose ends - it was because any extra information would have made it very easy to guess who the serial killer was quite early on. Sorry I can't explain this any better, but I don't want to spoil the book for others by giving examples! As it was, I did guess very quickly who the killer was, even if I didn't anticipate all the plot twists.
As others have already said, the characters bar a couple are cardboard cut-outs with hardly any personality, and I cannot read a story unless all the characters come alive inside my head. The Cambridge students were stereotypes and we learn virtually nothing about them. A great plot - and this book did have the makings of a brilliant story - just isn't enough.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Should not be top priority to read - plenty of better novels, 10 Jun 2010
By 
Brian Butterly "Varied Taste" (Dorking UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Twisted Wing (Paperback)
Not my favourite story, author or style. I did complete it - which is why I gave 1 star but all in all the time can be better spent on many other authors.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good as a holiday read..., 7 Jun 2010
This review is from: Twisted Wing (Paperback)
When I read the blurb of Twisted Wing in the shop, I thought I was in for something along the lines of Lewis. You know, something a bit challenging with a smattering of intellectual references. However, that's not what I got.

First of all, I'll focus on the book's good points. The storyline is great - someone is going around killing female undergraduates (who belong to a particular group of friends) at Cambridge University, and doing so in quite a horrific way. DCI Weathers is called in and asks his old friend Matthew Denison - a psychologist - to help him out. At the last crime scene, Olivia Corscadden was found in a catatonic state and it is thought that she witnessed the murder. But when she wakes up she can't remember what happened. It is Denison's job to try and get her to recall the information. The story is non-linear as it is told through flashbacks as well as what's happening in the present.

So the problem for me wasn't the storyline, rather it was the way it was written. There was next to no characterisation - the notable exceptions being Denison and Olivia. I didn't feel as if I knew any of the other characters - even Weathers, and he was one of the main ones. There were two characters in particular I would have loved to have known more about - Denison's girlfriend Cass and Weathers' wife Sally Ames. However, they only seemed to be there to keep the plot ticking along, and to demonstrate that Denison and Weathers' weren't so obsessed with their work that they didn't have time for relationships. Nick, who is a central character, seemed 2-dimensional, and I never really felt as if he was an actual person.

The oddest thing about the book was that considering it opens up with the aftermath of June's murder, the police seem more interested in focusing on Amanda's death, and as such, June becomes almost an after-thought. In fact, it's absolutely bizarre that as she's considered to be friends with Olivia and Nick, she's never at the bar with them or even spoken about during the flashback narrative. I started to wonder who on earth she was. It was about two thirds through the book by the time she came in to it properly.

There were too many unnecessary characters for my liking as well. What was the point in Danny? He was supposed to be a member of the main group of friends, yet the police never seemed to suspect him (why?) and he was barely in the narrative. Cass was also unnecessary. I knew absolutely nothing about her, other than that she and Denison had originally met at the cinema, and she was just someone for Denison to talk to after work.

Considering it was set at Cambridge University I was expecting a bit more intellectual content. Instead, I got cliches (yes, there's even a clairvoyant) and stereotypes.

Having said all that though, it was an oddly compulsive read. Even though I'd worked out who did it after the first thirty pages, I felt I had to know what happened at the end. And to be fair, the ending is amazing. I agree with Lone Voice (gave the book 1 star) that the author seemed to get into her stride in the final few chapters, and afterwards I just sat there thinking 'Wow!'. In fact, it's the ending which saves the book for me.

So, in conclusion, the book is badly written and constructed in a really confusing way, yet it would be great for a holiday read. It doesn't require much effort and it doesn't challenge anyone's thoughts or opinions greatly. The ending is great. It's worth reading just for that.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and satisfying read..., 7 April 2009
By 
K. O'Donnell (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Twisted Wing (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book - the characters are interesting yet accessible, the atmosphere is tense and realistic and the plot is gripping with the author clearly drawing on knowledge gained through studying criminology. I read many crime novels and this is definitely one of those that I have enjoyed the most - with character interaction of a far better quality than in the majority - I have already recommended it to several friends!!
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific (in both senses), 29 April 2009
By 
M. Aitken (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Twisted Wing (Paperback)
A brilliant debut novel. If you like crime/thrillers then don't hesitate.

I read this book in a single sitting. Didn't mean to, but within a few pages I was drawn right into the plot and kept thinking "one more chapter" until there were none left (my wife stayed up the next night accidentally reading it in one go.)

The characters are great, the twists unexpected, the pacing perfect, and the ending is extremely satisfying.

I live in Cambridge, and have a psychology degree, so when reading "a psychological thriller set in Cambridge" I couldn't help watching out for the moments where the dialogue, the plot, or something would not 'feel right'... but there were none to be found.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely disappointing, 21 Mar 2010
By 
CH Ryan "crisi" (Adelaide, South Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Twisted Wing (Paperback)
Silly me. I bought this book because it looked as if it would be really interesting and because Sophie Hannah is quoted on the cover as recommending it. What a grave disappointment. It is so badly written, dreadful style, very poor dialogue. Nice idea. The title is the best part of the book. But the writing I found absolutely intolerable. I cannot understand all the good reviews. Sophie Hannah, what on earth were you thinking?
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