The Offspring – J.N. Williamson


Eric and Peg live with their ex-senator grandfather in a large, old house in an Indianapolis neighborhood. Their mysteriously ill mother also lives there where she is rarely seen and holes up in her room. And then there is Lynn. Lynn is an unseen “sibling” that their grandfather rescued from the middle east to raise in their home. Eric and Peg have never seen Lynn and their dominating grandfather demands absolute quiet and solitude as he “tudors” the young genius Lynn. Tension slowly builds as anyone that questions Lynn’s existance meet an untimely death or disappearance. The two children try to piece together what is going on before they become the next victims.

The Offspring is a shadowy offering with an interesting premise and lots of Gothic atmosphere that slowly builds to what we think is going to be a big payday of an ending. No such luck. Unfortunately, the ending raises more questions than it answers and ends up being a muddled mess that doesn’t make much sense. Its really too bad because Williamson’s storytelling has always been his biggest strength. In The Offspring, it seemed he had some good ideas that attemtped to grown, but, alas, never bore fruit.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars
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Twisted – Andrew Kaufman

imageDr. Christopher Kellan receives a new patient to evaluate at Loveland Psychiatric Hospital’s Alpha Twelve Ward. One Donnie Ray Smith has been accused of killing 10 young girls and its up to Dr. Kellan to determine if his patient is faking insanity. As he delves deeper into the case, he sustains a minor head injury from an auto accident. He questions how minor the injury was when bizarre things begin to happen around him and his own sanity comes into question.

Twisted becomes a cross between a M. Night Shymalan movie and a Lifetime Network movie. While Andrew Kaufman’s writing style is very good, the story is also very cliched and predictable. While watching Kellan’s mind begin to unravel has its eerie moments, there is very little suspense. This type of story has been done many times and done better. I was hoping that Twisted would have a surprise ending. Alas, no such luck and by the 75% mark, I was simply enduring the story. If you’re into reading tales where the main character may or may not be losing their mind, pick up a Greg Gifune novel to see how it should be done.

3 out of 5 stars
The preceding was based on an eARC obtained through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

TWITTER – @KenMcKinley5