The Twyford Code
by Janice Hallett
Release date: January 24th, 2023
I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Twyford Code: A Novel by Janice Hallett from NetGalley and Atria Books in order to read and give an honest review.
… if you are interested in an incredibly unique and engaging, character-driven story I would definitely recommend The Twyford Code…
Remembering back, it all started when Steve found a mysterious children’s book on a bus one day by disgraced author Edith Twyford. Hoping to sell it to get some desperately needed food, he is disappointed when his teacher Miss Iles confiscates it and reads the banned book to the class. Obsessed with it herself, Miss Iles believes that Twyford’s series of six books held secret hidden codes which would lead to hidden treasure. So obsessed that Ms. Iles takes a small group of five students on a trip to Twyford’s residence to search for more clues. When Ms. Iles disappears and the students are mysteriously dropped off at school the next morning, whatever happened traumatized Steve and he cannot remember the events of that night.
In the present, to move on with his life, Steve is convinced he must learn what really happened to his teacher on that day. Talking with his old classmates and with the help of a young local librarian, Lucy, he sets out to solve Twyford’s mysterious code to learn why his beloved teacher disappeared and to finally be able to put the past behind him.
Although confusing at times because of the phonetic approach to the text i.e., “mustard” is “must have” etc. the story itself is incredibly compelling. Through the recordings we learn of the loss of Steve’s parents, the difficulty his older brother Colin had keeping them together and his descent into crime with an organized crime family with whom he found a sense of belonging. Steve, although a criminal, elicits sympathy as he has a sense of loyalty to those he loves even if it is often misplaced.
Through the recordings we learn more about Steve’s tragic past, the Twyford code, WWII espionage, hidden gold and the danger that can arise from those who wish to find it at all costs. When he and Lucy go missing Steve’s son takes over, trying to piece together the transcripts to learn what happened to his estranged father. The more he delves into the story, he learns more than he bargained for about his father.
Although at times frustrating to read it is incredibly engaging, if you are interested in an incredibly unique and engaging, character-driven story I would definitely recommend The Twyford Code!