RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Twisted by Laura Griffin

B-

Title: Twisted
Author: Laura Laura Griffin
Publication Info: Pocket 2012
ISBN: 9781451617436
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Twisted This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Andrea. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Romantic Suspense category.

The summary:     

Motive, opportunity, and no alibi – it seems close to a slam-dunk. But while rookie detective Allison Doyle’s department has ID’d a suspect in a young woman’s vicious murder, she is uneasy.

Then legendary FBI profiler Mark Wolfe shows up with a startling theory: if he’s right, the real murderer is an elusive psychopath just days away from another kill. Using Allison’s contacts at the Delphi Center crime lab, Wolfe is finally in striking distance of the monster he’s pursued for ten years.

Except that as they work together, Wolfe finds the ambitious, stubborn woman a tempting distraction.

And with this brutal predator, every thread of evidence can make the difference between being the hunter…and the prey.

And here is Andrea's review:

On the whole, I thought it was a pretty good book.  The story was engaging; I read it over a few hours in one sitting and never felt that it dragged.  I generally liked the characters.  I also thought that Griffin did a good job portraying a set of investigators working various aspects of the case.  I don't know much about criminal investigation, but I bought in to her depiction, and there was never a point where it jarred me out of the story.  I liked the idea of her forensics facility with a number of women in positions of expertise (apparently some of them are lead characters in other books in the series).

As for the romance, there was good chemistry between the lead characters with a simmering attraction and a gradual build toward intimacy which I appreciated, having recently read a few insta-lust stories recently.  I wouldn't say that I loved the romance, though.  I found the mystery more compelling than the relationship, about which I was, at best, lukewarm.  One thing I wasn't crazy about was the age difference between the characters (sixteen years).  In combination with the fact that he was the experienced FBI profiler and she was the young detective, it seemed to set him up in a superior position that tainted the relationship for me.  It didn't help that she was shown, throughout the book, making mistakes that put her in harm's way and jeopardized the investigation.

The best thing I can say for the book is that it made me interested in checking out the others in the series, which I think speaks to the quality of the writing.  However, I have the feeling, or possibly hope, that this will not end up being my favorite of this author's work.  I give it a B-.

A few random notes:

1.  What is with fictional serial killers being inspired by Edgar Allen Poe? (See, e.g., the Kevin Bacon show on Fox.)  It's been a while since I studied Poe in school (and I was never a Poe scholar), but while I remember him being fairly morbid, I'm not sure where the instigation to killing multiple women comes from.  By the way, if anyone's interested in a Poe-inspired mystery story, I recommend The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard ( A | BN | K | ARe | iB ), which I found rather fascinating and contains a fictionalized version of E.A. Poe in a detective role.

2.  One of the characters has the same name as an obscure baseball player who played years ago for a team I follow.  In a strange coincidence, I had occasion to look the player up earlier today before reading the book, so it was very distracting to me to see his name pop up in this book.


This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Jen says:

    I read this book a few months ago too and had pretty much the same reactions. I didn’t like the age gap and the power differential (especially because the characters didn’t seem to acknowledge it). I thought the romance was just ok but not especially moving, and I thought Allison seemed a little ditzy. I’ve since gone back and read all but the most recent of the series, and IMO Twisted is definitely the weakest of the bunch. In fact in the book before Twisted (can’t remember the name right now) had Allison in it and I thought she was bad ass! I was so disappointed that in her own book she ended up seeming a little rash and incompetent. I don’t mind that she made some mistakes, but those compounded with a general attitude of impulsivity and extreme inexperience made her less interesting to me.

    I will say that the romances in the series are never quite amazing. Some of the other books are definitely better and more moving, but I’d say the balance between romance and mystery/suspense is maybe 40/60. Normally I prefer the balance to be opposite in romantic suspense, but for some reason this series really works for me. I think it’s because the writing is so great and the details so vivid.

  2. 2

    This sounds interesting. I’ll have to try the series.

  3. 3
    Andrea says:

    @Jen
    Good to hear that you enjoyed the rest of the series!  I picked up another one from the library, and it looks good so far.  I agree I was somewhat frustrated by Allison’s characterization, so I’ll be interested to see how she appears in the other books.  She had potential in this one.

    @Patricia Eimer
    I think the author shows a lot of talent in this one, so I’m excited to try the rest of the series too.

    @SB Sarah
    Thanks for posting my review and running the RITA Reader Challenge!  I have a new author to glom now.  :)

  4. 4
    Vasha says:

    Yeah, Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run also had a Poe-inspired serial killer which was ridiculous and not well mitivated—and I couldn’t believe that none of the investigators on the case spotted the Poe connection when I did a third of the way through!

  5. 5
    Charlotte Russell says:

    I haven’t read this book, but I have read your review and as baseball fan I have to know—what is the character’s name? I’m very curious to see if the name rings a bell for me:-)

  6. 6
    Andrea says:

    @Vasha
    I almost feel sorry for Poe!  He’s getting a bad rap being associated with all of these serial killers.

    @Charlotte Russell
    The character’s name was Damian Moss.  Though I think the book might have spelled it Damien.  :)

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