Book review: ‘Twisted Webs’ intrigues |

Book review: ‘Twisted Webs’ intrigues

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Darlene Quinn’s sequel to her last award-winning novel (“Webs of Power”) plays on the very real human emotions of desire and desperation.

It begins in 1990, with Mario Christonelli confessing his sin to his priest: He stole a baby from the hospital to prevent his distraught wife from literally committing suicide. But in “Twisted Webs,” that’s not all to the story. Had he simply stolen a newborn, readers could easily vilify him – even though he and his wife had lost their own dreams of children. After all, we see the pain of Ashleigh, who gave birth to twin daughters, only to find one kidnapped immediately.

But then we hear Mario’s full story. First, he explains how it would seem natural for him and his wife to have a baby: She was due at nearly the same time Mario took the twin. Second, Mario was actually intervening in a pregnancy in which a 16-year-old didn’t want her baby, but her parents wouldn’t let her abort or put the child up for adoption.

From there, the webs of deception – and connection – become even more entangled in a compelling story of two families who find themselves running in the same circle, with two halves of twins.

The 443-page novel is a breeze to read, as Quinn pumps up the drama and suspense, covering an eight-year period with a series of short chapters. Emotions of grief, shock and anger spill over the pages as Quinn wraps readers into two families’ emotional losses and gains. Meanwhile, the tension unfolds within a backdrop of the competitive fashion retail world – one full of power, manipulation and luxury. (Quinn has worked with the CEO of the largest conglomerate of department stores, so her insights are fascinating.)

Once she delivers her stunning ending, she packs another punch, this time in the form of an author’s note about the state of the retail industry, and consumers’ reactions to it.

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