On leave from the Bureau, Laura has been volunteering for a legal group trying to prove the innocence of a man who is on death row for killing his family. Laura is firmly convinced that he didn’t do it, while Brigid isn’t so sure—but the date for his execution is coming up so quickly that they’ll have to act fast to find any evidence that may absolve him before it’s too late…
Whenever I try a novel outside my favorite genres by an author I’ve never heard of, I always approach it with a bit of underlying skepticism. A preconceived belief that I probably won’t like it and will end up going back to the genres I’ve always enjoyed. Sometimes those experiments turn out to be every bit as bad as I thought they’d be. It’s possible some of them never stood a chance against my pre-judging but it’s hard to say for sure. But every so often, I discover a book that pushes through my biases and wins me over. A Twist of the Knife had me hooked by the end of the first chapter.
The story is told from the first person point of view of retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn after the events have already transpired. The character narrates in a very conversational tone, often interjecting her own thoughts and interpretations. It almost feel as though you and Brigid Quinn are old friends. She’s invited you over to her house and is telling a story at the dinner table over pasta and a glass of wine. Two things are clear right from the beginning: she’s smart and knows how to tell a story so you settle in and let her talk.
This particular case began with a trip back home to check in on her aging parents, specifically her father whose health has taken a turn for the worse. While planning her trip, she makes arrangements to meet with an old FBI colleague who is now working to clear a man who is on death row for killing his wife and three children.
As agent Quinn recounts the story, she does so with a brutal honesty about her strained relationship with her family, her complicated role in her former colleague’s investigation and instances in her past when she skirted outside the law to see justice done. Her bluntness is most apparent as she reviews the details of the murder investigation.
The others were school photos of the children, the last ones taken before they disappeared,or died, probably died.
In the end, Brigid discovers there are uncomfortable secrets with both her family and the investigation, some of which intertwine at various points. She works to unravel the threads running through both but time isn’t on her side. Circumstances converge as the plot reaches a climax and Brigid is forced to make decisions she might not be able to take back. The only thing guaranteed is at the end of the night, your pasta will be cold and forgotten, the bottle of wine will be empty and you’ll be on the edge of your seat.
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