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The Twisted Thread

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3.12 of 5 stars 3.12  ·  rating details  ·  632 ratings  ·  146 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
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,652)
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karen

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
...more
Rachel K
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan (the
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
Darin
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
Charlie
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
...more
Neah
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
Nicole About Town
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
...more
Corinne
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
...more
Diane
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
...more
Maryellen
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
...more
Esther Walker
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
Kaarin
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
Peter Arango
The Twisted Thread (Paperback)
I live and work in a boarding school and am a complete sucker for books presented in that setting. Some have been truly compelling (Jane Eyre, Old School, The Vicar of Justin, The Magicians, A Separate Peace, Never Let Me Go, To Serve Them All My Days, and all of the Harry Potter series). Charlotte Bacon has got it exactly right. The young, slightly unprepared intern, the golden children of privilege, the handsome and charismatic head of school all are appropriately
...more
Tara
I only read this book because it was compared to the secret history by donna tartt......someone must have smoking crack....... fail.
Christie
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
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
...more
Bookworm1858
I saw this on Netgalley and thought why not? I think I thought it was YA and while it does involve teens, it is definitely more adult.

It is set at a prestigious prep school where a young girl is found murdered AND it is discovered that she recently gave birth. Thus we are left wondering who killed her and what happened to her baby? Multiple perspectives from the teachers, administrators, staff, and local police combine to unravel the twisted threads protecting the secrets of the august institute
...more
Marlene
An exclusive preppy boarding school nestled just outside of Greenville in New England, Armitage is home to the privileged and those of intellectual and social prestige. It is certainly not accustomed to scandal and murder investigations. However, when beautiful Claire Harkness is found dead 10 days before summer vacation, end of the year graduation and celebrations transform into inquisitions. Detective Matt Corelli came to Greenville in hopes of tranquility, leaving big city crime behind for a ...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
Katie
First of all, I liked the book and I loved the main character. I think the main problem I had with this book was the misplaced character development. There were such long spaces between the action parts while the author was trying to introduce the characters, I felt the sometimes the focus was on the wrong details and it left me hanging and wanting to skim, and I don't typically like doing that. I feel as though some of the details about how the detective likes his coffee probably could have bee ...more
Freida
Armitage Academy is a boarding school for the privileged. Madeline Christopher is an intern at the school when Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room close to the end of the school year. Madeline is drawn into the investigation by the two groups of Claire’s friends, the privileged and those who are in the school on scholarship. As the adults in the school begin to realize that the students knew and cared for a pregnant Claire that the adults were unaware of the search for who murdered Cl ...more
Screenplaydiva
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.

The
...more
Ann
Wow, if this is what private exclusive boarding schools are like, I am glad I went to a regular public high school! Good mystery-coed with secret birth-baby missing, mother dead and that's the beginning of the novel. This is the mystery that the story centers around, but plenty of other mysteries crop up throughout the book. The story certainly kept my interest although, it was a little bit of an adjustment to jump from one point of view to another. I read many young adult books and had to remi ...more
Jade Eby
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
...more
Patricia
Madeline Christopher has landed a job at Armitage Academy. Armitage is a prestigious school with many traditions but some of the traditions are not common knowledge among the faculty. When Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room, the investigation brings some of these secret traditions to light.

Madeline is one of the first to view Claire’s body and was shocked that it appeared that Claire might have just given birth. Madeline’s intuitions turn out to be accurate but the baby has disappear
...more
Stephanie (Stephs Stacks)
Full review amd more at Steph's Stacks


The Twisted Thread is a sneak peek behind the secret and lies festering at a New England prep school. Madeline is the fish-out-of-water who is not only still trying to figure out her surroundings, but is now thrust in the middle of a murder and missing person investigation.

Claire is your typical (seemingly), beautiful, "popular girl" who has suddenly turned up dead in her dorm room. Not only that, apparently she was secretly pregnant, had just delivered, and
...more
Rich Stoehr
For a story about scandal and the violent death of a young girl, there's something curiously dispassionate and distant about The Twisted Thread - and I believe that this is entirely intentional.

Charlotte Bacon's novel begins with the discovery of a dead girl on the campus of an exclusive private school for high-school age children. Even the description of the body, half-naked and twisted at an unnatural angle, is weirdly clinical, taking the time to philosophize on the American tendency to keep
...more
Taylor Harrison
I haven't read a good murder mystery in a while, so this was definitely intriguing reading. Bacon does a fantastic job of creating believable characters, both within Armitage Academy, and in the surrounding area. Prestige is a recurring theme throughout, and the idea of being privileged allows for some very interesting twists. Bacon was able to create teenage characters seen through the point of view of adults that actually made sense. The difference in dialogue between the young characters and ...more
The Sunday Book Review
Yeah, I liked this book. You know, for the most part. Part of me had some flashbacks of another book dealing with the upper class and a horrific event, which I didn't enjoy. Yet overall, this book was a fun, quick read. The author added many twists - some that I saw coming and others that shocked me well after I read them - which did a good job at keeping the story moving along.

I do have to confess one of the quirks in the book that drove me insane. It seemed like every chapter was written from
...more
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
...more
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