Sometimes with a series, the author is comfortable giving readers “the same, but different” with each new book release and that is often satisfying. However, with a character as unique as Brigid Quinn, it is fitting that Becky Masterman does not follow that mold. With A Twist of the Knife – the third book in her series – readers can really get a sense of what Masterman is attempting to do with this grouping of novels.
Becky Masterman’s first novel, Rage Against the Dying, was very much a classic action thriller – albeit, one with an unusual protagonist. This was followed by Fear the Darkness, which was more of a domestic suspense novel. To call the third book in the series a legal thriller would be a bit of a misnomer, but it certainly is more focused on the law aspect of the whole criminal proceeding process and the judgment part of life in general.
When Brigid Quinn’s former colleague, Laura Coleman, reaches out to her for assistance, Brigid is helpless to say no. Laura is now volunteering with a legal group dedicated to helping to free innocent people from Death Row. With the clock ticking, Brigid must work quickly if she is going to help debunk the case against Marcus Creighton – and save the man’s life in the process. The only problem is, maybe he really is guilty.
A Twist of the Knife moves the action from Arizona to Florida, which also allows Brigid to interact with her family there. To say they have a volatile relationship would be an understatement. Pairing this domestic situation with the death penalty case was an inspired decision and at times the juxtaposition of the two make for a beautiful complement.
There are many themes running though A Twist of the Knife, but perhaps the one at the center revolves around the concept of regret. Readers learn how one small decision can affect a whole life – many lives, in fact. Becky Masterman has never been one to present pat answers to complex issues and in this book she steadfastly refuses to do so again – to dramatic effect. This honest and authentic approach is rare these days, but the book is richer because of it. I dare say that I think very few readers will anticipate the depths to which this book will travel and because of that, they will find it impossible to find immunity from the emotional impact upon reaching its conclusion.
The final paragraph of A Twist of the Knife resonates with this reader in a way that many whole books fail to do. It is one of those moments where such a simple and obvious sentiment is presented in a straightforward way – thereby shedding new light and acknowledgment on something we all already know in our hearts.
A Twist of the Knife leaves readers with a yearning to understand how these particular events will change Brigid Quinn moving forward. Which basically means that readers who experience Becky Masterman’s latest novel will almost certainly be back for the next.
Disclaimer: A print ARC of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the author. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.