Published: November 22, 2011 by NexGate Press
Get your own: Amazon
Format: eBook, Paperback
Synopsis from Goodreads
From the author of REUNION, an Amazon #1 bestselling supernatural thriller!Detective Rick Burns is far from normal. Yeah, he’s smart, and he has a keen eye, but he is tormented from his past. After a series of personal tragedies, the pain that Rick has held inside is about to spill out.Rick’s wife left him after the death of their son, he’s in love with the one woman he can’t have, and he’s investigating a slew of unsolved, gruesom murders. When a creepy boy begins “haunting” the detective, his life starts spinning out of control. He doesn’t know if he’s seeing things, going crazy, or if he’s the killer.But the boy knows. He’s knows Rick. And he knows the maniacal serial killer who’s preying on domestic abusers. In an attempt to unearth the murderer, the boy ushers Rick into a terrifying chase where reality and the supernatural are blurred, nearly costing him his life, his love, and his reputation.The question is, will Rick finally find the peace he’s been looking for, or does fate have something else in store for the detective?Find out in Book 1 of the Twisted Series by Jeff Bennington.
When I was scrolling through my twitter feed a while back, a tweet from @TweetTheBook caught my attention, mentioning that Jeff Bennington’s latest book, Twisted Vengeance, was available for free download from Amazon.com. I’d read and reviewed Jeff’s supernatural thriller Reunion for this blog. I really enjoyed that book, so add my previous pleasant experience with his writing and the chance to get a free copy from Amazon, and wham-o, I’m there.
You think this is just a typical depressed detective meets serial killer story at first…
Rick hasn’t had a charmed life–his mother has been in a nursing home since she fell down the basement stairs when he was a kid, his all-star, hot shot detective older brother was shot and killed two years earlier, his wife left him after their son died, and he’s in love with his sister-in-law (even though he promised his brother that he would never let her marry a cop). His elderly father sticks around the police department as a janitor years after he retired from the force because he wants to watch over his remaining son. As his life seems to get worse while he can’t solve these serial killings of domestic abusers where not even the smallest shred of evidence is left behind, he wallows in self pity and sinks further into depression until a boy pops up out of nowhere to help with the case. And the boy, Benji is mysterious, slippery, and knows way more than anyone should know about the murders–even ones that happened long before the boy was born.
Great crime scenes that don’t glance over the details or emotions
Being able to craft a crime scene into words where there isn’t too much or too little gore, the scene is too clinical or void of emotion is a hard thing to get right. Jeff Bennington was able to hit the right blend in Twisted Vengeance. The murders were gripping and real enough for you to picture everything while packing the right emotional punch.
Don’t let the past keep you down.
Rick spends a good chunk of the book living in the past–not taking the next step with his ex-sister-in-law Stella even though they love each other because of his promise to his dead brother is the prime example. But he seems like he’s just going through the motions of living, not really “being” in the present because it simply hurts too much. And he realizes all of this when it’s almost too late.
Supernatural power can lurk where you least expect it…
Who or what is Benji? Is he a ghost, a helpful boy that needs to stay hidden, or a ticking time bomb waiting to explode? Or all of the above? The big twist towards the end really surprised me because it went back and forth so much. Sometimes evil lurks in the most unexpected places, and it can be more manipulative and pent up than you might know.
Twisted Vengeance is an unpredictable paranormal horror/thriller crime novel. While the first half of the book was paced a little slow, once the paranormal aspects kicked in and you were really left guessing, it kicked into high gear until the fast paced ending. While I personally didn’t like the hand Rick is dealt in the end, it did fit the book perfectly and set things up nicely for a second book in this series.