First off, thank you to Dancing Lemur Press for sending me this book!
This book is a stand alone novel based on the characters from Broken But Not Dead. I was a little worried that it wouldn’t make too much sense without reading the previous title even though it’s a stand alone but I had no trouble following the story which is good. The Author is Joylen Nowell Butlet, who spends her time in Cluculz Lake BC, Canada and Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.
Let’s start with the plot. It’s starts off with Canada’s Minister of National Defense being murdered in his kitchen (don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler – you literally find out on the first page!) and the murder case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian who is tortured by his wife’s unsolved murder. The prime suspect is the Ministers wife, 60 year old Sally Warner who is still grieving and broken from her the murder/suicide of her two sons. She finds a find in Corporal Killian and really wants to be able trust him. Killian is torn, either pursue his prime suspect, a woman who was horribly abused by her late husband or find a way to protect but at the same time he will risk demotion.
I was a little bit skeptical with this one, it’s under the Psychological Thriller genre and that is really not my go-to genre. But I decided to take this opportunity to branch out and try something new, and I actually really enjoyed it! There was a few things that didn’t work for me, but I’ll talk about that later on.
The first things I found that I loved about this book was the way it was written. The focus is immediately drawn to the 2 main characters – Sally Warner, the wife of the deceased and Corporal Danny Killian, the detective who is handling the case. The book is written from their perspectives and switches between the two throughout, which I really liked. The only thing that I didn’t like is that the character monologues quite often switch in the same chapter. To start with this really threw me but eventually I got used to it. I liked hearing a detailed perspective of the detective, I thought it an interesting way of doing it. The only thing that annoyed me slightly about this was the amount of detective babble, there was a lot of it. For the first 5 or so chapters was just police spiel and to be honest, I got a little bored of it. But it picked up and started to focus on the actual story.
Throughout the entire book, I really sympathized with Sally. She has just lost her husband, although he abused her and didn’t treat her very nicely, she now had to learn how to live on her own. Previous to losing her husband, she lost her two sons in what can only be described as the most brutal way possible. It was a suicide/murder, one son killed the other and then killed himself (I won’t go in to this part too much, I don’t want to give anything away!). On top of all that, she is the prime suspect for her husbands murder which doesn’t really allow her to find closure or to grieve properly. I really felt for her, and just wanted to give her a cuddle!
The story itself was riveting – a real page turner. The only reason it took me so long to read it was because I was so busy, but any spare minute I had, my nose was in this book. It’s a murder mystery, so the entire book right up until the end was focused on tension building, and it really did that. Throughout the whole book my head was whirling with possibilities on who could be the killer, and is that person really telling the truth, etc etc. It was really cleverly written, and I can really appreciate the talent that Butler possess for writing such a intricate novel. I must admit, I had sort of guess who the murderer was but I didn’t expect it to end in the way it did, I was really quite surprised at the end.
I really want to read the previous book, even though is stand alone – I’m so curious about the back story. I’m guessing it’s the story of the Warner’s sons and their deaths.. but I may be completely wrong.
I give this book 3/5 stars.
The official release date for this book is November 1st 2016.