TWICE BURNED by Kit Craig

TWICE BURNED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Bad Seed-esque very high gothic about a family curse, set largely in Florida, as was Craig's much tamer first suspenser Gone (1992--now forthcoming as a movie-of-the-week). Featured here are three generations of preternatural twins who--seem--to have--something-who can say what?--wrong--with them- -oh, it's so Faulknerian, so...well, such...rich fudge...the implications... heaven help us, the allusions.... How long ago did it begin? Out of what twisted generational darkness? Readers will need a scorecard to keep the family history straight, but the story starts with Carroll Lawton, a Florida reporter, marrying Steve Harriman, whose secret past includes a no-fault divorce from Vivian, mother of their teenage twins Jane and Emily. Vivian herself was twin to Zane, with whom she had a supersensible tie, and they were the killer children of Meredith, who also had...well.... When Vivian dies (``A fall. We think. She was cremated immediately''), Steve admits some kind of vague horror to Carroll and flies out to San Francisco to pick up Jane and Emily. But then he too, while driving the twins, has an accident (a cliff), and the orphaned twins are left to stepmother Carroll, who flies them to Florida. JaneEm and EmJane, who are one, remain serenely unmarred throughout every tragedy, for they think with one mind and have their own world, Amadamaland, once peopled with hundreds of Barbies and Kens and Sendak dolls and now stocked with trophies of their dead. Just give the twins everything they want before they ask for it, Carroll is told, before ``the bad old history'' rewrites itself. Suddenly, reporter Carroll is tracking three murders by a serial hatpin killer(s?) and feeling queasy. Then bad news hits home: the twins at the scenes of the crimes.... Goopy subhorror and uncontrollable urges. Perilously padded hackwork--but some, of course, may love it.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-316-15933-6
Page count: 296pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993