Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Broken Ones by Stephen M. Irwin

3.5 Stars

Detective Oscar Mariani is dealing with a personal ghost.  In fact, everyone in the world is.  You see, several years ago the world flipped on its axis bringing back the dead in a ratio of one per every live person.  With a dead friend or relative as their new shadow, some people find themselves going off their rocker and committing murder.  That’s where Oscar comes in.  As the head of a nearly defunct department, it’s his job to say whether the ghost REALLY made you do it, or if you’re just using that excuse to avoid jail time.  Now Mariani finds himself dealing with an even more bizarre situation.  A young woman’s body has turned up with ritualistic carvings on her corpse and more young girls are missing.  It’s up to Oscar to solve the crime – and maybe figure out who his own personal ghost is in the process.

Any T.V. watchers reading this?  Remember “Friends”?  Remember when Rachel made the trifle????  “It’s a trifle.  It’s got all of these layers.  First, there’s a layer of ladyfingers, then a layer of jam, then a layer of custard (which I made from scratch), then raspberries, more ladyfingers, then beef sautéed with peas and onions, then a little more custard, then bananas and I just put some whipped cream on top!”  “The Broken Ones” kept bringing the image of that horrific trifle to the surface of my brain the entire time I read it.  Overworked detective?  Good.  Potential serial killer?  Goooood.  Maybe a satanic ritual killer even?  Goodgoodgoodgoodgood. Don’t know who is bad and who is good and what is up and what is down on the rollercoaster of reading?  GOOOOOOOOOD.  Dystopian society?  Huh????  Ghost story?  Wha????? 

“The Broken Ones” was a good book.  The mystery kept me guessing, Oscar was a pretty fabulous main character, I read in just a few hours so the pages were apparently turning.  It just had one too many layers – like poor Rachel’s trifle/shepherd’s pie combo.

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