The Twyford Code
Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children's book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. Wanting to know more, he took it to his English teacher Miss Iles, not realising the chain of events that he was setting in motion. Miss Iles became convinced that the book was the key to solving a puzzle, and that a message in secret code ran through all Twyford's novels. Then Miss Iles disappeared on a class field trip, and Steven has no memory of what happened to her.
Reviewed on 5th April 2022
Hallett’s second novel is a similar but different take on the style of her first - this time presenting the entire narrative in the form of transcripts of audio recordings, as a recently released convict records his life story, and what he gets up to, into his estranged son’s old phone.
It took me a little while to get my head into reading this style, but once there I absorbed the story as fast as possible and was totally hooked.
Hallett does a really great job of drip feeding information about multiple different narrative threads all at the same time. The book must have taken really extensive planning to work everything out and fit it into the structure so perfectly.
It’s also funny. There are a bunch of little Easter eggs hinting at some of the inspirations for parts of the story, and the main character is thoroughly likeable.
Another really good story, and I’m looking forward to more of this kind of thing.