Themes and Characters

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The characters found in The Twisted Window differ from the normal characters of a suspense novel. Each one occupies two varying points of view before the book's conclusion. When good-looking Brad arrives in Winfield, Tracy, as a normal teen-age girl, is flattered by his attention, but knows he is not what he seems. Although he introduces himself as a new high school student, a little investigation proves he is not enrolled at Winfield High. Tracy discovers that Brad is there not to socialize, but for the very serious business of reclaiming his half sister. She is sympathetic to Brad, but due to her mother's recent death, and what she feels is her father's rejection, Tracy distrusts everyone's motives. Even so, she soon comes to identify with Brad, as she discovers he is also from a divided home. Her early rebellious attitude toward adults leads her to join Brad in his outlandish scheme to kidnap a local youngster, but Tracy's intelligence later allows her to understand there is a problem with Brad's story. Finally, her empathy for Brad helps her aid him in a crucial, life-saving realization.

At his first appearance in the novel, Brad is a self-confident brave young man. He relates to Tracy the "kidnapping" of his half sister by his bum of a stepfather. His vivid imagination leads him to describe a picture of his mother's suffering at his stepfather's hands. This causes Tracy to immediately identify her mother with Brad's mother, because she blames...

(The entire section is 524 words.)