SHATTERED By Allison Brennan
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: August 22, 2017
Genres: Mystery – Thriller – Suspense – Women Sleuths
New York Times bestseller Allison Brennan’s two series collide in Shattered, a powerful, enthralling read about the craving for revenge and the desire for justice.
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.
Allison Brennan’s SHATTERED is a fast moving mystery suspense thriller embracing the issues of finding justice for four young boys who have been kidnapped and murdered. Brennan introduces the storyline when a personal friend of Maxine Revere asks her to investigate the kidnapping and murder of his son. He contacts Maxine for help when the police arrest his wife for his son’s murder. Maxine’s research finds unsolved cases of three young boys, who over the last twenty years have been kidnapped, suffocated and buried in shallow graves.
Brennan builds on her story’s momentum adding support characters sharing their history as she introduces them to the story. As the story proceeds, the author adds additional information on each characters’ backstory. The storyline changes direction when Maxine’s research uncovers three similar unsolved cases. Brennan gives her readers the backstory to all of the cases including details of the murder of Justin Stanton, whose father is the local DA. Stanton’s father is looking for closure of his son’s death. He is willing to help in Maxine’s investigation if she works with his ex-sister-in-law FBI Agent, Lucy Kincaid. Brennan describes the conflicts Maxine, a reporter, faces when her only access to the files and family is working with a federal agent. The author describes the personal baggage Lucy brings to the investigation. Brennan places her readers inside Maxine’s and Lucy’s heads as they work to build a level of trust that will move the investigation forward. Maxine and Lucy both have the goal to find the killer and bring him or her to justice.
The storyline’s pace increases the level of intrigue, and the author introduces several sub plots that change the direction of the investigation. Brennan adds twists and turns uncovering clues revealing evidence that the killer is still stalking young boys. Maxine and Lucy, dig into the details of all the investigations to develop a murderer’s profile. Both come to the conclusion they may be looking for a serial killer. Brennan describes the fragile working relationship developing between Maxine and Lucy as they come to trust one another. The author keeps readers guessing as they follow the investigation and at the same time, Brennan shows the human sides of Maxine and Lucy. As Lucy and Maxine work together, Maxine sees the close bond between Lucy and her husband, Sean giving Maxine food for thought about her relationships. As the investigation unfolds, the author shows Lucy developing insight to her family relationships, the horrible events in her past and how they affected her family’s relationships with her.
SHATTERED delivers suspense and action on every page as Allison Brennan building towards an ending that will take readers breathe away. Brennan’s new novel is a must read and earns a five-star ranking.
Reviewed by John W. Kurtze
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award winning author of three dozen thrillers and numerous short stories. She was nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers, had multiple nominations and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a five-time RITA finalist for Best Romantic Suspense. Allison believes life is too short to be bored, so she had five kids and spends all her non-writing time as a sports spectator, chauffeur, and short-order cook for her munchkins. She has a dog, two cats, and three chickens. Allison and her family live in northern California.