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Twisted River

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,481 ratings  ·  212 reviews
“She would never have fit as neatly into the trunk of his own car.” Limerick, Ireland: the O’Brien family’s driveway. American Oscar Harvey opens the trunk of his hosts’ car and finds the body of a woman, beaten and bloody. But let’s start at the beginning.

Kate and Mannix O’Brien live by Curragower Falls in Limerick, in a lovely house they can barely afford. Their son Fer
Paperback, 258 pages
Published March 22nd 2016 by Penguin Books (first published September 30th 2014)
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,481 ratings  ·  212 reviews

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Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
An American and Irish family swap homes during an October holiday and their lives collide in unexpected ways...

This thriller was fine. There were a couple of unexpected twists which I appreciated and didn’t see coming, I liked the unpredictability as I thought I’d figured it out from the start.

The ending was abrupt and left some unanswered questions and as usual, all of the men were cheaters or criminals or a mixture of the two.

The news is full recently of how vile some men, especially those in
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
Hmmm...I'd almost give this one a 2.5 star rating. Something that was building up steam all along, and marketed to be like "Girl on the Train, like Before I Go To Sleep", sure did fizzle out and come to a dull and pretty abrupt ending. There wasn't so much a shock to the end but more of a That was it? After all of that? That's the end? It certainly left a whole lot of loose plot points left unraveling and spinning out in the air. Not a bad read, but one filled to the brim with the stereotypical ...more
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
It seemed like a good idea for a story and I'm sure it could have been if written by someone else.

The characters were too blah and I had a very difficult time figuring out which couple I was reading about because they were so much alike. They were uninteresting most of the time and plain out dull in between. I didn't really care what happened to any of them.

There was no suspense to the ending. And really, what kind of police force just walks away from a family they're supposed to be protecting f
Liz Barnsley
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Twisted River is the story of two families – both hiding secrets of different kinds – who swap houses for holiday purposes, this event bringing things to a head. It starts with a body then tells the tale of what led to this moment. For me, Twisted River was an excellent character study and an intriguing and engaging tale throughout, bit of a page turner and written well with enough difference about it to make it stand out somewhat in the plethora of this type of story around at the moment.

The co
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was ok

The extra half star is for the premise. With the popularity of AirBnB, a house exchange as the theme the plot revolves around is a great idea.

Too bad I couldn't stand the characters; the women were typical, doormat-y types (is that even a word?), the men were equally cliche and douchey (definitely a word) and I was able to guess the 'twist' before it happened.

Also, I could not buy the stalker girlfriend. It felt contrived and corny. I mean, where did she come from? Okay, I laughed. And rolle
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good book. Twisted is definitely a perfect word to be in the title. Definitely makes you think twice about house swapping. A few parts drug on a little for my taste but the storyline was excellent. Will be looking for more books by this author.
Tracy Shephard
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
There Is no need to cover the premise of this fabulous read as the blurb covers it brilliantly.

Siobhan Macdonald leads the reader up one path and then takes them on another, in what is a stylish and cleverly written tale. The plot is evidently designed to twist and turn and this psychological thriller covers love-affairs, deadly revenge and family secrets. Even the children have their own dilemmas and struggles.

The descriptions of both Ireland and Manhattan add to the charm of this novel and it
Joanne Robertson
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
As people know, there's nothing I love more than a book about a dysfunctional family....well, apart from a book about TWO dysfunctional families!! Siobhan MacDonald brings us a fantastically twisty tale about a house exchange and two families, both of whom seem to be hiding some very big secrets.

The opening scene here is one with great shock value as Oscar Harvey is examining a dead woman in the boot of his car. His kids are asking where their mum is...could it possibly be Oscars wife Hazel lyin
Bryony Nelson
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
To me, this book was super slow. I enjoyed the last two chapters but apart from that, it just took way too long to actually get anywhere. I liked the plot and the ideas behind it but it could have been executed better.

The characters were great. I HATED Oscar at the start but the further through the book you get, the more you just kind of feel slightly sorry for him as well as his wife Hazel. Mannix was hated through the whole thing. He couldn't really redeem himself. Kate was a very strong chara
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, netgalley
5 stars

Huge thanks to Siobhán MacDonald, Canelo and NetGalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Oohh this is a tricksy book! You think you know what's happening and suddenly the rug is pulled a little from under you, it happens throughout the book until you are surprised and wondering where the rug went.

It's told from 4 perspectives, Kate, Mannix, Hazel and Oscar and from both Ireland and New York, the tale of two families doing a house swap and everything that happens inbetween.

