Twisted Wing is a crime/psychological thriller set in Cambridge, England. It tells a story of the thriving city, with its students and academics… and a serial killer. We’re thrown in at the deep end, the headless and heavily mutilated body of a female undergraduate being one of the first things we hear about. It’s the start of a series of bizarre and incredibly unpleasant murders by a killer nicknamed the “Cambridge Butcher,” who appears to be targeting Ariel College students. The students are naturally fearful, and are drawn closer together, making the effort never to be alone, to sleep alone, etc.
But as their friends are picked off, the students also start to wonder if it’s one of their own committing these atrocious crimes. And when Olivia Corscadden is found catatonic and covered in blood at the scene of a murder, psychiatrist Matthew Denison is sure that the identity of the killer is buried somewhere in Olivia’s head. He just has to delve between the many layers of Olivia’s messed-up subconscious in order to unearth the truth. But when he does uncover the truth, will anyone believe him?
Twisted Wing is a captivating book. From the very beginning you’ll find yourself sizing up each of the characters, trying to figure out who the murderer is. However, Newman has carefully weaved this tale with so many twists and turns that you’ll probably change your mind a dozen times before the actual killer is revealed. The book is well-written, but I found the way the timeline jumped around quite confusing at times, which did detract from my enjoyment, as did the sudden appearance of characters whose relevance you were then left to figure out. Overall, I enjoyed Twisted Wing, but the structure could have been better, which is the only thing that prevented it from getting top marks.