What is this about?: Sammi is a cop in a small town that is determined to see a pedophile brought to justice, even though there’s no evidence or a victim willing to come forward. The thing is, the man in question, was accused of the same crime years ago and tensions are running high now that it looks like he could escape justice again. And Sammi is the one on the case.
What else is this about: This is book two of a series that references book one, in which Sammi was kidnapped and held captive by a serial killer. The references though are about her recovering from her PTSD and the long-term ramifications on her relationship with her boyfriend, Gavin.
Should you read: Definitely. This is a confident novel that explored two very interesting things to me: the long-term ramifications of PTSD and community in a small town.
Blurb: A marked man. A damaged cop. A town full of secrets.
After her abduction and near death at the hands of a sadistic killer, Constable Samantha Willis is back in the uniform. Despite being on desk duty, rumours reach Sammi that someone in Angel’s Crossing has been hurting little girls, and before long a mob is gathering to make sure justice is served.
So when a man is found hanging in his shed, the locals assume the pedophile has finally given into his guilt. That is, until Sammi delves further into the death and uncovers a dark family secret, an unsolved crime and a town desperate for vengeance.
So, recently, I’ve become more impatient when I discover a new series and find myself contemplating just how much trouble I’d be in if I just jumped into a series at a different book number that’s not the beginning. Sometimes it backfires spectacularly, but other times I get lucky — and The Twisted Knot is one of those times.
Sammi is a cop in Angel’s Crossing and when the book opens it’s a year after book 1 and her kidnapping by a serial killer. That is really all you need to know about book 1 because this book deals with the aftermath of that event — a year later, Sammi is only just getting past her PTSD and back into a police car with a partner.
That right there is absolutely one of the strengths of this book — Sammi is dealing with her PTSD and it’s affecting her job and her relationship with Gavin, her boyfriend. She knows as much but she can’t help herself and it’s frustrating, but also realistic. It’s also provides a great introduction to the series, without having to read book one, which I want to do anyway!
But on to The Twisted Knot: JM Peace, a cop herself with 15 years of experience, has captured a small town in Australia wonderfully. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else, and in Sammi’s case it means getting accosted in the supermarket by a woman warning here that Pete, the ped(ophile) is at it again — he’s abused another girl. Years before he was accused of the same crime, and his victim committed suicide after, so to say tensions are running high in the small town is an understatement.
And Sammi is one of the cops on the case, trying to find his victim when he’s found dead in his barn. At first glance it’s a suicide, but that’s soon disproven and Sammi finds herself trying to find the killer of the most hated man in town.
At the same time, she’s dealing with being back on the job in a car for the first time and dealing with Gavin, her boyfriend, who wants to join the police force and work with her. For much of the book, there’s a sense of claustrophobia about her relationship with Gavin, as tensions with them escalate and they realise they’re never going to stop dealing with the consequences of her kidnapping.
The strength of JM Peace’s writing is that reading The Twisted Knot, you already feel like you know these characters. It’s a focused book, focused writing with narrative twists — yes, I went there — that pretty made me go stop and go What! in the middle of a train carriage on my way to work.
The Twisted Knot is a solid, captivating second book, that it makes going back to read book one an absolute must!