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The Twisted Window by Lois Duncan
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The Twisted Window (1987)

by Lois Duncan

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The Twisted Window by Lois Duncan
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3½/5

Life in Winfield, Texas is pretty sedate after having lived her entire life in New York. But, for Tracy Lloyd, sedate is just fine. Following the violent death of her mother and total rejection by her father, Tracy moved to Winfield to live with her aunt and uncle. Each day is the same; Tracy wakes up, goes to school, stays out of the mix and walks slowly home so as to avoid interaction with her aunt and uncle. For totally understandable reasons, Tracy has avoided getting close to anyone since the death of her mother.

Brad Johnson is new to Winfield but making friends is the least of his concerns. Brad is single-mindedly focused on one goal and one goal only, enlisting Tracy Lloyd to help him get his little sister back. For two days Brad has watched Tracy, talked to her and determined the best way to get her help is just to come right out with the story and hope for the best. And so, on a park bench near her home, Brad explains to Tracy that his baby sister, Mindy has been stolen from his mother by her ex-husband and brought to Winfield. His mother is devastated and the police won’t help so Brad has done the only thing he can, left home to get his little sister. Though she generally trusts no one, Tracy believes Brad’s story and decides she can help him.

The situation for Mindy is desperate and Brad makes it clear to Tracy that his stepfather is a vile human with no regard for anyone but himself. He has hurt Mindy before and most recently stolen her and hidden her away in Winfield. According to Brad, the only way to get Mindy back is to take her. In no time flat and with the sparest of clues, Tracy and Brad find Mindy and formulate a plan to get her back. Tracy signs on as a baby sitter and Brad will simply slip in, take Mindy and leave Tracy tied up so she is in no way to blame. After all, what crime is being committed? Brad is simply taking back his baby sister, right? As you might have already suspected, things are not as they seem and a does a kidnapping plan ever really go as planned? In the shortest of order the plan completely falls apart and Tracy finds herself caught up in a mess that now involves a shotgun, a trapped father, a kidnapped child that may or may not be Mindy, and a young boy who is on the verge of total meltdown.

The Bottom Line: Though I found The Twisted Window to be an interesting and well-written story, there was nothing about it that really made me feel overly-excited or smitten with this read. The plot is not overly complicated, the pacing is steady, Brad’s story is both heartbreaking and interesting and, Tracy, once she comes to her senses becomes a far stronger character. And yet, even with all of this and a kidnapping, I still found The Twisted Window to be only a mediocre read. ( )
  arthistorychick | Dec 26, 2013 |
I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and author through Netgalley for an exchange of an honest review. That in no way has influenced my review. **

We are first introduced to Tracey Lloyd a thirteen year old who just recently moved to New Mexico from New York to live with her Aunt and Uncle due to the recent murder of her actress mother. Her father who is an Actor too is too busy filming his next movie to have time to raise her.

Then we met Brad the "supposed" new kid at Tracey's school who just came from Texas. Brad is looking at girls in the high school to try to find the "right one". My first opinion on this way, stalker, rapist? And of course all of this made me more interested in the story because I am a sick and twisted person I love those types of books. However, I soon discovered the real reason for Brad trying to find a girl and found out this book is all about family and relationships.

Brad has asked Tracey for her help in trying to locate Brad's little sister, Mindy, who was kidnaped by his stepfather. Tracey soon agrees after feeling sorry for Brad and they try to hatch a little plan to get Mindy back.

Throughout the book you can Tracey can tell that something is not adding up with Brads story. She is not sure if she should call the cops, call his parents what to do. However, of course Brad has a perfectly good explanation for all of Tracey's objections. Tracey ends up being the babysitter to the little girl Mindy. The plan goes wrong the father comes home because he forgot movie tickets. Brad comes in with a gun and take Mindy and Tracey. Tracey soon learns that the boy she ran away with might also be a psychopath and the little girl Mindy may or may not be who Brad said she is.

