Star Rating: *****
First published in 2014 by Shelby K. Morrison
It’s not very often I sit reading a book and can honestly say that I did not predict one twist correctly to the numerous threads that appear. I write this review in awe of Shelby who has managed to keep me enthralled from beginning to end, who kept me guessing after each chapter as to what was going to happen next. Congratulations to you, Shattered is an excellent debut novel.
Alexandra Bowen is caught off guard as a masked raider holds a cashier hostage, the gun pointing dangerously close in her direction. Not wanting to be a casualty of a small-time robbery she takes action without thinking, working at speed to steal the knife from the belt of the offender and plunging it deep into his side, killing him. Only after the ringing of a shot has stopped echoing in her ears does she spin on her heels to realise that the elderly man behind her has been an unfortunate victim of her actions. Whilst fear is not a factor during the robbery, after the event she is unable to move past the fact that she was able to kill someone with such easy. What is wrong with her?
Overwhelmed with what happened and finding no comfort from others, Alex is struggling to sleep and is having nightmares with vivid flashbacks to that moment when she so easily took the life of another. Driving herself crazy, unable to even look at herself, she reaches breaking point and throws a vase at her own image reflecting back at her through the living room mirror. Little does she know that this one action will change her life as she knows it – forever!
Where the wall should be is now a hole, but not a hole you would expect to find after throwing a small vase. This is a gaping hole that leads through to a separate room with a steel chair and a table. This was no simple mirror it would seem, but a two-way mirror for people to be able to observe her. Did her management company know about this? Was it her management company? Who had been sitting there spying on her and for how long? Have they seen her naked? Thoughts now whirring through her mind mean that, at least for the moment, all thoughts of the killing are pushed into the background. What on earth is going on?
From somewhere a locking sound triggers bringing her back into the moment. The front door. She hasn’t heard anyone entering but within seconds she feels two robust arms reaching around her, picking her up off her feet. Unfortunately for her attacker, Alex has recently started and very quickly taken to kickboxing. Applying herself with gusto she elbows the man in the stomach winding him long enough for her to turn and hit him in the face sending him flying. After several minutes of fighting, her attacker is now a bloody mess knocked out of the floor and she is none the wiser as to what is going on but determined to find out she slips away from her room, making a run for it as more voices can be heard approaching.
When Ian North is introduced he too finds himself in a less than comfortable predicament. Tied to a chair, wrists bound and sore, unsure exactly what has happened, it is difficult to tell whether he is going to survive and yet we don’t even know who he is at this point. All he can remember is that he was observing a building from afar and then two, maybe three men jumped him. Has he failed before he has really started?
Escaping capture seems to be the theme for both our heroine and hero and soon their paths collide. Not knowing who else to trust or even where on earth she is, Alex decides that the only way she is going to survive long enough to gain answers is to work with rather than against Ian, so much to her own annoyance she lets him take charge of the situation. Ian seems to know far more about her situation and where they are then even he is prepared to let Alex know at this point. All he is prepared to say is that they need help and she needs to start trusting in others as well. What worries Alex the most is that when she woke up this morning she was in Oregon, now it would seem she is on some Island in the middle of no-where. Somewhere she had no recollection of. How did she get here?
William has been assigned by Ian to help Alex whilst he tries to gain answers. Leaving her on the Island under his care, he heads back to the mainland in search of what he hopes will be the key to the mystery – but why doesn’t he take her with him? Stranded with yet another stranger and still being chased by others Alex knows she too needs to make a break from the Island and William has the perfect escape route planned – a helicopter – there is just one problem, it’s location: back at the building where she has run from. Hiding out in the woods may seem like the perfect camouflage but with these trained hunters hot on their heels, the helicopter whilst absurd, now appears to be the only option available and so Alex begrudgingly agrees, knowing that Ian has left William to make the decisions relating to her safety. Surely he would not do anything that would put her back in danger?
After a traumatic journey back across the Island they finally make it to the mainland and that is where Alex’s life really starts to unfold. Retracing her steps, uncovering her past and finding out that things she believed to be true are actually a conspiracy of lies all begin to take their toll. Her memories, her thoughts, her life – all seem to be falling down around her. There is only one rock left in her life – William, and of course Ian, when he finally reappears.
As Alex uncovers the truth about her life and who she really is other things become apparent as well. Has William been lying to her? Who is Ian? What connection do they have to one another? How do her parents fit into all of this? It turns out that the more she digs and the more she finds out the more Alex is shot at and chased after, but why? What could she possibly know that would make people in dark suits want to kill her?
Intrigued, want to find out what Alex knows? Then it’s time to pick the book up and read it for yourself! Buy Now
This is a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing throughout. Just when you think you have started to unravel the story and you know which way it will turn another thread is added and throws everything up in the air. The suspense that Shelby adds throughout this novel means that it is a complete page turner that you just cannot put down. If you are looking for happy-ever-afters and easy to predict books than this may not be for you, however if you enjoy reading unpredictable, mind boggling thrillers (in the sense that deep down you know that somewhere out there this sort of thing could be happening), this is a must-read that should be added to your book collection this summer.
I have not added any spoilers to this review for the simple reason that this is by far one of the best novels I have read to date this year and I would not have wanted to know any of the details before reading the book for myself.
Whilst I was very fortunate to be contacted by Shelby K. Morrison who asked me to read and write an honest review on her book I would like all readers to know that this has in no way influenced my thoughts on this novel.
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