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The Twisted Thread

3.17  ·  Rating Details ·  814 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
When beautiful but aloof Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room one spring morning, prestigious Armitage Academy is shaken to its core. Everyone connected to school, and to Claire, finds their lives upended, from the local police detective who has a personal history with the academy, to the various faculty and staff whose lives are immersed in the daily rituals ass ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2011)
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this book is fine. it is another one of those secret history knockoffs i can't seem to get enough of, even though they are usually underwhelming.

this is a multi-perspective novel, where a bunch of characters are allowed to discover different elements of the background story of a young rich girl found murrrrrderrrrred in her boarding-school dorm room, where she has recently given birth to a secret baby. but where is the baby?? who's its daddy? how did she die? what dark secrets does this school
Megan (the
Aug 13, 2012 Megan (the rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May I begin by saying wow? The Twisted Thread exceeded my every expectation; from plot to characters, this book is spot on. I have to say that I’m not usually a big fan of mysteries (sure I went through a Joanne Fluke faze, but that was more about the cookies than the murders). The Twisted Thread, however, does not emphasis the “murder mystery” aspect so much as the impact that the murder has on the lives of the people involved with Armitage. While the investigation into Claire’s murder does pro ...more
Rachel K
Aug 28, 2011 Rachel K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 17, 2011 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlotte Bacon's The Twisted Thread started out so strong for me. The story of a popular teen girl found dead in her room at the prestigious Armitage boarding school, and the mystery of how she died and who took her newborn baby had so much potential, with writing that was so perceptive, such as this:
"Being responsible for the transmission of American literature to four classes of intelligent, slouching adolescents sometimes struck Madeline as a task more ludicrous than ending dependence on for
Originally Posted at All I Ever Read

A book about secret societies? A book about secret societies of girls? A book about secret societies of girls wreaking havoc on those around them? I am so in. Add in a murder of the girl who is rumoured to be the head of said secret society and it should be a great read.

Well, it didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.

The book begins with scatter brained Madeline who now has a new job at the prestigious Armitage boarding school as a teacher, despite being litt
Jun 19, 2012 Neah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw this at a bookstore while on vacation the back had me intrigued. I thought it would be a fun to read and interesting story, but when it came down to it I was plain and simply not a fan of this book. Well let me rephrase, not a fan of the author or the book. Bacon's writing style drove me nuts the entire book. I pretty much only finished out of a need to not have anymore half read books on my shelf. It would be easy to say the problem with this book is... but it's not that simple. I fe ...more
Apr 05, 2014 Darin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Intrigued by the publisher's comparison to Donna Tartt's The Secret History, I prepared myself for a letdown and that's what I received. The remote connection between The Twisted Thread and The Secret History is that they both involve murder at a prestigious New England school. But where Donna Tartt takes her novel into the exploration of the human capacity for evil with believable, captivating characters, Charlotte Bacon delivers a run-of-the-mill murder mystery complete with stale writing, end ...more
A fancy private school. A student murdered. We jump into this mystery through the character of Madeline, a first year teacher at Armitage Academy in New England. Her relationship with the deceased Claire, an aloof senior, was shallow enough that she has no idea of what could've possibly happened - and she's not the only one that's anxious to know how and why a privileged and brilliant girl could end up dead in her dorm room.

I hate having any details of a mystery divulged, so I won't say any more
2.5 Stars
The Twisted Thread offers promising snippets for a murder mystery wrought with scandal but fails to serve up the excitement and suspense that most readers seek from the genre. Barrages of characters are introduced in the beginning and keep on coming. Details are given in a redundant fashion, which only adds to the confusion of mentally managing characters. Each character comes with a background and appears to have equal weight and importance, which can be a unique writing structure, but
May 09, 2012 Maryellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first started running I didn't like it. Over time I've come to absolutely, positively love the part of my day when I put on my pink running shoes and forget the rest of the world. This is how I feel about this book. At first I couldn't get into it. About the only thing I could relate to is that the main character, Madeline Christopher, is a runner. By the middle of the book I was invested. By the end of the book I was charging toward the finish line.

This story is a murder mystery taking
Esther Walker
Jul 22, 2013 Esther Walker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book as a beach read to discuss with others on the trip. It was very slow to start and finally at about page 60 we thought that the book would get interesting. The book however never really seems to climax. It is very predicable and one member of our group was able to determine who had murdered the student within the first 20 pages. The author takes great time to develop the characters but there is just not enough action to really hold ones interest. I struggled to finish the bo ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Kaarin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Murder mystery that takes place at a rich prep school. The author does a good job setting up the story, building the characters, revealing information bit by bit. Technically it is done quite well. However, she brings up very difficult issues - discrimination due to sexual preference, abortion, child pornography, possible sexual assault of a minor - without actually talking about them. As a reader I don't have to know all of the horrible details about any of those topics, but the author has the ...more
Mindy Beck
Aug 04, 2016 Mindy Beck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the read and would give it a 4.5 star rating. Plenty of characters to share their perspective on the events at hand. Everyone seemed to fit into the plot line. I didn't give it the full 5 because the ending felt rushed. All the ground work was laid and then a little twist that you didn't see coming and then full speed ahead to the ending.
Mar 01, 2015 Connie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good book. It took me awhile to get into it, but once I did it was okay. I thought it dragged a bit, especially at the end, but overall it was okay.
Sep 09, 2011 Tara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only read this book because it was compared to the secret history by donna tartt......someone must have smoking crack....... fail.
Alison Hardtmann
Nov 21, 2016 Alison Hardtmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
This is, on the surface, a murder mystery set at a prestigious boarding school. Told from several viewpoints, from a steady maintenance man to the cop who was once a student at the school, the story ties together to paint a picture of privilege and loneliness, of arrogance and desperation.

