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The Twisted Ones by T Kingfisher

Posted by George Woods on

Mouse’s grandmother died but no ones really sad about that. She was a cruel person in life and She’s left a cruel trick for Mouse in death. After heading to her grandmothers' house to clear it out ready to sell, Mouse finds out that she was a hoarder. The house is stuffed top to bottom with old newspapers, Tupperware boxes and, creepiest of all, a room full of dolls. While clearing all the junk out, she finds a journal written by her step-grandfather, although no one can grasp why he married her grandmother. After reading it, things start to get really messed up. 


T. Kingfisher has done exactly what I expected of her after reading The Hollow Places, she’s created amazing and in-depth characters that you can really relate to. Mouse is a freelance editor, sitting in coffee shops to steal wi-fi and editing novels by dramatic writers. Kingfisher seems to love coffee shops a lot, one of the main characters in The Hollow Places was also a coffee shop barista. The cool Goth girl in The Twisted Ones was really fun, I was left wishing we’d see more of her though. 


The novel feels like a deep dive into folk horror. The creatures in the book, effigies and grotesque monsters running around in the woods, chasing deer and trying to break into peoples houses. The old hippy commune on the other side of the forest, there are only a few people but they’re exactly who you would expect to live in a hippy commune in a horror novel. It really checks all the boxes. 


Unfortunately, coffee shops aren’t the only similarity between the two books. I have to admit; the storyline was disappointing. Kingfisher seems to have used the same story format that she used in The Hollow Places, which meant it felt predictable. I will admit though that the ending threw me through a loop. But even the character of Mouse is very similar to the character of Kara (knows as Carrot) in The Hollow Places; two early-thirties women who, for reasons beyond their control, have to move across the country and attempt to patch together a life where they don’t know anyone and have crappy internet connections. Down to the detail of giving both lead characters weird nicknames, it seems like we’re reading about the same person. 


I really enjoyed this book, and I am excited to read more by T. Kingfisher. Hopefully, it’ll surprise me next time. 


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