If you enjoyed Steve Cavanagh’s last novel Th1rt3en, you’ll love his latest, Twisted. Both extremely filmic, both what Hollywood would describe as “high concept”, the plots are pacy and the characters instantly memorable.
Twisted opens with a statement from anonymous crime writer JT LeBeau, informing us that what we’re about to read is totally unedited and that we shouldn’t believe a word he says. So far, so audacious. And it doesn’t let up. Next we’re at LeBeau’s funeral, then we meet his wife, who has no idea that her husband has been leading a double life as a mega famous, best selling author.
This is a very modern film noir, complete with a femme fatale, a lover eager to do her bidding and a hard bitten cop hot on the trail. But it’s also a playful take on the nature of celebrity authorship and the publishing industry, the demand for twists and the appetite for intrigue.
JT reminded me of JT LeRoy, the young queer author who wrote about his life as a cross dressing male prostitute and was later revealed to be a persona played by a female friend of the real author, Laura Albert.
Twisted certainly lives up to its name. There are plenty of twists, lashings of dark humour and very little doubt that Cavanagh is having as much fun writing this story as you’ll have reading it. A class act in every sense.