Author’s note: This article originally appeared on Online Book Club using my pen name as Rinoa469.
I’ve been saying that I love the C/M/S/T (Crime / Mystery / Suspense / Thriller) genre more than the others. So when I saw the title Twisted Threads, I immediately took it for review. There is something in the title that suggests a suspense thriller sprinkled with plot twists.
The author, Kaylin McFarren, wrote a 6-stanza poem that foreshadows the novel itself.
The story centers on Akira Sato, a geisha turned assassin. After a failed assassination attempt two years ago, Akira receives another assignment. She has to find within ten days who killed Keiko. If successful, Akira will be free from the hands of the yakuza gang leader, Mitsui.
In order to pursue the mission, Akira will be accompanied by Takashi Hamada and they will pretend as a father and daughter in a cruise. Thus, she took the name Akira Hamada.
The novel starts with an epilogue showing a watcher amidst the passengers in the luxurious cruise ship. The watcher gives an impression that he or she could possibly be a villain or a master manipulator who could complicate Akira’s mission which I find intriguing.
Akira finds her possible targets but she needs to be sure who among them killed Keiko. So she befriends Devon, a nephew of Paul Lyons. Paul is married to Sara, a woman who relies so much on her psychiatrist, Dr. Peter Bradshaw.
As the story progresses, we find a romance blooming between Akira and Devon, which puts the stakes higher for our assassin.
Also, the numerous characters unfold as I try to guess who might have killed Keiko in Mexico a few years ago and who is responsible for the mysterious deaths aboard the ship. At the same time, I tried to guess who among the characters the watcher is.
The novel meets my expectation of what a suspense thriller should be. McFarren was able to manage the multiple characters which provide the substantial sub-plots. Despite the multiple characters, I can still root for Akira as the main character.
This novel is the fourth in a series but could stand alone. If there are references to any previous book, I haven’t noticed them as I’m not familiar with the series itself. But then again, as a stand-alone novel, Twisted Threads is impressive. The author also showed her background knowledge of cruises as she is well-traveled which made the story much more credible.
However, I’m going to give this book 4 out of 5 stars because I felt (and this is just my opinion) a little bit of deus ex machina at the end. The character named Tamayo was introduced late in the story and what should be a “big” revelation about her is too short. The way she saved Akira could be justified if Tamayo’s revealed character was played well.
What I didn’t see coming was the revelation of the watcher’s identity at the very end.