Claire Harkness symbolized everything about Armitage Academy; beautiful and clever, she's won early admittance to an Ivy League college. She's the leader of a secretive group of popular, wealthy girls and her p
Rosemary Adams
Oct 28, 2016 Rosemary Adams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good mystery with many well-developed characters. Enjoyed this book very much!
At Armitage, a high school for the extremely wealthy and privileged, a murder has just taken place. It seems that one of the most popular and influential students, Claire Harkness, has been found dead in her dormitory and there are no obvious suspects. But that’s not even the half of it, for when Claire’s body is discovered, it soon becomes apparent that she had given birth just a few days prior to the murder. In addition to having kept her pregnancy a secret in the close boarding school atmosph ...more
Dec 15, 2016 Tina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boring, slow and rambling. Not much action AT ALL.
Lindsay Heller
I actually really liked this book and I had a hard time with the rating. I liked it better than a three but that's probably not proportionate to what it deserves. This book is right up my alley; academic setting, secrets, dead girl, and a vivacious young teacher to latch onto, but it had some major flaws that I couldn't quite reconcile with a four star rating.

On a regular morning at the end of the school year at the prestigious Armitage Academy alpha girl Claire Harkness is found dead in her do
Mar 27, 2011 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's often fascinating reading about the rich, as many of us aspire to having more and we just presume that the rich are so much better off in their elite society. A little slice of life with insight into the elite presented in THE TWISTED THREAD begs to differ. We see into the world of privileged children attending a mythical boarding school, Armitage Academy, in New England. The reader is introduced to Claire Harkness and she remains a character throughout the book even though she has been mur ...more
If you love books featuring boarding schools then here’s a perfect twist to THE TWISTED THREAD: it’s from the viewpoint of the faculty and staff, instead of the students. THE TWISTED THREAD is an atmospheric and enthralling mystery that grabbed me from the first chapter.

THE TWISTED THREAD takes place in the wealthy town of Armitage in Massachusettes. Armitage is a quaint, quiet town which usually doesn’t have any crime, unlike the factory town of Greenville that borders Armitage to the north.

Apr 15, 2012 Vox rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do enjoy a good mystery, and while Charlotte Bacon's Twisted Thread is not, say, Harlan Coben, it is entertaining and captivating.

Rich, beautiful, mysterious and apparently bitchy Claire Harkness dies on the cusp of graduating from Armitage Academy, an educational enclave for the scions of the rich and even richer. Claire is no exception. Her death is shocking enough, but what truly stuns the tiny town of Greenville is that Claire recently gave birth, and her baby son is missing.

The story is t
Appears on my blog, Books Most Wanted

I borrowed this ARC from a friend because the synopsis sounded like the type of book I used to read a lot of. A good murder mystery used to be on top of every list I had, but I've gravitated away from that in recent years. This one particularly intrigued me because of the exclusivity of the wealthy school and people involved. You know there's going to be a lot of good "behind-the-scene" information from that alone. Though it promised so much, in the end it ju
The Twisted Thread is not one of my typical reads. Instead, it is an adult murder mystery that intrigued me when I first read the description of it. I decided to request it from the publisher after seeing an ad in a Shelf Awareness newsletter. I was glad I did. As it turns out, I do like a good mystery every now and again.

When the story opens, Madeline, an intern at the prestigious Armitage Academy, returns from her run to be greeted with the news that Claire, a girl from her own dorm, has just
Jun 06, 2011 Lawral marked it as read-but-unowned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2011
The Twisted Thread follows English teacher intern Madeline, art teacher Fred, detective Matt, and facilities handyman Jim as they each play their parts trying to unravel how the unthinkable has happened at the prestigious Armitage Academy. They start with Claire's death and the disappearance of her baby and work their way backwards through Claire's actions and motives to figure out what really happened. Following four different narrators was a bit challenging in the beginning, while I was still ...more
The Twisted Thread is the story of Madeline Christopher, a twenty-something teaching intern at the prestigious Armitage Academy, a New England boarding school. In the novel’s expository opening we get to hear all about Madeline’s education and lack of job prospects, her prickly relationship with her mother (who apparently suggested Madeline get some Botox), her equally prickly relationship with her older sister, Kate (an Armitage graduate and the reason Madeline has this job at all), and her tho ...more
Stephanie Ward
Summary: When beautiful but aloof Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room one spring morning, prestigious Armitage Academy is shaken to its core. Everyone connected to school, and to Claire, finds their lives upended, from the local police detective who has a personal history with the academy, to the various faculty and staff whose lives are immersed in the daily rituals associated with it. Everyone wants to know how Claire died, at whose hands, and more importantly, where the baby that s ...more
Bethany Larson
The Twisted Thread is a murder mystery of the calm variety. Nothing necessarily sneaks up on you, you aren't wracking your brain trying to figure out who-done-it, nor are you ever sitting with a pit in your stomach because of the incredible suspense. Instead, the story unfolds quietly, and when the facts are all finally presented at the end, you find yourself relieved to know what happened and ready to move on.

Although I liked how the story played out, I found it very slow-paced. I think it's ju
Jade Eby
Sep 09, 2011 Jade Eby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements

The Good: One of the things I really liked about this novel was the setting. It takes place at a prep school, and the author gives great descriptions of the settings that I can totally imagine Armitage in my head. I enjoyed Madeline, one of the main characters. I love that the author placed a "normal" adult around the privileged, over-educated teachers that surrounded the school. I thought the way the girls and their relationships with each
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I first started writing when I was a counselor in a halfway house after college and I had a colleague who always wrote, "Things just fine," in the log we used to track the states of mind of our clients. Given that they were all chronically mentally ill, 'things just fine' was a bit misleading. I started trying to use the small space we had to capture what I saw and discovered the power of clear de ...more
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