The book is a great page-turner. I really enjoyed it but hated the ending.. it felt rushed and them BAM over….
That is why it got a 3 star instead of a 4 star. ( )
  sareiner | Jun 24, 2013 |
3 1/2 stars.

Once I realised that this book was first published in 1988, everything fell into place. It just had that sort of feel about it. It's hard to explain quite why, but it lacked the subtleties of some modern Young Adult novels. This was not one that I felt crossed over for adult reading as many YA books do now. Although this version has been updated to allow for modern technology, such as mobile phones, they didn't seem to be an integral part of the characters' lives as they would be today. Also, Brad's use of a gun to get what he wanted, seemed a bit excessive.

Tracy Lloyd is thirteen and has recently lost her actress mother who was murdered. Her father spends much of his time away on film sets and has sent Tracy to live with her aunt and uncle. This has necessitated a change of town and schools and she has become a bit of a loner.
Brad Johnson has come from another state. He spots her from a distance and feels drawn to her. He needs help to locate his baby sister who he suspects may be with his step-father in Winfield.
Although Tracy has avoided contact with other boys, she goes against her better judgment and decides to help Brad. She is angry with her father for sending her away and sympathises with Brad in his anger against his step-father.
There follow several twists and turns, some more believable than others. Not everything is as it initially seems.
The ending was quite well done but did leave some issues unresolved.

I loved the author's biography at the end, with photographs of her as she grew up and of her growing family. This was a lovely touch. ( )
  DubaiReader | Dec 30, 2012 |
The Twisted Window is a story about Brad Johnson and Tracy Lloyd. Brad has traveled to Texas from New Mexico in order to track down his baby sister Mindy, who has been kidnapped by his stepfather. Enrolling Tracy in his plan to get her back and bring her home, the two teenagers come together to help Brad's family become reunited.

The beginning was strange for me, with Brad looking over girls in a high school to find "the right one" for his plan. However, after all that was over, I was automatically interested in his story. The main theme of the book is about relationships between families, and I quickly got sucked into the characters' lives and their family troubles. Tracy, especially, has an interesting background and her relationship with her relatives play quite a big role in framing what happens throughout the story.

The main characters' stories were what got me through this book -- much of the plot was over-the-top. I was more frustrated with the side characters than anything. I can't say much at risk of revealing the big twist, but I'm not sure how Brad actually gets the opportunity to kidnap his sister. A lot of the major plot points had issues in believability for me, which kind of turned me off the whole story. I do recommend The Twisted Window more for middle-grade readers than for older people. It is too undeveloped to be a very satisfying read to most adults and even older teenagers. There are a lot of unresolved issues at the end, especially in regards to Tracy and her relationship with her aunt, uncle, and father.

This particular edition has some edits made to help it fit in with the newer generation (the use of cell phones and other updated technology). Overall, these worked great, but there was one time where the CD player suddenly became a cassette player.

However, the twist at the end is very good. I didn't start suspecting that something like that was coming until quite late in the book, so it was a nice surprise. Overall, it's a fast read and great if you're looking for a quick suspenseful story.

*I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.* ( )
  sedelia | Dec 26, 2012 |
"there are lots of spoilers online for this book-watch out for those-I've purposely not talked about any bit of the plot"
read more: http://likeiamfeasting.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/twisted-window-lois-duncan.html ( )
  mongoosenamedt | Oct 19, 2012 |
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For my son-in-law Kenneth David Mahrer
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For over ten minutes now, Tracy Lloyd had been watching the boy with the curly hair watching her.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440201845, Mass Market Paperback)

What does he want with her?



Tracy Lloyd can feel handsome Brad Johnson watching her.  He's not a student at her school. He doesn't even live in Winfield. But Brad has plans for Tracy...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Tracy, a high school junior, becomes embroiled in the problems of a strange boy, who asks her assistance in "snatching" his half-sister from her father who has allegedly kidnapped her.

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