Review: The Twisted Window by Lois Duncan

Title: The Twisted Window Author: Lois Duncan Format: Paperback, 183 pages Published : May 1, 1991 by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group  (first published 1987)
Title: The Twisted Window
Author: Lois Duncan
Format: Paperback, 183 pages
Published : May 1, 1991 by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group (first published 1987)


Tracy, a high school junior, becomes embroiled in the problems of a strange boy, who asks her assistance in “snatching” his half-sister from her father who has allegedly kidnapped her.

Source: Netgalley/Publisher

My Rating: 3½/5

My Review:

Life in Winfield, Texas is pretty sedate after having lived her entire life in New York.  But, for Tracy Lloyd, sedate is just fine.  Following the violent death of her mother and total rejection by her father, Tracy moved to Winfield to live with her aunt and uncle.  Each day is the same; Tracy wakes up, goes to school, stays out of the mix and walks slowly home so as to avoid interaction with her aunt and uncle.  For totally understandable reasons, Tracy has avoided getting close to anyone since the death of her mother.

Brad Johnson is new to Winfield but making friends is the least of his concerns.  Brad is single-mindedly focused on one goal and one goal only, enlisting Tracy Lloyd to help him get his little sister back.  For two days Brad has watched Tracy, talked to her and determined the best way to get her help is just to come right out with the story and hope for the best.  And so, on a park bench near her home, Brad explains to Tracy that his baby sister, Mindy has been stolen from his mother by her ex-husband and brought to Winfield.  His mother is devastated and the police won’t help so Brad has done the only thing he can, left home to get his little sister.  Though she generally trusts no one, Tracy believes Brad’s story and decides she can help him.

The situation for Mindy is desperate and Brad makes it clear to Tracy that his stepfather is a vile human with no regard for anyone but himself.  He has hurt Mindy before and most recently stolen her and hidden her away in Winfield.  According to Brad, the only way to get Mindy back is to take her.  In no time flat and with the sparest of clues, Tracy and Brad find Mindy and formulate a plan to get her back.  Tracy signs on as a baby sitter and Brad will simply slip in, take Mindy and leave Tracy tied up so she is in no way to blame.  After all, what crime is being committed?  Brad is simply taking back his baby sister, right?  As you might have already suspected, things are not as they seem and a does a kidnapping plan ever really go as planned?  In the shortest of order the plan completely falls apart and Tracy finds herself caught up in a mess that now involves a shotgun, a trapped father, a kidnapped child that may or may not be Mindy, and a young boy who is on the verge of total meltdown.

The Bottom Line: Though I found The Twisted Window to be an interesting and well-written story, there was nothing about it that really made me feel overly-excited or smitten with this read.  The plot is not overly complicated, the pacing is steady, Brad’s story is both heartbreaking and interesting and, Tracy, once she comes to her senses becomes a far stronger character.  And yet, even with all of this and a kidnapping, I still found The Twisted Window to be only a mediocre read.

Links to find/buy The Twisted Window:

Amazon      Barnes & Noble

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