Liz REALLY loves…..A Good Twisty Tale. **No Spoilers Please We’re British**

So today I’m going to talk about terrific twisty tales but before I do note: There will be NO spoilers anywhere in this article beyond the fact that the books I am going to talk about do, in fact, have a twist to the tale. As a reviewer and a reader I believe its ok to say that the book has one (or in some cases many) as long as no information is forthcoming about the details – because some readers are looking for just that type of story. Often a book is marketed on that very thing!  However if you prefer to not even know there IS a twist or that the tale you are about to dive into is a twisty one, then please read no further.

Still with me? Ok then. To my mind there are two kinds of twisty tales available. The first type are those novels that send you first down one path, then another, constantly making you question what has gone before until ultimately you get a resolution. The second type – which are my favourite – are what I call “Game Changer Twists” – those books where there is one major incident or “reveal” that makes you pretty much fall off your chair with surprise, even if you knew there was something coming….the best of this type are the ones that can then continue on after that and offer you a brilliant and satisfactory resolution and only the most clever of authors can achieve that. So here we go – one more warning before you continue – I will now be talking about my favourite twisty tales and I will be saying which category they fall into. So again, if you don’t want to know, stop reading. However I reiterate my promise – you will find no details that will ruin your enjoyment of the novels. What I HOPE to do is ensure you don’t miss out on some absolutely terrifically clever writing!




Lets start with Tina Seskis and the book “One Step Too Far”. Now this novel was actually marketed on the fact that there was a twist to the story – “No-one has ever guessed Emily’s secret – will you? ” it told me and before I started reading it I was saying “Of course I’ll get it very little surprises me these days its all been done before”. Well. No. It hasnt. Not only has Ms Seskis managed to write a story that absolutely doesnt NEED a twist to make it superb, she has also stuck one in there that I promise you – you will never see coming. I’ve recommended this to a lot of people and they have all come back to me with the same look on their faces….HOW did she manage to do that? Well folks, I don’t know – but she did. I don’t know how many novels I have read over the years where I’ve been told there is a twist and I’ve seen it coming a mile away – its difficult to fool me I promise you – but Tina managed it and then some. Mainly because of the intelligent writing it has to be said – and because in a very strange way, its a simple one. Read it. Love it. And tell me if you get it. Anyone that does is definitely clever! I don’t think you will though….and it doesnt matter. Emily’s story is fascinating in and of itself. Yes this is a “game changer” novel but it may well have been that anyway  – twist or not.

You can follow Tina on Twitter here : but don’t ask her because she aint telling!

If you think it sounds like your sort of book – clickety click here and its currently in the Summer Sale so get your hands on a copy today!

Incidentally her second novel – A Serpentine Affair – is also brilliant. Another twisty tale but in a very different way. You might want to have a look at that one also.




Now then Ms Erin Kelley – queen of the super twisty tales that suck you in and spit you out – what DID you do to me with “The Burning Air” I wonder? Well. It was the first book I read that when I hit the “game changer moment” I literally shouted out loud “NOOOOOOO really?” A few people were in the room with me at the time watching some tv and they all jumped out of their was the first time I actually understood what the phrase “jaw drop” meant – mine was on the floor. Up until then I had been enjoying an amazingly good story about family and the ties that bind.. After that moment I was rabidly turning the pages desperate to know the outcome and wondering what the heck was going to happen – woe betide anyone that dared to try and interrupt me while I was discovering the truth. Amazing writing, terribly clever misdirection and again, like Ms Seskis, a book that didnt NEED a twist to make it simply stunning. It was just the cherry on the top so to speak. In fact looking back now I’m stunned all over again!

You can follow Erin Kelley on Twitter here : but again she won’t be telling – you’ll have to read it!

If it sounds like your kind of book clickety click here

Incidentally another of Erin’s novels – The Poison Tree – is a book that I loved with a fiery vengeance mainly because the ending was probably the most satisfying ending I have ever read. You may want to check that one out!




