In this twisty debut psychological thriller, two families agree to a holiday house swap, each wife hoping a vacation will help her troubled marriage. But then a woman is murdered in the driveway of one house in an apparently random attack, and the secrets holding each marriage together start to come to light, with shocking consequences.
Limerick, Ireland. The driveway of the Stokes family home. American Oscar Harvey opens the trunk of the car his hosts have loaned him and finds in it the body of a woman beaten and bloody. But let's start from the beginning. Kate and Mannix Stokes and their children live beside Curragower Falls in Limerick, in a house they love but can barely afford in postrecession Ireland. On top of that, their autistic son, Fergus, is being bullied at school, and their daughter, Izzy, blames herself for not being able to protect him. What her family needs, Kate decides, is a vacation. With Mannix back at work, they can just afford it. So when she sees a beautiful Manhattan apartment on a house swap website, it seems like a dream come true.
Oscar and his wife, Hazel, live with their two children in a gorgeous apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Though outwardly a successful, happy couple, Hazel has mysterious bruises, and Oscar is hiding some secrets of his own at his dental practice. They, too, need a vacation, and Hazel has long wanted to take her children back to her native Limerick. The house swap seems like the perfect solution; both Kate and Hazel hope a week away will soothe their troubled marriages. But this is anything but an ideal vacation, and the body in the trunk is only the beginning.
©2016 Siobhan MacDonald (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I listen to novels for distraction and entertainment and rate them on the experience, not literary merit. I prefer to read good literature.
Only the narrative thrilled me in this story of two families who each drag their utter dysfunction on a home exchange holiday. The story is so dismal, the male characters so unrelentingly awful, the mother figures so utterly oblivious and the children such victims of adult dysfunction, that I thought Twisted River was a satire during the first few chapters. While I wouldn't say it's not satire, I can say the novel is neither a mystery nor a thriller; it's a story about awful people doing awful things to other people.
Still, I listened to the end. It is a superb production; extraordinarily well presented with 4 perfectly cast narrators. I will seek out audio books from this production company.
Well written, but not the story I was expecting. I thought it would be more mysterious, dark, keep me guessing, etc., but that didn't really happen. Disappointed overall.
The reader will believe they know who did it...just to be proven wrong later! MacDonald story telling enhanced by skilled narrators keeps the listener glued. Many twists and turns ,best book I have listened to this year.
The book details and sample had me intrigued but I hesitated on getting this book for a wile because of some of the negative reviews.
I am very glad I decided to get this book.
I don't really understand why so many people disliked it.
It kept me guessing and when I thought I had things figured out I was wrong.
The narration was really great!
I'll lead with what works. The premise of the story is strong. There is some adequate character development (even if none of the characters are particularly interesting), and the narration by Gerard Doyle is, as always, excellent. I wish he could have done the whole book.
However, right from the start I felt disappointed. It's told from multiple perspectives which I typically like, but prepare to be bludgeoned by the author's ham-handed attempts to be "mysterious" and vague. I suppose this was an attempt to lead the reader down various paths to heighten the tension. It didn't work; it was just annoying. Furthermore, the "mystery" was pretty transparent and I found nothing about the book engaging or surprising. The characters are uninteresting and there is a good bit of pointless whining that made me cringe.
I did finish it though so there must have been something worthwhile about it... or I just hate to give up.
Proceed at your own risk. This book falls into the mindless entertainment category. If that's all you're looking for, this might work for you. If you expect more, save your credit.
This book had great characters and a story that unfolded beautifully. I was carried along like I was in a river. First gentle and intriguing, then the rapids came out of no where. The journey had several jaw dropping and heart pounding moments, but I loved every minute of it. What aride! This made my favorite books list!
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