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Shatter by Michael Robotham – a review

This was the first book I’ve read by Michael Robotham and I have to confess to being slightly confused as to why he is in a session called South of the Equator. Having been to Bristol a few times over the years to visit my Gran I’m pretty sure I didn’t need to take my passport, I assume its because he lives abroad.

However that aside it may be my first by him but certainly won’t be my last. Joe is a psychologist who is asked by a police friend to go along and talk to a woman who is threatening to throw herself off the notorious suicide spot of Clifton Suspension Bridge. He gets there in time to talk to her and he sees that she is talking to someone on a mobile phone but she still jumps. Joe then has a visit from the woman’s daughter who believes it isn’t suicide as her mum was scared of heights. This theory is proved correct when another woman dies in suspicious circumstances related to the first murder. Joe soon becomes deeply involved in the case and it starts to affect his own family.

I really enjoyed this book. The story is told mainly from the point of view of Joe. It’s interesting to see his take on certain ways he acts, and things he does that he believes are completely plausible but found me wanting to shake him and say don’t do it. We also get some glimpses into the killers mind when the writing switches to him and it’s pretty disturbing.

This book is well written and with short chapters that made for an easy read which was difficult to put down. I liked the range of characters in the book, and felt that they all played necessary parts. One thing I particularly liked was the fact that Joe wasn’t a policeman and his investigations were conducted more as a civilian (albeit with the help of the detectives) Of course he has the staple side kick, in this case his friend Ruiz a retired police officer. So although his knowledge of the law is great, he can’t just flash a badge and walk around. I felt this added to the plot as it makes you feel that you are actually investigating the crime with them.

I thought this was an excellent book, with believable characters and plot lines, and would definitely recommend it. I look forward to seeing at the Michael Robotham at the Theakstons Festival and finding the reason for his inclusion in the session South of the Equator as well as reading more of his books.

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