(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The Twisted Window showcases Duncan's classic detail-filled narrative. Suspense and mystery build from the first sentence when the heroine notices a stranger watching her. From that moment forward, the reader is unsure which characters to trust; personalities which should be obviously "bad" or "good" are not. Duncan accomplishes this confusion with skillfully plotted clues which do not fit neatly together. Even the window through which the heroine gazes confuses her due to an irregularity in the glass; hence the book's title. This "twisted" point of view becomes the major theme of the story as the reader follows the heroine in attempting to make sense of confusing bits of information. The characters are well developed, something unusual in a suspense novel. Background information about Tracy and Brad, the story's main characters, is crucial to a plot highlighted by miscommunication and misidentification.

Such ideas may be applied to readers' lives. Tracy learns to distrust first impressions, as her judgmental nature leads her into a potentially dangerous situation. Her realization that her father, as well as the other adults in her life, may not deserve the "bad rap" she has assigned them will hopefully cause some readers to reevaluate certain of their own prejudgments. The lack of a "villain" in this story is a pleasant enhancement, one only possible through Duncan's considerable rhetorical skill. Although all her normal thrills are present,...

(The entire section is 242 words.)