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Hard Twisted

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  253 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
In May of 1934, outside of Hugo, Oklahoma, a homeless man and his thirteen-year-old daughter are befriended by a charismatic drifter, newly released from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. The drifter, Clint Palmer, lures father and daughter to Texas, where the father, Dillard Garrett, mysteriously disappears, and where his daughter Lucile begins a one-year o ...more
Hardcover, First, 304 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA (first published January 1st 2012)
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Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Dec 23, 2012 Lori L (She Treads Softly) rated it really liked it
Hard Twisted by C. Joseph Greaves is an impressive fictional account of the real people Clint Palmer and Lottie Garrett. It is 1934 when 13 year old Lottie and her father, Dillard, meet Clint, a charming drifter, they both end up moving to Texas with him where Dillard suddenly disappears and Lottie is essentially kidnapped and left to depend on Clint, a psychopathic killer and sexual predator, during a year long ordeal. The narrative is told from Lottie's point of view as she and Clint end up tr ...more
very nice dust bowl noir, reminiscent of thompson Pop. 1280 and thompson and franklin Smonk among others. so desperatly poor folks, looking for a solution or at least a square meal perhaps let their hunger twist right and wrong, and if you eat when you are hungry, what's wrong with that, even if you have to hoodwink, rob, murder, for your beans. so pyschopath, his 13 year old "wife", and on the lam, end up in evertt ruess country, herding sheep, of all things. Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Myst ...more
Oct 08, 2014 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 1934, and 13 year old Lottie Garrett and her father run into Clint Palmer, charismatic and seductive, but bad through and through. Palmer convinces them to join him as he travels to Texas, but after several misadventures he informs Lottie that her father has left town and that they should do likewise, in order to meet up with him.

Alongside this history is the evidence Lottie is giving in a case against Clint Palmer for murder.

These are the two main threads of the story, both heading towards
Jul 13, 2013 Jeri rated it it was amazing
On vacation in Durango, CO, this summer. Any small town with a book store is a great small town, and I spent some time in Marie's Bookshop, talking to staff members. When I travel west I look for western literature. The staff member directed me to a number of authors and books unfamiliar to me, but she kept coming back to Hard Twisted by Joseph Greaves. I'm glad she twisted my arm. This is a fictionalized account of a true story of kidnapping and murder in the 1930's, ranging from New Mexico, to ...more
Laura Zimmerman
Jan 21, 2013 Laura Zimmerman rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me by my fiance, who won it in a Goodreads drawing. He highly recommended it and I will pay it forward by offering my review and recommendation here.

Hard Twisted is the story of 13-year-old Lottie and her father, two people just barely scraping by in the 1930's. They have a chance encounter with Clint, who unbeknownst to Lottie and her father, has a less-than-savory past. Initially, Clint appears to be able to offer Lottie experiences that her own father can't offer
Rob Slaven
Feb 22, 2013 Rob Slaven rated it really liked it
As usual I received this book from GoodReads as part of a giveaway. Also as usual, despite the very kind and generous consideration of getting a free book, I give my candid opinions below.

Hard Twisted is a wonderfully dark, gritty and true-to-life portrait of a young girl fallen in with the wrong crowd in the 1930s west. She is taken on a forced trip from town to town, one step ahead of the law until.... the ultimate resolution which I will not be so unkind as to reveal.

Greaves' novel combines s
Stephen Campbell
Oct 19, 2013 Stephen Campbell rated it it was amazing
Hard Twisted, by C. Joseph Greaves, is the riveting tale of a young girl and an amoral older man set during the depression era. The story takes place in desolate small towns, camps and outposts in the southwest and west and is told through a combination of trial transcripts and through the eyes of the different characters in the story.

The book is a work of fiction, but it's based on actual events. The author's haunting writing style lays out the story slowly and the horror of the events the boo
Sep 14, 2015 Anke rated it it was ok
oud Amerikaanse schrijfstijl en soms zeer onduidelijk door gebrek aan namen (he did this. maar wie "he" is). ook doordat er " ontbraken en nog andere redenen. verhaal opzich was wel zeer goed, maar moeilijk om te doorgronden.
Melissa Stacy
Sep 07, 2014 Melissa Stacy rated it really liked it
This novel is advertised as "a chilling tale of survival and redemption" and as "the intensely personal story of a young girl's coming of age." Neither claim is true, and if you pick up this book assuming the jacket copy is accurately portraying what you'll find in this novel, you'll be sadly disappointed, or perhaps incredibly frustrated. But if you put aside the false advertising, and evaluate the story for what it is, the frustration and disappointment disappear.

