Friday, 28 June 2013

The Twisted Window Review

The Twisted Window
Author: Lois Duncan
Current Publication Date: Aug 28 2012
Source : Open Road Media via Netgalley (Thank you!)


The new guy at Tracy's school is handsome, intense, and desperately needs her help--but there's something about him that isn't quite right

High school junior Tracy Lloyd is unsure about the new guy in school. Brad Johnson is attractive, smart, and polite, but Tracy can't help but feel he watches her too closely. Then one day Brad confides in Tracy a horrible secret: His little sister Mindy has been kidnapped by his stepfather, and he needs Tracy's help to get her back. But even as Tracy commits to a plan to help her vulnerable new friend, details emerge that suggest nothing is what it seems.





Last summer Tracy Lloyd’s mother died which forced her to move to Winfield to live with her aunt and uncle. Tracy’s distant, she doesn’t get attached, and she’s blasé to guys who might approach her. She has no interests in having friends either, except for the usual hot-blonde-long-legged best friend, Gina who she keeps at arm’s length but shares a locker with. Instantly were introduced to New Blood, Brad Johnson, who Gina pegs as “Mr. Gorgeous” with his curly hair and a “face that launched a thousand ships.”

First off, I’d like to say, whether intentional or not those first few chapters creeped the hell out of me, and not in a good way. Brad “in denial” Johnson is definitely not who he seems to be, and we know that, from his point of view from the get go. He’s not a transfer student from Albuquerque, in fact, he’s not enrolled in the school at all. Which I found a little unbelievable, because Brad’s just roaming the school, in the intention of pretty much stalking the girls of Winfield High and yet nobody questions it. Okay, I get the fact he can lie to the students and they wouldn’t question it but teachers?

That’s where he finds Tracy in the first place, lurking at the water fountain, solitary, mature, abrasive Tracy that meets the criteria Brad’s looking for. 
  • Attractive,-but not flashy? Check.
  •  A loner? Check. 
  •  No boyfriend? Check. 
  • Tall, pretty, looked mature than the rest of the students of her age? Check.

He even sits through three lunch periods to scope her out and talk to her, to set a plan in motion and at this point you haven’t gotten the full story, so it was a little awkward and sleazy, and even with the explanation of all the girl stalking, I still found it creepy.

Tracy doesn’t trust anyone, and certainly not Brad Johnson, she somehow knows something is off about him and the false information he feeds them when he introduces himself. She’s cautious, though she still basically gives him her Aunt and Uncles phone number, which is listed in the phonebook.

Later that afternoon when Tracy’s walking home, she feels like someone is watching her, though unseen, she can feel someone is following her, and she’s afraid she’d end up the same fate as her mother- attacked and stabbed. But as she runs, the watcher doesn’t follow.

Though unnerved, Tracy carries on home, and even after that when Brad shows up on her doorstep that same night she agrees to go get a coke with him though she’s getting serious bad vibes from “Mr. gorgeous.”

Brad’s half baby sister, Mindy, had been kidnapped four months ago, at the mere age of 18 months by Brad’s step-father Gavin -Mindy’s father, and he’s come to Winfield on his spring break to find her,  unknown to his mother, since Gavin has a sister there, Brad figured it was the best place to start. But, Brad needs help as he’s afraid if Gavin finds out Brad’s here, that’ll he’ll take Mindy and run, again. He rails Tracy in and she agrees to help, and together they go and investigate to track Gavin down.

Ready for the catch? Because there’s always a catch.

Nothing, and I mean nothing is what it seems.

Not Brad, not his story, not the state of his mind.

Forget what we’re shown, and told, what we have here is a very, very twisted window.

 What I liked; Brad’s unrelenting fire for finding his sister, even if he’s twisted the truth to his own liking, but the desperation comes across on how much he wanted to make things right, however impossible it was, and Tracy’s determination to help him even though she’s left in the dark.

What I didn’t like was the pace.

The pace was way too fast for me; Brad introduced himself to Tracy, unexpectedly followed her through a park, turned up on her doorstep to ask her on a date and tells her about why he’s really here in Winfield, and coerces Tracy into helping him- all in one day.  For me, it would have been scarier with a slower burn.

I also didn’t like Brad for the same reason I liked him, to me it made him come off as a little creepy by the way it was written, especially when describing his little sister, and the fact he can’t take no for an answer when Tracy thinks they’re both in over their heads and should let the police handle it. Of course, up until that point. It was pretty unbelievable that Tracy would just up and leave just like that when she hasn’t known the guy that long, I just didn’t get it and it didn’t seem to fit.

Overall, keeping in mind that this was first published in 1978, the dialect isn’t exactly of today's it was a fast pace thriller, and it owned up to its expectations.
Rating: 3/5