Book Review: Twisted Genius by Patricia Rice

 

All Ana Devlin has ever wanted was a home for her younger half-siblings. Now she has half a mansion plus half a fortune to go with it. But what good is sanctuary when her family insists on creating chaos and endangering lives in their relentless pursuit of justice? 

Bent on revenging old debts, Ana’s mother, Magda, is back in town, making a mockery of a powerful presidential candidate. Ana’s brother Nick has found a boyfriend—who nearly gets them both killed for blowing the whistle on a pharmaceutical company’s dangerous painkiller. Ana’s lover, Graham, is out to destroy a Russian hacker who dared attack his secret servers. Her sister Patra is breaking the news story of the century—connecting drug lords and politicians and dangerously wealthy industrialists. 

And Ana is the one who is in jeopardy. Can a family of geniuses really be worth the effort? 

From LibbraryThing as part of their Early Reviewers monthly batch.

This is the fifth in the series, and having read later books in other series by the same author, I was worried that I was going to struggle with this one. However, I didnt have the same issues here. Judging by what is referenced during the book, Ana and her family have been lifted out of their previous hand-to-mouth existence by inheriting the money left by her father and half the house (split between her and Graham).

The events are triggered by Nick’s love interest trying to release details as to the addictiveness of a new drug, where his partner’s car is targeted just before the pair get to testify. The partner ends up in hospital and is unlikely to recover – so what happens to her kids?  Throw in Ana’s mother (the “Twisted Genius” of the title) trying to bring down a senior politician, and then the fun begins. It’s told primarily from Ana’s point of view, but with the occasional reference to what Graham is doing, normally in relation to what Ana is doing.

There is virtually everything in this book, with money no longer being an issue, Ana and Graham being both paranoid and very good at what they do; a family that is practically a cast of thousands, that is situated all over the world and talented in their own unique ways; Russian and Irish hitmen who may or may not be involved in the deaths of Graham’s and Ana’s fathers; Politicians involved in God-Knows-What, the skeletons in their closets that get exposed on national tv; and all the rest.  I’m not going to even try and include spoilers here, because there is simply so much going on!

The book was packed full of twists and turns, but was a good, fast paced read (oh the wonders of talent and money no object!). It was nice to have a main character fully developed, and hitting the ground running. This felt virtually a stand alone book, with little time spent on rehashing stories from previous books – there was the occasional “I’m doing this because I’m not used to that” or “he’s not known for doing that because of this” type of thing, but little was spent dwelling on it.

Not sure that having read this book first, whether I’d actually go back and read the others. This is because having enjoyed this one, where Ana has the money to do what she feels she needs to do, I’m worried that going back to the beginning, where she doesn’t have money and needs to pull her family together, would actually spoil a book I actually enjoyed!

 

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