The Twisted Window
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
She thought of the little girl in the yellow sundress and of the child’s mother, immobilized by loss. She tried to visualize the father, the horrendous “child-snatcher.” Even his name had an evil ring to it, like the stage name of an actor who played villains.
Brad is a teenager on a desperate mission to take back his little sister from his mother’s child-snatching ex-husband. When he is refused help from his mother, his best friend, and the police, he turns to Tracy, a high school student in the town where he believes his sister to be. With a little persuasion, she agrees to join him, and finds herself in far over her head.
I know that I had read some of Duncan’s books in middle school; in fact “A Gift of Magic” was one that I know I enjoyed quite a bit. I did not recall ever reading this one until I started chapter two — the heart-pounding details of Tracy’s walk home, knowing that she’s being followed, jumped off the page at me, and I realized then that I had read this before, at least through that chapter. Either my twelve-year-old self had been too freaked out to continue past that, or I had forgotten the rest, though, because this book still managed to pull me in and keep me flipping pages, wondering what was going to happen next.
As the book progressed, it became obvious that there was going to be some sort of twist, that things weren’t all that they seemed, and perhaps my twelve-year-old self actually did finish the book, because the surprise reveal wasn’t all that surprising to me, though it did explain a lot of things from earlier on in the novel. The book is written with a lower reading level than I normally read, but it worked fine for this book. My only real complaint was with the character of Tracy and her gullibility and ridiculousness. Also, the “updating” played into this impression, and didn’t really help the novel out at all. Nowadays, Tracy would have been on the internet Googling to find out about this mysterious stranger, and the plot would have never happened.
Overall: A great read for younger thrill-seekers with a love for mystery, but I’d recommend the original version over this one.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me a review copy of this book!