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Bad Twin (Hyperion) Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 2, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
"Bad Twin" tells the story of Paul Artisan, a private eye with a penchant for tracking down insurance scammers and cheating spouses. He meets up with one Cliff Widmore, a rich businessman, who hires Artisan to find his long lost identical twin brother Zander. Adventure ensues as Paul island hops from New York to Key West to Cuba, and meets up with the usual suspects; beautiful women, naked gurus, crusty sailors with secrets to hide. As a stand alone mystery, the book is fairly solid if not overly challenging.
Those of us who are Lost fans, however, the book layers in a second meaning. As Paul returns home, and checks in with his own personal guru, a retired professor named Manny, we learn snippets of information that may or may not relate to the show. Discussions of King Lear, redemption, and yes, the philosopher John Locke, pepper the plot between the action scenes. Throw in a trip to Australia on board Oceanic Airlines, and other little surprises (like the twins birthdays), it was enough to whet the whistle of this Lost fan.
So, find some airplane wreckage, curl up on a beach with some borrow glasses, and enjoy this fun little romp through the mysterious world of Paul Artisan and the even more mysterious world of Lost. It's too bad they put Gary Troup on the plane though. It would have been nice to read another mystery by him!
On one level, Bad Twin is an old-fashioned, straight-ahead detective story--and a really good one, with vivid characters, snappy dialogue, plenty of twists and turns, and even a sexy little love story thrown in. It's so tidy that I wouldn't be surprised if the real author--just a guess--was an old master like Elmore Leonard.
But wait, that's just the first level. Here's where it gets weird...
The supposed "author", Gary Troup, is himself a fictional character from the fictional universe of LOST. So which world does the story of Bad Twin belong to? Our world or the world of the Island? So now we have a fiction within a fiction, a mystery within a mystery. Is the detective only trying solve a murder?--or is he also--consciously or otherwise--following clues about the Island? And if the fictional Troup perished in the crash, is it just coincidence that the book echoes so many of the themes of the show? All those twins and mirror-images: Truth and fiction; coincidence and fate; suffering and redemption...
This book is a total page-turner the first time through, and probably complex enough to deserve a second reading.
Unfortunately, the book quickly reveals itself to be the latter. The "Lost" connection (such as it is - more on that later) notwithstanding, "Bad Twin" is simply an awful piece of crime fiction. The story packs in every pulp cliche imaginable: the down-on-his-luck private eye, the seductive femme fatale who could be ally or assassin, the conflicted client with secrets to keep. All of them bumble into each other's lives solely for the purpose of spouting ridiculous dialogue (just wait until you get to the "seduction" scenes - it's comedy at its finest).
The plot feels completely linear, i.e. throughout the entire book you pretty much know how the story is going to play out, right up until the very end. This is accomplished through the most ham-handed of exposition from the protagonist's mentor, a character who shows up from time to time to completely explain everything and offer "a vs. b" options for what will happen until his next appearance. After a while, this becomes annoying because the author is obviously condescending to the reader with this overdone explanation. "Don't read much, TV viewer? Here - let me help you." The book wraps up with the crown jewel of lazy writing: the chapter where all surviving good guys get together to just say out loud the means and motives of all of the story's mysteries.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was watching the entire series of Lost and I came across the name of the "author" of bad twin! It ties in with the Darma Initiative and other Lost companies and theories!Published on September 25, 2012 by gabriela king
I am a Lostie, and when I saw this book, I had to read it! It re-introduced me to the world of True Crime novels. It read great and kept me turning page after page! Read morePublished on December 25, 2010 by otter372
Note: This is not a tie in book with characters featured on the show of "Lost".
The idea of the book is, the author was on Oceanic Flight 815 which was the plane on the... Read more
I confess I'd never heard of 'Lost' and picked up a copy of Bad Twin that was left at our Bed and Breakfast. Read morePublished on March 15, 2010 by K.T. Reid
Bad Twin is like a modern day version of "Clue" except that half way thru the book you find out who the killer is, yet, that is not one of the many exciting twists that this book... Read morePublished on December 10, 2009 by J. Cruz
I bought this book because I'm a rabid Lost fan and wanted to read this so I could say I've seen/played/read everything concerning the show. Read morePublished on April 5, 2009 by Moonwalker
I am a huge fan of LOST and I know the place of the Gary Troup manuscript in the series and his relationship with Cindy and all.... Read morePublished on September 10, 2008 by T. Hayes
Alright, so it starts off interestingly enough, albeit kind of slowly. Gets better, mystery, mystery, travel, whoo-hoo. Read more