As The Twig Is Bent: A Matt Davis Mystery

Rated 4.75/5 based on 4 reviews
Women are being raped and strangled in NYC. The clues: a heart carved on each victim’s breast with the initials “J.C.” and those of the deceased; copies of the Bible with underlined passages about infidelity; and fingerprints of a juvenile arrested in the '60s in Upstate New York. This explosive mystery thriller rips the cover off the sordid underbelly of the world of Internet sex chat rooms. More
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About Joe Perrone Jr.

Joe Perrone Jr is an author whose diverse background includes a stint as a sports writer with a prominent New Jersey newspaper, the Herald News, and several years spent freelancing as an advertising copy writer. He has had numerous short stories published in the Mid-Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide. In addition to his writing, he spent ten years as a professional fly fishing guide on the historic Beaverkill River in New York's Catskill Mountains. Nearby Roscoe - "Trout Town USA" - serves as the setting for four of the five books in the Matt Davis Mystery series. The five are: “As the Twig is Bent,” "Opening Day," "Twice Bitten," "Broken Promises," and "Deadly Ransom." Roscoe is a place to which Joe returns as often as possible to fish his favorite waters and visit with long-time friends. In addition to the Matt Davis mysteries, Joe authored “Escaping Innocence: A Story of Awakening,” a coming-of-age novel set in the turbulent sixties; “A ‘Real’ Man’s Guide to Divorce (First you bend over and . . . ,” as well as co-authoring “Gone Fishin’ with Kids (How to Take Your Kid Fishing and Still be Friends)” with Manny Luftglass.
In October of 2015, Joe suffered a mild stroke, which served as a wake-up call. He underwent a complete lifestyle change, including switching to a diet that is about 90 percent vegetarian, which resulted in a weight loss of nearly 30 pounds. Unfortunately, the stroke caused an already dicey balance system to become even worse. As a result, Joe’s days of wade fishing his beloved Catskill trout streams with fly rod in hand may be nearing an end. He’s still fishing, but more often than not it’s with a spinning rod (affectionately referred to as a “zip gun” by hardcore fly fishermen). Joe still enjoys cooking (and eating), reading his Kindle, listening to music (anything but hard rock), and spending time with his two granddaughters. He and his wife live in the shadow of Charlotte, North Carolina, in Indian Land, South Carolina, together with Willow the Wonder Dog. Joe welcomes comments and queries from readers via email at: He makes every effort to respond to all emails promptly. And don’t forget to follow Joe’s blog at:

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Also in Series: The Matt Davis Mysteries

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Reviews of As The Twig Is Bent: A Matt Davis Mystery by Joe Perrone Jr.

Linda Hawley reviewed on Jan. 30, 2012

Rarely do I read novels that are so profoundly engrossing that I can not shake the story from my mind; As the Twig is Bent is one of those novels. This crime story is full of grit, with visual images that made me feel ill. The ugly truths of the extreme world of homicide detectives was profound. The author's writing style gave brief retrieves from the hard core darkness of the story, which was necessary for me to continue reading it. I think Perrone is a genius in story construction and in building suspense. I will certainly read other novels he's written. Wow!
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
Sheila Deeth reviewed on Sep. 1, 2011

A police mystery with likeable characters, a working marriage, some decent detective work and some scary crimes, Joe Perrone Jr’s As the Twig is Bent is a fine beginning to a new series. The reader is invited deeply into killer’s and victims’ heads (and beds) as a gruesome crime spree rocks New York’s tenth precinct. Detective Matt Davis juggles job and home life, sometimes losing track of the one or the other. His friend goes out with too many women. The woman newly added to his team has gone out with too many men. And husbands are returning from trips to find their wives brutally raped and murdered.

Bent twigs grow into crooked trees, and there are many lives haunted by their pasts in this book, each seeking new chances to flower in the future. Grounded in the intricate details of everyday life, from making dinner to fly-fishing and golf, from using the internet to plugging in the wires, the novel builds a clear picture of many disparate characters who wander in and out the pages. Murders are described with the same close care and attention, and the murderer becomes very real, very wounded even as he becomes more clearly irredeemable. The church gets involved when there are suggestions of religious overtones and ritual. Newspapers find their own way to share the facts. And the politics of criminal investigation play their part.

The author has a nice sense of timing, bringing the story to a fast scary climax, while genuine research with the NYPD fuels the details of slow investigation. The crimes are haunting, the criminal very real, and the reader is nicely led to see the danger as tension builds, making this a fun thriller filled with believable people and plausible danger set in a very real world.

Disclosure: The author sent me a free ecopy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 57 days after purchase)
Kim Leland reviewed on July 3, 2011

Excellent tale, well-plotted and thoroughly enjoyable. Mr. Perrone is a careful, thoughtful author who crafts a story designed to hook the reader and give them no chance to wiggle off his line.

I expect to see more good stuff from this author!
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
Julia Dudek reviewed on Dec. 7, 2009

Edge-of-Your Seat Suspense from Page One!

If you like suspense, grab a copy of As the Twig is Bent, pull up a seat, and prepare to be on the edge of it from page one of Joe Perrone Jr.’s unrelenting thrill-ride! Skipping the foreplay, Perrone wastes no time introducing the reader to the merciless serial killer who’s terrorizing the neighborhood of Chelsea, and preying on unsuspecting victims from Internet chat rooms. Firmly holding us captive with the intense opening scene, the author then weaves innumerable twists and turns into the plot, as homicide detective, Matt Davis, races to stop the killer. The writing is bold, the descriptions are vivid, and the plot is seamless right through to the explosive ending. One would never guess As the Twig is Bent is a first in the genre for Perrone, as he has clearly already mastered all the dynamic qualities and elements of a best-selling work of commercial fiction—and a bonus: I’ve learned that the author will be sending Detective Matt Davis on yet another adventure in his upcoming novel Opening Day! Five stars, and can’t wait for more!

— Julia Dudek, author of Pieces
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)

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