Mystery / Suspense


Written by: Jeffery Deaver

Published By: Pocket Books - A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Reviewed by Melissa Minners



            Whenever anyone asks me to recommend a suspense or mystery novel, I always tell them to check out Jeffery Deaver’s novels.  I have always been a fan of Jeffery Deaver's writing, particularly his Lincoln Rhyme series. For those of you who don't remember who Lincoln Rhyme is, he was the main character of the movie The Bone Collector which was based on the novel of the same name by Jeffery Deaver (see Vanished Man review).  Most fans of Jeffery Deaver know that he has amassed an impressive array of novels under his own name and under the pseudonym William Jefferies.  But did you know that Deaver also writes short stories.  I didn’t…that is until I saw Twisted at the local Barnes and Noble.  I toyed with the idea of buying it, wondering how well Deaver would fare in the short story genre.  Noting that there was a Lincoln Rhyme short story in the mix sealed the deal and I was soon the proud owner of a collection of 16 short stories from my favorite suspense novelist.

            I wasn’t certain just what to expect from this short story collection.  In the book’s introduction, Deaver explains that he hadn’t written a short story in quite some time and that short stories present some difficulty for novelists.  Short stories are quick and to the point whereas novels can take a much longer time fleshing out both characters and plot.  One thing Deaver does warn about in the introduction is that you should expect the unexpected.  He warns that, in his stories, nothing is ever what it seems to be.  No truer words were ever said!  Twisted is an extremely appropriate name for this book!

            Each story in this compilation will leave you guessing.  I must admit that there were many times that I was totally thrown for a loop upon reaching the end of a particular story.  One that particularly floored me was The Triangle.  I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice it to say that I was thinking about the main character in one capacity, never realizing who that main character actually was.  When I reached the ending I was so taken aback that I sat there, mouth agape, staring at the last lines of the story in shock.  I started to laugh at my naiveté and a friend asked me what was so funny.  When I explained the story and how it was from a collection of short stories, he was totally sucked in and wanted to know about the other stories in the collection.

            I will admit that after reading the first half of the book, I was starting to become a bit as “twisted” as the author and began to figure out some of the twists and turns the stories would take.  That didn’t make the read any less enjoyable.  In fact, it made it more so, as I seemingly would match wits against the author in an effort to discover what twist he was preparing to throw my way.  As for the Lincoln Rhyme tale, it was incredibly enjoyable as always, but believe me when I say that I would have enjoyed this short story compilation if there were no Lincoln Rhyme story included.

            Twisted by Jeffery Deaver is a wild ride well worth exploring.  With Twisted, Deaver has proven his mastery over mystery and suspense.  Not only can he turn out entertaining novels in his chosen genre, but he is such a masterful story teller as to be able to produce short stories that are just as entertaining.  Never again will I ponder whether or not to buy a particular Jeffery Deaver book!  Mr. Deaver, I bow down to your talent!


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