Book Review: Steve Cavanagh’s ‘Twisted’

B3EA4C2B-D338-4334-A66E-995C2F7A42D9Legal-thriller writer extraordinaire Steve Cavanagh leaves behind the courthouse of Manhattan for the station house of Port Lonely in this crime story (that gives a nod to lawyer Eddie Flynn).

“Twisted” is the latest book by pseudonymous, mega-bestselling author J. T. Le Beau (whose name appears on the title page, author’s note, and page headers. It isn’t a book within the book à la Magpie Murders. Rather, it is the whole book).

Like LeBeau’s legion of fans, the reader is curious to know J. T. LeBeau’s true identity. #curiositykilledthecat

Who the fuck is J. T. LeBeau?

The answer is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma that unfolds from multiple POVs: Paul Cooper, a writer masquerading as a marketing consultant; Paul’s disenchanted wife, Maria; Daryl, the country club waiter/diving instructor with whom Maria is having an affair; and Sheriff Dolt Dole, a Luddite troubled by bad knees and a decade-old, unsolved case of a Jane Doe.

The narrators are like one big GERD ad. Left and right, they experience a sour taste, a burning in the throat, dry mouth, and vomiting. But that’s not the biggest irritant.

Unevenly paced, the story begins with a (near) bang, then progresses slowly until it smacks one in the face, after which it’s almost whiplash-inducing, only to drag from the midpoint until the very end.

The plot—reminiscent of Unraveling Oliver and The Truth and Other Lies (and containing a Misery-like scene)—involves a major piece of evidence that isn’t there [spoiler removed].

There’re other head-scratchers [spoilers removed]. . . Who puts mayo on pastrami!?

In all fairness, J. T. LeBeau does state off the bat that the text is not to be edited; and the flaws do give credence to media speculation that LeBeau’s books are ridiculously popular not because they’re so great but because LeBeau is so elusive.

Personally, I couldn’t care less if J. T. LeBeau types another word, but I eagerly await Eddie Flynn’s next case.

Release date 🇺🇸: January 5, 2021