I've been tricked by a writer twice this week, and it's been brilliant to experience. The first was an episode of House MD (not telling which one or what happened - spoilers and all that), where the twist in the tale turned up at just the right time, and I didn't see it coming. The second time was while I was reading Megan Taylor's brilliant novel 'The Dawning' while I was waiting for an appointment - again, I didn't see it coming.
The stories don't have much in common, even the formats are different. And when I read the twist, I immediately understood why it was there - no left-field deus ex machina stuff, it made complete sense why the characters were where they were.
So why was I tricked? Because the characters drew me in to the story so much, I stopped trying to work out what was going to happen next, and started to live the story alongside the characters. For someone who can't help but second guess the direction of a story from the opening credits (bad habit, keep it to myself - no point in telling the folks around the boat sinks), it's been a good lesson in how to tell a story well enough to stop you thinking about what lies beyond the current scene.
I'm hoping the readers of Hidden Daughter get the same feeling as the life of single-mother-time-travelling-thief Penny unfolds; time will tell.