If this sounds like you, Shatter is the book for you, for, my friends, it has every sort of sickness imaginable. Michael Robotham has devised probably the most evil villain I’ve ever encountered and he doesn’t hide him. He is present in the story with you, from the very first, offering his take, his insight, and his terrible plan, while we helplessly watch and root on Joseph O’Loughlin, the story’s flawed protagonist.
Set outside of Bath, England, O’Loughlin is a psychologist turned professor, crippled with advancing Parkinson’s disease, and struggling through a flailing marriage and raising a teenage daughter. In the midst of what seems to be more stress than he can handle, he’s called to duty to assist the police in talking down a suicide one terribly rainy day. He fails. The woman jumps from a bridge, naked and looking nearly possessed. Despite battling his own feelings of failure, O’Loughlin isn’t completely convinced that the scenario was a suicide. And then the clues keep popping up–it very definitely wasn’t.
This is one novel of constant suspense. The story is gripping, the details gruesome, and the plot disturbed. This is not a book for the faint of heart. And though to read it was to embark on a terrifying journey, I still at times found it to be a bit slow-moving. Perhaps once caught up in the mystery I no longer cared about O’Loughlin’s marriage; but all the same, I found myself skimming seemingly unnecessary pages to get to “the good stuff.”
Shatter is for the true suspense lovers. If you can handle humanity at it’s worst and wait through the story as it plays out, you’ll like this book. But if you’re prone to fear or cringe at violent details, I recommend you stay away from this book.
Sarah Ann Noel is a freelance writer, blogger, and public relations professional. She blogs “Read Alert” every week and covers other Denver-related events and thoughts on writing and motherhood on her personal blog. Check back every week for reviews, literary events, and other bookish finds.