I’m a big fan of those $5 mysteries you find in paperback at
the front of most grocery stores.
I like a book with substance, don’t get me wrong, but I also
like a book I can get lost in for three hours and be done with.
I thought that’s what I was getting with ‘Shattered,’ by
British author Karl Jones. I was half right and half wrong.
First off, ‘Shattered’ is the first in a new series by
Jones, following one of the central law enforcement figures in the book – Donna
The book opens strongly, setting a solid mystery and making
the central “victim” of the book somewhat unlikeable. I applaud that. Instead
of making the teenage girl some sort of angel, Jones painted her with a
I like that the book had a gritty feel. The violence was
harsh, and the descriptions were somewhat crude. That made the mystery feel
like it was grounded in reality.
As an American, I also liked reading a book set in another
country. It makes the places and law enforcement details that much more
entertaining – mostly because I haven’t read them before.
Still, the law enforcement officials – especially Harp –
make some fairly dumb decisions that I don’t think real police officers would
make. And, as the central heroine, Harp herself is fairly vapid as a character.
I was much more interested in one of the suspects – Jason Denton. He had a more
realistic vibe to him.
As a woman I, of course, gravitate to strong heroines. Harp
is painted as a strong heroine, but it was almost as if she was written by
someone that doesn’t understand how a woman really thinks so Donna Harp doesn't feel like she's been created in a realistic world.
The ending of the mystery was a surprise, but I can’t decide
if it’s because it was a good choice for the final culprit or because it came so
far out of left field it couldn’t be anything but shocking. While I liked the
ultimate choice, I don’t think the motive given was strong enough.
Also, the ending of the book is so jarring that I found myself looking for the rest of the book and coming up empty.
Ultimately, I’m a big fan of the mystery itself but I was really
turned off by the typos.
At first, I pushed off a lot of the jarring grammar issues
because of the foreign language barrier. It became increasingly clear early on,
though, that the grammar problems were evident in both languages. In other
words, this book could use a good copy editor to catch certain problems.
Still, it was a fun read, and I would recommend it to crime
'Shattered' is available for $2.99
on Kindle and $9.99