"Hard Twisted" is an artistic
Mary Cokenour
Sep 19, 2015 Mary Cokenour rated it liked it
Living in the area where this all happened, it was an interesting read due to the historical content. However, I found the writing itself to be too simplistic, as if the author was toning it down for those who had a basic reading skill.

With Lottie, at first I pitied what was happening to her; as the story progressed though, I felt she became a willing participant, not the victim of "Stockholm Syndrome" as some have thought. It was the conversations with the prosecuting attorney that showed an un
Feb 12, 2013 Vashtaylamiria rated it liked it
Greaves writes very descriptively of the Depression and the historical figures associated with it. What he seems to lack is an empathy for his own characters. This makes sense since he was a lawyer and parts of the book are written in trial format. It is a bit too harsh for me but then again that reflects the time it is supposed to be depicting! I can see why it won an award for historical novel however the main characters of Lucille, Dillard Garrett are not fleshed out enough for me. The ruthle ...more
The Great Depression is one of those eras in history that has been depicted in books and movies over and over again. Perhaps it's the obvious case of the more dire the circumstances in which people must find a way to survive, the more opportunity there is to explore those extremes, to consider how it is that the best and worst in people can emerge at times of great distress. It's also a period that lends itself to a certain style of cinematic portrayal, dark, dirty, deprived, depressed, it's har ...more
Hmm....This happens with a lot of novels, I've been noticing: they start out with force, a distinctive voice, an intriguing story and characters, then stall. The plot isn't the problem but whatever inspired the author to put these story and characters together--whatever world he wanted to invoke. He doesn't entirely.
"Hard Twisted" mixes the 1930s outlaw story (a la Bonnie and Clyde) with "Lolita." The love between the girl Lottie and her "protector"-abductor Palmer is occasionally touching. It
Nov 19, 2013 Shawn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers of fiction.
I really liked Hard Twisted; it's a cross between Egan, The Worst Hard Time (a great book about the 30s Dust Bowl) and when Zach De La Rocha in Rage Against the Machine sings, The Ghost of Tom Joad, because there are so many levels going on here.
In real life, the author found some skulls lying in the desert, and then after years of research, he based this book on his retelling of the facts of a 1935 murder case.
Mostly, this story is the story of the life of a young woman. In that sense, it remin
I liked this book- if it were possible to give a 3.5 stars, I would. C. Joseph Greaves is a talented writer, and I had never heard an account of the true story this book is based on.

The only thing I really felt lacking was the exploration of the feelings the characters had for each other. In the end, the heroine gives testimony against her captor, with whom she had conceived and lost a child. Was she kidnapped? Held against her will? Did she love him? None of that really ever felt very clear to
Dec 08, 2012 Walt rated it liked it
Recommended to Walt by: GOODREADS
RECEIVED FREE FROM GOODREADS. this impressive fictional recounting of Depression-era drifter Clint Palmer's real-life killing spree, told largely from the limited perspective of his 13-year-old girlfriend, Lottie Lucile Garret. Soon after the homeless Lottie meets him on the road in Oklahoma, her father disappears, and Lottie finds herself traveling alone with Clint through the American Southwest, gradually realizing that the ex-con is not just a charismatic, amoral hustler but a murderous psych ...more
Holly White
Jan 29, 2016 Holly White rated it liked it
The writing style in this novel took some getting used to. The author does not use quotation marks to establish dialogue between characters. Once I got used to the flow of the writing it was a quick read, and a fairly interesting story. However, this book was written in a very matter-of-fact way, without much emotion or depth of character. For that reason I found it to be a bit bland and give a 3 star rating.
Jessica Walker - Stier
Oct 20, 2013 Jessica Walker - Stier rated it really liked it
I'm a descendant of the men who were killed in Utah. I read this book, knowing it was fiction but very interested to put some kind of face to my great, great grandfather's murderer. I think Greaves did a fine job of creating that face. I enjoyed that the story surrounded Lottie's journey and that the story didn't really focus on Palmer's crimes.
After ruminating for a day about what I read, I've been wondering if this really was who Lottie was. It's nice to think of her as a naive, sweet, little
Mark Bailey
Jul 11, 2015 Mark Bailey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: torrey
Great tour of the land and culture of the Southwest during the depression. Results in a compelling possible answer of who killed Everett Ruess. The sexual predator and murderer Clint Palmer who is fictionalized here is as likely the hand of the demise of Ruess as any explanation out there.
I thought the writing was great, but the stylistic choice to do without quotation marks was aggravating. This sort of thing isn't new to me, but it can be extremely tedious to untangle dialogue from third-person narration.
Jun 09, 2013 Charmain rated it really liked it
Disturbing story based on real-life events that played out in America's dusty Four Corners area in 1934-5.

