The biggest issue I have with reading so much is that I’m starting to recognize twists before they come…
I’ve read a number of twisty/tense books this year (The Plot comes to mind as a recent example, as does All the Light We Cannot See since I’ve only just written the reviews) and there’s a number of tricks/techniques that an author can use to heighten the tension and keep it going. In The Plot, our narrator is the one in possession of the titular plot but not of the big reveal, so we learn about it alongside him. In All the Light We Cannot See, we cut back and forth between different characters and so never get a full sense of what’s going on (similar to them).
In this novel, it’s a weird combination of both–we cut back and forth to the flashback sequences and spend in a very unreliable Paloma’s head. The issue, of course, is that for all her uncertainty of what’s going on in the present, Paloma is always aware of the big secret that is hanging over her head and which precipitated the events of the book. As a result, the reveal seems a bit unearned. [When the real Paloma shows up, you’re left wondering why as a reader you never learnt about her after spending so long in fake Paloma’s head.]
But! Give me all the south asian lead characters who are flawed and messy and don’t behave in perfectly polished grateful immigrant ways. I’ll eat them all up.