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BOOK REVIEW: SHATTER
BY MICHAEL ROBOTHAM

We hope you enjoy this book review by Woodstock.





A sadistic man, whose wife and daughter left him after years of rigid controlling abuse, begins to work out his frustrations by manipulating her friends into suicide. No one can figure out what makes the women behave as they do. Each is found nude, wearing only high heeled shoes. One woman clings to the edge of a suspension bridge, incongruously talking on a cell phone just before she jumps to her death. The other is found after her death, handcuffed to a tree and hanging from one of its branches.

Psychologist Joe O'Loughlin - the title character in Robotham's SUSPECT - is at the scene on the bridge through a kind of fluke, when the first person called to assist the police wiggles his way out of the situation and maneuvers Joe into being there in his place. Plagued by the many puzzling aspects of the deaths, O'Loughlin works with the police for awhile, but eventually moves out on his own with the help of his friend retired cop Vincent Ruiz.

The first 80% or so of the book is very suspenseful, white knuckle stuff, the kind of passages which make the book hard to put down. But unfortunately, near the end, we've got rather the hackneyed "put the loved ones of the investigator in mortal peril" scenario.

In his four books published so far for the US market Robotham brings characters back from one book to the next, not exactly writing a series, but enabling more development of their personalities, increasing sympathy and understanding on the part of the reader. It is easy to understand O'Loughlin's persistence, even in the face of his wife's disapproval and the exasperation of the police. I hope that future books will continue the originality of plot which Robotham presented in the first three. I'll be anxious to learn more about O'Loughlin and Ruiz.

REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, WOODSTOCK


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