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The Twisted Ones: A character driven modern day folk tale

The story is obviously important, but if you have horrible characters in a horror novel (or any fiction that matter) it can ruin that story.

“The Twisted Ones,” by T. Kingfisher (the alter ego for author Ursula Vernon when she writes things for adults) has some of the strongest and most realistic characters you’ll find in a book.

The story itself plays out like a modern day folk tale. The protagonist is a woman named

Mouse, who goes to a small, rural town in North Carolina at the behest of her father to clean out her dead grandmother’s house, only to discover she was a hoarder.

Mouse is a fantastic character. The author does a fantastic job with her voice – it’s very realistic. How Mouse speaks to herself and her reactions to what is going on in the story are similar to what I and many people I know would think and how would react. It’s very true to life.

And it’s not just the main characters. Roxy is a fabulous secondary character. Adds a little comic relief and provides local knowledge to Mouse. And Bongo, Mouse’s dog, acts and behaves like a real dog. He reminds me of my dearly departed Foxy, dumb and driven by their noses and their never ending love of food.

The story itself is strong. Mouse finds her grandmother’s husband’s journal. At first, she thinks it’s the ravings of a man who may have been suffering from dementia, but she starts to believe. That leads into the nearby woods with Bongo and she discovers that

Foxy, from 2007. Had to share after mentioning her!

her step-grand daddy was not crazy.

There are parts that are truly spooky – the “effigies,” as Mouse calls them, are definitely creepy. Some people may wonder why Mouse didn’t flee when the scary stuff started going down. If you read it, and you’re a dog (or cat) owner, there’s a plausible reason Mouse just didn’t say “screw this,” and got the hell out of Dodge. It all leads to a very satisfying ending.

I highly recommend this book if you like creepy modern day folk tales with strong characters.

“The Twisted Ones.

T. Kingfisher Gallery/Saga Press (2019) 400 pages Click here to buy

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