Author: Allison Brennan
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Over a span of twenty years, four boys have been kidnapped from their bedrooms, suffocated, and buried nearby in a shallow grave. Serial killer or coincidence?
That’s the question investigative reporter Maxine Revere sets out to answer when an old friend begs her to help exonerate his wife, who has been charged with their son’s recent murder. But Max can do little to help because the police and D.A. won’t talk to her—they think they have the right woman. Instead, Max turns her attention to three similar cold cases. If she can solve them, she might be able to help her friend.
Justin Stanton was killed twenty years ago, and his father wants closure—so he is willing to help Max with her investigation on one condition: that she work with his former sister-in-law— Justin’s aunt, FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid. Trouble is, Max works alone, and she’s livid that her only access to the case files, lead detective and witnesses depends on her partnering with a federal agent on vacation. She wants the career-making story almost as much as the truth—but if she gets this wrong, she could lose everything.
Haunted by Justin’s death for years, Lucy yearns to give her family—and herself—the closure they need. More important, she wants to catch a killer. Lucy finds Max’s theory on all three cases compelling—with Max’s research added to Lucy’s training and experience, Lucy believes they can find the killer so justice can finally be served. But the very private Lucy doesn’t trust the reporter any more than Max trusts her.
Max and Lucy must find a way to work together to untangle lies, misinformation, and evidence to develop a profile of the killer. But the biggest question is: why were these boys targeted? As they team up to find out what really happened the night Justin was killed, they make a shocking discovery: Justin’s killer is still out there … stalking another victim … and they already may be too late.
The synopsis for this novel instantly intrigued me – not only do I love crime/detective novels, but I really like it when they include a journalist’s investigation, as they don’t have to stick to the procedures and red tape that the police do. When there’s more than one case which may be linked? Love it! And when some of them are cold cases? This book seems right up my street!
I wasn’t sure if the fact that I hadn’t read any of the others in this series, which centers on investigative reporter Max Revere, would matter but it doesn’t seem to at all. I got the hang of who’s who pretty quickly and although I didn’t know all the background of the characters (such as what exactly went wrong between Max and her boyfriend, Nick, and also her ‘friend’ David?), I still picked it all up well enough to not dampen my enjoyment.
From reading other reviews I can also see that apparently this is a book that feature a character from another of Allison Brennan’s series – FBI agent Lucy Kincaid. I enjoyed reading about both characters and the way they interacted, as well as other people involved in the investigation too – though it felt like the Kincaid family was absolutely huge as more characters were introduced. I’ve no doubt that’s partly because I haven’t read previous books in that series, though, but I did have to stop a few times and try to figure out who was related/ associated with who!
Still, Shattered is definitely an enthralling read which kept me wanting to read on to find out whether the cases were all linked, and if so who did it?! I loved reading about the different personalities, methods and attitudes Lucy and Max brought to the case, and following them as they piece the clues together.
Allison Brennan’s writing is skillful and keeps the tension up throughout. There are some twists and turns, as well as some darker parts which really make you think. Definitely worth giving a go!
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.