Thursday, 30 April 2009

Twisted Wing reviewed in the Spectator

The online review of Twisted Wing has appeared on the Spectator's website today; think the print issue is due out imminently. Have just noticed that it appears to have been written by Nigel Lawson - blimey! It's exciting enough to be reviewed at all, let alone by someone as well known as Nigel Lawson!

Hopefully they won't mind me reprinting the review in full:

A crime story of a more serious kind is Twisted Wing, by Ruth Newman, which is set in Cambridge. The novel begins at the fictitious Ariel College, where a third female student in two years has been gruesomely murdered. Sitting next to the butchered corpse, bruised and insensible with shock, is Olivia Corscadden, another student. Matthew Denisoan, the psychologist attached to the case, is convinced that Olivia saw what happened, but for weeks she is in a state of terror-induced catatonia to the point where she has to be tube-fed. When her condition improves, Denison interviews her and a shocking picture begins slowly to emerge, as Denison and his colleagues in the police try to capture a serial killer.

In structure, this is classic crime fiction, with a ring of suspects, false leads and deftly laid twists — the very stuff of Morse and Marple. In content, however, it is less homely. By comparison with Twisted Wing, an episode of Taggart seems positively dainty: this novel explores deep psychosis and child abuse, among other horrors, and presents murders of extraordinary bloodthirstiness, so that one is alternately impressed by the technique and chilled by the effect.

There are just a few teething problems in this strong debut. It could have done with better proofing, to excise errors such as ‘she was sat’ and to rework the odd infelicity of style. The ending also, while gripping, left some small areas of the plotting looking questionable. But Newman is a good new writer, and Twisted Wing is a well-paced, rigorously researched and captivating crime novel which would lend itself to a screen adaptation.

Think I might have to insist the next edition of the book has "Makes Taggart look dainty" plastered across the cover - love it!

See the review on the Spectator's website »

1 comment:

Andrea said...

As much as I enjoyed reading the book, the ending really didn´t make much sense. Good review.