Excellent writing, although at times Lottie and Palmer's endless travelling becomes tedious. As a non-American reader I struggled with some of the references, and I really didn't enjoy the lack of quote marks to indicate dialogue.

But that was all I didn't like. America in the Great Depression was a harsh place and my heart broke for Lottie - simultaneously cowed and innocent - and her suffe
Oct 07, 2013 Janet rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from Goodreads First Reads giveaway. This book was a little strange for me. The writing was different than anything I had read before. But since I had recently taken a road trip through Monument Valley, Mexican Hat, Blanding and through southern Colorado, the events really hit home with me. The setting and places in the book were very vivid in my mind. The story was very intriguing. I also agree with some of the other reviewers. It is not a "start and stop" book. The tone lo ...more
Jun 17, 2013 Prudence rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Set in rural America during the 1920's, it is a cruel tough coming of age story told through the eyes of a 13 year old girl. The author draws you a precise picture of the landscape with his words, and captures their soul with finely tuned dialogue. It kept me riveted. Complex and heart-breaking. From the beginning I was concerned for Lottie's well being and amazed at how manipulative Clint could be. This is based on a true story of a psychotic murderer an ...more
The author was a trial lawyer, so this book is written in a way that you need to use more brain power to comprehend what is happening. Not everything is spelled out for you and if you add to it the change of the main character names, it makes it harder to scan if you don’t have a lot of time, but still want to know how the story ends.

For those who oppose language and situations true to the characters and time, you might not appreciate the story as much. With that being said, it is a great read
Carol Feldman
This book only caught my eye because it was set in Oklahoma. I started it, not really expecting anything and assumed I would put it down quickly. However, based on a true story from the thirties, this fictional account is so well-researched, so well-written that I read it almost without a break. (I did not realize it was based on truth until I read the author's notes at the end - which just made what I thought was simply fiction just that much better.) I knew so many of these character types fro ...more
Steven Howes
Jan 07, 2013 Steven Howes rated it really liked it
This book started a bit slowly but turned out to be an enjoyable and exciting read. It became even more interesting after reading the author's notes at the end of the book and finding out that most of it is true. The book is a fictionalized account of an actual murder kidnapping case that took place during the 1930's.

One fact that was particularly interesting to me was the potential relationship of this case to the disappearance of Everett Ruess, a young artist and explorer who was never found.
Bessie James
Jan 14, 2013 Bessie James rated it it was amazing
Based on a true story from the dirty thirties, this fictional account is so well-researched, so well-written that I recommend it highly. It concerns the crimes of one Clint Palmer and the young girl that he abducted/coerced into travelling with him throughout the west on his crime spree. Even though it is a fictionalization of their travels, it has the ring of truth throughout. You can easily imagine yourself as thirteen year old Lottie, hard-scrabble poor, alone with this psychotic killer. A ma ...more
Yvette Jaczina
Jul 25, 2014 Yvette Jaczina rated it liked it
I found this book is disturbing I just couldn't enjoy the read, not up until,the last third or so. Learning more about the crimes that this fiction account was based on, only after reading it, I wish I had done so prior. Gave it a bit more context and may have increased my fascination and balanced the disturbing elements a bit. For me this was a story if power and lack of. I would recommend it.
May 24, 2013 Alene rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, history
A very interesting read, historical fiction on an outlaw and the girl he kidnapped / coerced into staying with him on the run for about a year across a number of states and the murder of one very old and very highly revered sheriff and his son in Utah's John's Canyon. I want to know more about the real case, but it was back in the 1930's and very much of the story is speculation, so I liked reading this book and forming a picture of what it was like then and how it could have all possibly happen ...more
Karl Kastorf
Feb 16, 2013 Karl Kastorf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thai is a tersely written and bleak book; references to Cormac McCarty are correct. The author draws sharp and interesting characters. The descriptions of the Four Corners area are colorful, but the listing of so many place names is tedious . You know the story will end badly but you just keep on reading because the prose is clear and the characters sharply drawn.

The failure to use quotation marks disturbs the flow of the prose.
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See also Chuck Greaves

Charles Joseph Greaves is an honors graduate of both the University of Southern California and Boston College Law School who spent 25 years as a Los Angeles trial lawyer before turning his attention to fiction.

HARD TWISTED (Bloomsbury), Chuck's debut historical/true-crime novel, was called "a taut and intriguing thriller" (London Sunday Times) and "a gritty, gripping read, an
More about C. Joseph Greaves...

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