My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Not for the faint of heart, Jeff Bennington’s ‘Twisted Vengeance’ is a brilliantly crafted tale of deep passions and haunting pasts. It’s these elements that introduce a riveting plot of paranormal twists with well developed characters. This is ultimately a battle of good versus an unknown and seemingly unstoppable evil. Clear some time in your schedule because once Rick starts the hunt, you won’t want to put this book down.
Rick is a prisoner of the ghosts of his past but he is forced to face them in order to stop a serial killer. Still clinging to the grief from his brother’s murder two years earlier, Rick will try to live up to Roger’s legacy as a great detective as he follows a twisted path of mangled bodies and no evidence. Rick works the only angle he can find, a mysterious little boy who apparently only he can see. It’s this little boy who brings Rick closer and closer to the source of these brutal murders, putting the detective in grave danger. As he peels back the layers of deception, Rick must look deep to find himself and separate reality from illusion if he’s to survive and put an end to a serial killer bent on exercising its twisted vengeance.
What I love most about Bennington’s novel, like all of the great ones, is that it gives you a lot to think about while also being highly entertaining. The crux of the issue is how we let our perceptions of the past imprison us – hold us back, and how unraveling illusions sometimes reveal a truth we might prefer left hidden. But ultimately it is the truth that can set us free or crush us if we are unable to bear the weight of the revelation. This story also points out the power of passion, the superhuman abilities that it can imbue for good or evil. It’s the manifestation of this passion, borne from horrific violence, which opens the door for evil to touch our reality.
I tend to avoid the supernatural – paranormal novels in favor of fantasy or science fiction so this was my first crack at a paranormal thriller and I am grateful I swallowed down my fear and took the leap. It’s a good mix of detective, paranormal, and human spirit. There are more twists and turns than you can count. Bennington did a great job keeping the plot moving without meandering while also keeping you on the edge of your seat without giving anything away. Yes, right up to the very end he’s got you guessing and I loved that about this novel.
Toughest part about the experience was writing a review that is helpful to the reader without giving up any spoilers. Even though it’s not my genre, I love the story – the writing – the characters – and the quality of the messages. This is an easy five stars for me and I hope you take the time to read it for yourself.