People just love to talk about secret societies and conspiracy theories, don’t they? As long as they’ve been lurking in the shadows (or not, depends if you believe in them), they have been the subject of gossip and rumour. They seem to be enjoying something of a resurgence of late, however. Which leads me nicely to the subject of this review, the eBook exclusive book Twist Of Time, written by one Aidan Stonecross.
Don’t bother Wiki-ing him, nothing will come up as the name is a pseudonym. According to the publicist, he is a Emmy-nominated writer for film and screen who lives in the Southern California area. Seeing as I’m not a detective, it falls to someone better at such things than I to deduce who it is (someone with access to lists of Emmy nominees, perhaps). Regardless, he wants his books to have their own identity. Or, reading between the lines, he doesn’t expect them to do too well and/or is on an exclusivity contract.
Twist of Time is concerned with an investigation involving a stolen 700-year-old diary of a Templar knight (which, if released, could blow the collective minds of the world and lead to an ancient treasure, you know the drill), the possibility of reincarnation and a naked, mutilated corpse. Just once, I’d like to see one of these novels where the secret gets out, becomes the flavour of the month and then people stop caring and it just becomes a fact of life (one of those annoying facts that people like me insist on telling everyone else).
The novel is quite funny and gripping, with an unpredictable ending. It’s very sneaky, because what the prose does is carry you along with the utmost seriousness before spinning you a humorous curveball in the form of an aside from one of the characters.
It’s refreshing to see a Templar mystery novel that doesn’t go with the same old Mary Magdalene bloodline stuff made popular by The Da Vinci Code (or ‘The Leonardo Code’ as it should be called). In fact, it’s a brief topic of conversation with some characters arguing against and annoyed at precisely that theory. This one takes on a more supernatural bent, with psychic abilities and possibilities of reincarnation abound.
The book leads into an interesting sequel hook (one that is followed up on, I hope) and features a clichéd villain (acknowledged within the book as being slightly clichéd) bent on expanding his empire. Naturally this diary can help; it just needs translating. And that’s where the main characters come in…
Kate Flynn is a homicide detective who gets drawn into the translating of the diary, which is being done by one Brother Thomas Bardsey of the plot-convenient monastery. Rather hilariously, there is a monk in the book called Brother Guy. I have pledged to call my brother this wherever possible. Naturally, the characters are drawn to each other, forbidden fruit, yadda yadda yadda. Their plot-necessary relationship is perhaps the only bad part of the whole book, which is good to say. One bad apple, as it were.
The book is not yet available on Amazon (the publicist assures me that it will be by May 30th, but you can take a look at the website, the rather nicely titled Definitive Words. I like the fact that they acknowledge the improbability of eBooks replacing the printed word completely, an argument I happen to agree with.