So we come to Gone Girl. Of course. THE twisty tale of all twisty tales – the one that went viral, that I think pretty much everyone on the planet has read by now and the book that almost every twisty tale that came out afterwards referred to in its blurb. “This years Gone Girl!” I read quite often. And yes I LOVED it. But I’ll let you into a little secret. I saw that twist coming from 100 miles away and it was no surprise to me. Still it WAS a game changer yes. But in this readers honest opinion it is not nearly as clever or as good as the two books I have mentioned above – and more recently “Precious Thing” from Colette Mcbeth which I’m not going to talk about again in this article but that will be having its own blog day coming soon. Gone Girl was its own thing – a brilliantly imagined tale of a marriage between two people both of whom held secrets – and that for me was the beauty of it, NOT the twist in the tale that everyone raves about. The thing I loved about Gone Girl was the characters. Ones you will love to hate. Its a great book – it deserves its success without a doubt. And I hope that Gillian Flynn can top it with her next novel which I will certainly be reading. However I say again – The Burning Air and One Step Too Far are better. They are. A feat that is not easy to achieve!

If you are one of about 3 people who have not yet read it clickety click here

Its definitely worth your time and hey, that twist is twisty and a whole lot of fun!



Finally I’m going to talk about just one of Sophie Hannah’s many novels – my favourite of the Simon Waterhouse books – and a brilliant example of the other kind of twisty tale – the type that twists and turns all the way through, giving you smartly dolled out pieces of information until finally you can see the whole. In this particular book miscarriages of justice are the topic – and they are brilliantly done. My favourite because the protagonist is a girl after my own heart, the twists and turns in this book were stunning.  The absolute beauty of Ms Hannah’s writing lies in her ability to tell the tale not only from the Police point of view – And Mr Waterhouse is a detective like no other, trust me – but also from the point of view of the people embroiled in whichever case he happens to currently be investigating. In fact MOSTLY from their point of view a lot of the time. Sophie writes characters that I adore – the “usual suspects” Charlie and Simon and The Snowman – never disappoint but each separate book also gives you at least one more character you can adore! Or hate to the point of wanting to get into the book and strangle them sometimes – I’ve had that with the odd one especially a particularly well written and insanely annoying character from her latest Simon Waterhouse tale “The Carrier”. Ms Hannah’s ability to misdirect you and make you THINK you know whats going on, only to completely flummox you again a couple of pages later – is terrific. And it happens every time – she changes the game just enough with each novel that no matter how many you read you are always going to be swimming in a sea of confusion until she decides to finally let you know the truth. Therein lies the reason that I will never stop reading them as long as she keeps writing them. If you havent yet had a go pick yourself up a copy of “Little Face” – and take it from there.

You can follow Sophie Hannah on Twitter here

If you want to start at the very beginning clickety click here


So there we go. My mini guide to all things twisty and turny. I hope you have enjoyed it and that you may have found something there that you would like to try – twisty tales are the most fun you can have with a book and sometimes they really will mess with your head! Do you have a favourite? Please let me know…I don’t want to miss out!

Happy Reading Folks!


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3 Responses to Liz REALLY loves…..A Good Twisty Tale. **No Spoilers Please We’re British**

  1. Terry Tyler says:

    What an excellent post!

    I’m hoping you will like my new book, What It Takes, as it falls into the category of your favourite sort of twist – with a bit of the first type in, too! We’ll talk submissions when it’s published, perhaps…!! 🙂

  2. John says:

    Sadly I’ve not read any of the books you mentioned. But I intend to remedy that.
    Recently been engrossed by John Connelly and C. J. Box.

  3. Great post. I LOVE Sophie Hannah and yes, much has been made of the hype around Gone Girl, but I will still put it on my list. Hadn’t heard of the first two books, so will need to investigate those. I have A Room Swept White but haven’t read it yet and need to get Little Face. Have read all the others, except the new one. Sooz

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