[Review] The Twisted Ones 2019
The Twisted Ones – When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother’s house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be? Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself.
Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head-on, she might not survive to tell the tale.
The story revolves around a 30-something-year-old editor named Mouse, who is asked by her father to clean out the house of her deceased and estranged grandmother. Mouse does not mourn for grandmother though, and we learn the death did not change Mouse’s feelings of the relationship with the woman who was so awful and evil. Mouse has no idea how bad the house was, so when she arrives in her pick-up truck in rural North Carolina, along with her faithful coonhound, Bongo, she is shocked to discover that her grandmother had been a hoarder all these years and that every room is completely filled with useless things.
There is rubbish stacked floor to ceiling. Boxes filled to the rim, full bags overflowing, stacks of old and yellowing newspapers, old hangers and all sorts of junk litter every room in the house. Every room, that is, except for her step-grandfather’s room, where she finds his creepy old diary full of disturbing words that soon begin to weave their way into her head.
Settling in, Mouse begins the process of clearing out years upon years of clutter with no one to help break the boredom but her dog. She talks to her dog for company, and plays her radio to break the eerie silence, and makes tons of trips to the town dump just so she can clear a path through the house. She thinks to herself that the house is a virtual firetrap as she flinches from having to deal with her dead grandmother’s underwear.
“Grandma was a nasty piece of work, and mean as a snake,” she recalls. Through this thinking, we realize that we are being told that what we are reading was what she had written down after the fact and that this was her account of the whole dreadful story.
Her step-grandfather, Frederick Cotgrave, is also deceased and had been married to her grandmother. He also occupied his own room which appeared to be almost empty. During her clean up, she finds a small black journal on the nightstand in the room which belonged to her grandfather, who also by the end of his life, had descended into deep paranoia and dementia. Mouse’s interest rising, she begins scanning through the journal which she thinks is full of nonsense.
He seems convinced that the woods are haunted by creepy beings called the twisted ones. Flipping through page after page she discovers that it read like he was blabbering and extremely disturbed, She keeps reading about how he made faces like the faces carved into the rocks, and how it was too dangerous to be in the woods anymore and that they have his scent now, all very bizarre to her.
After reading within the pages that he became a terrified man who had to live with a shrew for a wife and how he spent the rest of his days hiding, she decides to chalk it all up to the writings of a lunatic…until some of the things he had described started happening around her. With every new day, Mouse begins to wonder that perhaps her grandfather’s journal weren’t thoughts randomly written from a mad man suffering from dementia, but those of a man who had lived in genuine fear for his life.
I admit, this is my first book from this author, but I assure you it will not be my last. I was absolutely spellbound from start to finish. Seriously, this is one amazing, hard to put down books. I loved the characters, especially Foxy and her dog, Bongo. The main character, Mouse, was awesome, someone you will find yourself rooting for, even if she doesn’t always make the best of decisions. They are all real people making real choices.
The Twisted Ones is a brilliant read, it’s suspenseful and absolutely terrifying in every way, and I may never trust anything deer-shaped ever again, that, I can assure you. Overall, this was an immensely enjoyable read, with an ending that was full-on perfect. A dreadfully chilling, roller coaster of a ride, a nail-biting story that I highly recommend.
About the book Author
T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon, an author from North Carolina. In another life, she writes children’s books and weird comics. She has been nominated for the World Fantasy and the Eisner and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, Nebula, Alfie, WSFA, Coyotl, and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections. This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups. Her work includes multiple fairy-tale retellings and odd little stories about elves and goblins. Visit her website here: www.redwombatstudio.com
Title: The Twisted Ones
Author: T. Kingfisher/Ursula Vernon
Published Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Horror, Occult, Suspense
Publisher: Gallery/Saga Press
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Pages: 399 pages
Reviewed by: Grim Magazine
Our Rating: 4.0 /5
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