I r
May 26, 2016 rated it liked it
For fans of Gone Girl this may appeal. A house swap between 2 couples from Limerick and New York takes a turn for the worse. Relationships are not always what they seem . Easy read of a book but it just lacked the chill and the thrill I look for in a book, I felt there was a depth missing and somehow the story was skimmed over at times - enjoyable but didn't have the wow factor for me I'm afraid
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I was rather disappointed with this book. It was marketed as a thriller in the same vein as "Girl on the Train", which I read and enjoyed. It felt like a character study, except the characters were all so alike, there wasn't much to be learned. The build-up and foundation of the two families took up most of the book, and the ending was far-fetched and reminded me of a bad, low-budget revenge/horror film from the 90's. I wanted to like this, and I do think MacDonald has talent, but this ...more
Disappointing. MacDonald's plot had an interesting premise but then became too predictable. I also found that it ended very abruptly with no real closure and finding out what happens to the families after, when they return to their homes, feels like where the real story could take place.
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Found this to be incredibly slow and the characters were pretty boring. They mystery isn't like the synopsis so that was a bit frustrating. Fairly disappointed with this.
Alison Hardtmann
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-book
I have a great fondness for dark crime novels, so I picked Twisted River off of a display labeled "Celtic Noir" with great excitement, having never heard of author Siobhan MacDonald. It's always exciting to discover a new favorite author. What I discovered instead is that while I love the genre, I also love a well-written and well-plotted book, and Twisted River was neither of those things.

Two families swap houses for a week in October. Kate and Mannix want to give their sensitive and bullied so
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
The premise was so good.

I wonder if publishers have noted the wild success of Gone Girl et al and are rushing things to print without a thorough edit. These characters needed a lot of development, there were whole wasted passages that did nothing to advance the story (the whole political rant by one of the moms about her sons shirt), I don't even know which woman was which because every female in the story had the exact same interests and hobbies and build, except for poor Helen who had so much
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, I read it in one sitting so that's saying something. I liked it but after I finished, I thought I might want to go back 'cause there's a couple loose ends/things not explained. I don't want to say too much 'cause I don't want to reveal spoilers. But there's a LOT of twists in Twisted River.
Laura Hoffman Brauman
Solid thriller with decent twists and turns. A family from NYC and a family from Limerick, Ireland exchange houses for a vacation-- problems ensue. Fun read, but maybe not the best choice before spending a week in Airbnb homes.
I don't need my thriller books to end with everything tied in a bow, but this book had a very dissatisfactory ending.

(view spoiler)
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
So! This was a fairly quick read, clocking in at somewhere just over 250 pages. It's short length and quick pace were actually a pro in the case of this novel; if I had spent more than four hours reading it, I would have been more frustrated/irritated at the book. Fair warning, below the cut is a very, very long and spoiler-y review about all the trickery and lies that went on in the book.

Non-spoilery review? This book is a mystery/suspense novel that achieves its "surprises" and "twists" by tri
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
The audio book was well read but the story lacked a certain cohesiveness.

Two families, one in Ireland, one in USA, swap homes via Airbnb. Both families have secrets, and issues, that they hope will be addressed as they spend "quality" time together.

The story is told from the four adults point of view.

Kate is a working mom who is coping with her job, her husband's new job (as he was laid off from his previous employment), her younger son being bullied at school, and her daughter taking on too m
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What could possibly go wrong when two families swap houses for a nice vacation without breaking the bank? As it turns out, quite a bit. Kate and Mannix O’Brien of Limerick, Ireland have more than just financial issues that include their son Fergus being continually picked on by a bully and his gang. Daughter Izzy is seriously frustrated by her parent’s inability to effectively deal with Fergus’s problems and despite her young age, feels it necessary to shoulder that responsibility. Mannix feels ...more
Kay Oliver
May 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was so excited to read this! The synopsis snagged me and I was prepared to read the next best thriller..... It turned out to be a confusing mess with boring characters.
Sue McQuaide Kitt
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-tbr
From the first chapter I was completely hooked! The book starts with the end of the story which immediately forces the reader to come up with conclusions. The next chapter goes back a few months and we get to know Kate and Mannix in Ireland and Hazel and Oscar in Manhattan and how they made the decision to do a house swap. Each chapter is written from the perspective of one of the four main character so I felt I quickly got to know each of them quite well (or so I thought).

The pace of the book
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
The description of the book and the first mini-chapter are bogus, deliberately leading you one way that has nothing to do with the reality of the story. I don't like obvious manipulation trying to build suspense when it is fake.

Problems in the house of Hazel & Oscar in New York City's Upper West Side; problems in the house of Kate and Mannix in Limerick. Both wives decide to do a house swap to have a break and shore up the family life (both have 2 children). But there is tension in both hous
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Liked the story, decent writer, and good characters...BUT I thought the Oscar twist was cheap.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
What originally started as quite a thrilling, suspenseful novel fizzled out as the story continued. The Irish O'Brien family agree to swap houses for a week with the wealthy Harvey Family from New York. Each family has its secrets and these are revealed through chapters told from various character's points of view. However, the book lacked depth in character, had gender stereotypes for everyone, and was full of cliches. 2.5-3 stars - there was so much premise and I just kept hoping the ending wo ...more
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
It started off really slow, I kept hoping that that the story plot would pick up pace and it never really did, it just seemed to drag on with nothing happening. I also didn't relate with the characters (both families were very much alike) or care much what happened to them.
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Siobhán MacDonald studied at University College Galway and pursued a successful career writing for the technology sector in Scotland, France and Ireland.

After many years writing short stories and articles, Siobhán published her first novel TWISTED RIVER in 2016. Siobhán followed this up with her second novel THE BLUE POOL.

Siobhán is published in the US and Canada by Viking Penguin, in the UK by Ca
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