Twisted Perception by Bob Avey
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Have you ever read a book with its title misspelled (not intentionally!) 150 times? Bob Avey's "Twisted Perception" offers this unique feature! The headers of odd-numbered pages are all titled "Twisted Perseption". This sloppily produced paperback also occasionally offers differently sized fonts on the same page. These extras are provided courtesy of Deadly Niche Press of Denton, Texas.
As to the novel itself, I have a feeling that I have read it before. Many times, in fact. The main premise of the plot is so archetypal that it has often been used by various authors. Recent serial murders are linked to serial murders from the past. Madness, revenge, skeletons in family closets. Same old, same old. The only atypical feature is that the detective, who is the main character in the story, used to be a suspect in one of the old killings, before he joined the police force. Of course, the past events deeply influence the detective's perceptions of the present ones. Or should I say "perSeptions"?
To me, the plot loses plausibility soon past the midpoint of the novel. I have been unable to believe the particular turns of the plot, and the motives and behaviors of the novel's characters feel contrived, and artificial. It is hard to focus on the plot when the author is faking it.
The writing, initially competent, gets worse as well. Chapter 17 has some of the most ridiculous dialogue; for instance, two characters talk to each other using the following sentences: "Even among strangers I'm a stranger. My sanity has cost me my insanity, for no longer can I hide in it." If this is some subtle literary device used by the author, then I am clearly not getting it. The plot takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and locations nearby. The author manages to convey some of the local flavor in his writing.
One and a half stars.
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