REVIEW: The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost

Series: N/A (Twin Peaks TV Series Tie-In)

Book Number: N/A

Read this book for: sci-fi, conspiracy theories, American history, extended story and universe for the Twin Peaks TV series, immersive reading, reader as detective

Quick Review: A brilliant, creative, and perfectly fitting tie-in to the Twin Peaks series, and a truly enjoyable read in preparation for its return after 25 years!

***

“The enclosed dossier was recovered on 7-17-2016 from a crime scene that is still under active investigation. All details of this situation are classified three levels above top secret.

It is being given to you for comprehensive analysis, cataloguing, and cross-referencing content against all known databases under Code Red measures. We need to learn and verify the person or persons responsible for compiling this dossier and we need to know it yesterday!

BACKGROUND: The content of this dossier appears to have some relationship to an investigation conducted in north-west Washington State many moons ago by Special Agent Dale Cooper…”

THE SECRET HISTORY OF TWIN PEAKS is an immersive TV tie-in novel written by one of the original creators of the popular show Twin Peaks, which aired in the late 1980s – and will be getting a third season beginning in May of this year!

While I don’t normally review TV tie-ins, I had to make a special exception for Twin Peaks – it’s an iconic crime-based show, and this novel actually makes the reader work alongside an FBI Special Agent to try to identify the creator of the dossier based on your knowledge of the show, plus more background information as revealed in the book. You do have to have seen the first two seasons of the show before reading this, though, or it will make absolutely no sense. I can’t promise you that the show will also make a lot of sense, but I adore that show – it’s an incredible example of strange, mysterious storytelling with an incredibly varied range of characters. (If you’ve seen the reboot of Fargo, it’s somewhat comparable in style).

The premise of the novel is that the book you are actually holding is a dossier discovered and being analyzed (in margin notes) by an FBI agent. It’s a hodgepodge of newspaper clippings, journal pages, official documents, photos, and even a menu that delve into the history of strange happenings involving Twin Peaks, and a massive conspiracy being covered up by the US government and involving one resident of Twin Peaks. The agents notes add colour and commentary, plus helps direct the reader to decipher some of the clues in the texts.

This story is incredible – the sheer vastness and scope of the conspiracy theory (encompassing almost every major, popular and longstanding conspiracy theory out there) and the way it is all folded together is jaw-dropping in the way that it is executed. It’s actually quite believable. What’s even more remarkable is the fairly imaginative way that it is tied back to the location of Twin Peaks, the internal universe of the show, and the events of the series.

And in spite of having this remarkably vast scope, the dossier still finds a way to work in little extra details about quite a few of the characters from the show. The details range from backstory to favourite books, and are so fascinating to apply to the show.

If you have seen Twin Peaks and at all enjoyed it, absolutely pick up this book. It’s brilliant, creative, and fascinating to dive into the history of the universe of the show, while working to solve a little mystery yourself!

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