Jeffery Deaver, best known for his novel The Bone Collector, has compiled the most edible thrillery popcorn into the short story collection Twisted; I haven't had this much fun with mindless reading in a while. Like a horror anthology (though much better than those you can usually find on TV – in fact, this book could easily become the only really good horror anthology of the decade if someone good got behind it) each brief thriller starts out one way (you think a woman is about to meet with a serial killer, a dad is about to be murdered, a jealous husband is about to enact bloody revenge, etc) and then… Bam! There's a twist!
The language and style can best be described bare bones (lazy at worst: every female character is described as resembling either Pamela Anderson or Michelle Pfeiffer) but Deaver really really knows just how to cut to the chase and tease the best out of his highly satisfying and effective formula. The twist-ending game might get a little tedious after sixteen stories, but I have to admit: I couldn't always figure out what was coming, which keeps it fresh.
This is perfect beach reading for non beach reading weather – so maybe we can call it 'sofa and hot cocoa reading'. In response to the overwhelming popularity of this collection, Deaver put out a second volume ingeniously titled More Twisted.