Janice Hallett is a former magazine editor, award-winning journalist, and government communications writer. She lives in London, is the author of The Appeal and The Twyford Code, and she is happy to have the wool pulled firmly over her eyes by a good book.
I love being totally foxed by a story—that feeling when you know something is awry, but you’re not sure what. Then the penny drops . . . and it’s something entirely different from what you expected.
This love of a good twist filters down into my own novels. My latest, The Twyford Code, is a “cracking” adventure tale, told through automatic transcriptions of voice files made by the irrepressible Steven “Smithy” Smith. Fresh from prison, Smithy investigates a half-forgotten trauma from his youth. His teacher, the charismatic Miss Iles, disappeared on a school trip, and this sent Smithy reeling into a life of crime that eventually landed him behind bars for eleven years. Before she vanished, Miss Iles was convinced a much-maligned children’s author, Edith Twyford, hid coded messages in her books. What was the Twyford Code, and is it still in use today?
Whether there are any unexpected turns in Steve’s story, I can’t possibly say; but I’ve picked six stories below that boast the most fiendish of twists that totally fooled me until the very last chapter—and in some cases the final page.