Psychologist Joe O'Laughlin fails to stop a confused woman from jumping off a bridge to her death. Joe knows she had been talking on a cellphone. Now he needs to find out who - or what - was on the other end of the line.
©2008 Michael Robotham; (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC
"Even the sharpest readers may not anticipate all of the plot's agile switchbacks or foresee the chilling climax." (Publishers Weekly)
This is quality stuff. If you read reviews I've submitted, you'll see I'm not very forgiving when I use my precious credits or cash and wind up cheated by the all-too-frequent hackneyed writing and all-too-predictable formula-driven plot lines. On here, there's a lot of junk and the turkeys always seem to wind up with a collection of maroons giving them five stars.
But this guy can really write! The bad guy doesn't strain credulity and is remarkably scary, the characters are well conceived and you find yourself caring about them as the story unfolds, the story is wonderfullly suspenseful and the author doesn't try to substitute arcane technical minutiae for real plot, there's a little tastefully done and quite believeable erotic dimension now and then, and he even injects a sense of humor just when you really need it. The hours fly by!
If you enjoy a good suspense yarn, go for this one. And, it also helps that the narration is captivating.
Great narration and story. Tension levels are well modulated. Technical aspects of police procedure, telecommunications and psychology are spot on. If you believe all people are inherently good, you may question your own judgment after listening to this book.
This was a truly masterful work of fiction that kept me enthralled the entire time. The characters were very well developed, and you came to truly loath the villain. I rated this story as 5 stars before completing the book assuming it would continue to please its audience; however I was MOST dissatisfied with the ending. The Climax was perfect and the author masterfully set the board for a knockout checkmate, but instead the story foundered in the home stretch leaving the reader feeling incomplete. If you are the type of reader who really likes to see the villain get his comeuppance, you will be disappointed.
This is for serious detective procedural fans and it gets all 5 stars for characters, plot and prose. The best part is that there is an echo of John Corey's Plum Island humor in the main character whom Robotham pulls, pushes and shatters his psyche and ours to the very end. I found this book hard to stop listening to. You will not be disappointed.
Unbelievably suspenseful - this audiobook practically nailed me to my seat. The book was particularly terrifying because all of the characters are so real. You can imagine it all happening next door, right under your nose. Michael Robotham has an enviable gift for quirky characters and even quirkier metaphors ("you're ugly as a bag full of assholes"). The reader was excellent too - he didn't overdo it, but made all of the characters believable and unique. One warning though, it's not for the faint of heart. I will certainly never trust my locks again and plan on checking my bedroom and all my closets twice every night for unwanted guests....
English Mystery Collector
If you like tension that stretches till you can't bear it, great flawed characters with more humanity
than you can bear,this THRILLER has it all! I've read all of Robotham and this is his BEST! I could not put it down and the narrator is a lot of the magic. Don't miss this one!!!!
This book was fraught with complex characters, clever plot twists, and a brilliant narrator. I hope this author keeps writing and this reader keeps reading!!
Started this series from the beginning and each of the first three was engaging enought to bring me back for more. All had solid characters, plot twists and narration, but I think this was the best so far. Kept me up with headphones on far into the night with an edge-of-the seat storyline. Joe is a great central character: highly intelligent, intuitive and flawed, but also possessing an enviable inner strength that he manages dig up when he needs it most, carrying him through truly awful circumstances. I picture Colin Firth . . .
On to the next one for me - I want to know what happens to Joe next.
Robotham not only writes great suspense; he creates interesting, 3-dimensional characters and scenes that take his books beyond the usual in this genre. Some of the passages were so well written that I had to rewind and listen to them again. Shatter is the third book of his that I've read, and it's no exception. It does, however, fall prey to a common problem in series of this sort. The villains have to get more evil and the crimes more twisted. If I'd been reading I would likely have skipped a couple of the passages where the villain, a master of psychological terror, was speaking to his victims. However, while Robotham certain exposes the reader to the darkest part of men's souls, he doesn't leave you there to wallow for too long. The majority of the book focuses instead on the plot, the underlying mystery and the drama surrounding the choices the protagonists must make. Overall, a strong and well-written novel of suspense. The narrator is excellent - I'll definitely look for more by him.
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