Lindsay's Reviews > Think Twice

Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline
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's review
Feb 06, 11

bookshelves: i-have-this-book, first-year-of-project
Read in July, 2010


A twin buries her sister in a box in an attempt to assume her identity. This is the premise of Scottoline’s novel, Think Twice.

On Plot
Think Twice is a suspense thriller about a woman named Alice who buries her identical twin sister Bennie alive in order to assume her identity because her life is endangered as a result of involvement in an illegal drug selling scandal.

On Setting – Time and Place
The novel, occurring in the present, is predominantly set in Philadelphia. The setting changes to the Bahamas toward the end, and returns back to Philadelphia. As a native Philadelphian, it is interesting to relate to and visualize the locations Scottoline drops, including the South Philadelphia and Center City backdrop.

On Writing Style
Scottoline creates three emerging stories diverging into one tale by digressing between female third-person narration perspectives. The chapters alternate from discussing the characters Bennie, Alice, and Mary DiNunzio. Throughout the book, the narration changes evenly, but toward the end of the novel the storytelling narrows to the perspectives of the twins. The chapters are short, which is necessary in grabbing and maintaining a reader’s attention. Every chapter ends with a turning point, and this is critical in building suspense and anticipation.

On Narration and Authorial Voice
The novel is narrated in third-person and digresses in character perspective from chapter to chapter. Although serious in some spots, the reader is subtly exposed to Scottoline’s distinctive humor style. In addition to placing a feminine twist on the book, Scottoline incorporates her fondness of her Italian heritage by developing Italian characters. Scottoline introduces readers to Italian familial customs and traditions through her vibrant characterizations. The book effectively is reliant on heavy dialogue rather than exposition. This creates a fast-paced read. Dialogue is integral to developing character and reality, which is especially evidenced in instances highlighting the DiNunzio family.

On Character
Major characters presented in the novel include twin sisters Bennie and Alice along with Mary DiNunzio, an associate at Bennie’s firm. Bennie is the most interesting character. On the surface, Bennie is characterized as a good natured, successful attorney living in Philadelphia, who loves dogs. The reader learns that she recently ended a serious relationship and is exposed to brief familial history, but beyond that, the audience is unaware of other details about her. In some instances she seems underdeveloped, but this is most likely a strategic move on Scottoline’s part. Bennie is presumably underdeveloped, unlike other characters, as a foil, to demonstrate she is not well known to anyone in her life, including the reader. This illustrates that her fatal flaw is her inability to allow people to get to know her well. Minor characters include Judy, who works at Bennie’s firm. References of Bennie’s mother and Alice DiNunzio’s parents are featured in the novel as well. In addition, another DiNunzio family member visiting from Italy plays an integral part in the novel. Family is thematically significant in Scottoline’s piece. Love interests are referenced as well, and these include Gradey, Bennie’s ex-boyfriend, Mary’s current boyfriend and her late husband. A cast of other minor characters such as detectives participate in the plot.

Mix it all up
Think Twice, Scottoline’s most recent release, is an excellent and engaging read. After reading Think Twice and Look Again, I can detect Scottoline’s distinctive writing style, despite the obvious differences in the books. Interestingly, the titles of the two Scottoline books that I read have similar meanings. Both books explore the concept of physical and mental duality. Both are also suspense pieces with a feministic, humorous edge. Think Twice is well researched, and Scottoline includes an acknowledgement to those who assisted her in the book writing process.
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