Book Review – Shattered Lives by Sarah Stuart

Shattered Lives: A DCI Gerald Croft Thriller by Sarah Stuart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ralph Thyme has just found out he has an older sister, Olivia, who was adopted at birth. He hires a private investigator to track her down but not because he wants to have a relationship with her but because he wants to kill her. Afterall Olivia stands to inherit half of their grandmother’s fortune, and Ralph wants it all to himself. After killing the wrong Olivia, Ralph develops a taste for murder and rape.

Detective Croft has a mystery to solve as murdered and mutilated bodies lead him on the hunt to catch a serial killer. But will he discover who is behind these gruesome killings and will Ralph Thyme find and kill his sister?

Sarah Stuart pens an interesting tale in Shattered Lives. I enjoyed this book and with every murder, hoped Ralph Thyme would soon be caught. He is despicable, though there are a couple of other characters who, while they didn’t commit murder, were just as heinous. The author did a fine job sketching out these evil characters.

I did find that it’s not the sort of story where you want your mind to wander for even a second, especially during dialogue. There are no dialogue tags which sometimes lead me to rereading a sentence or two in order to understand who was speaking, which ultimately slowed the pace. I also found the use of single quotation marks to indicate dialogue difficult to spot, as it seemed to blend in with the text at times, and I really had to pay attention.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers, give this one a try. But be aware that this story does include detailed descriptions of murder and rape and also deals with the trauma of pedophilia, and may be triggering for some readers.




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