Wednesday 14 September 2011

THE BROKEN ONES by Stephen M. Irwin

It's the near future and the world has descended into chaos. On the surface, everything looks the same yet the unthinkable has happened...the dead have risen.

Everyone is haunted by a dead relative, friend, spouse, or stranger, and these spirits are unshakable, silent and watching. No one is safe. Governments the world over fail to deal with the epidemic, they begin to lose control of their economies and their resources. Their people. Crime is rife, and murders commonplace. But who is responsible: the ghosts or the people?

Finding out is where Detective Oscar Mariani comes in, although it s nearly impossible to run a department when you can t even see half the suspects. His strike rate is embarrassingly low.

Then he stumbles into a case that cuts through his apathy and depression, a case that suggests a ritualistic, brutal serial killer attracted to innocent young women at work and one that, unfortunately for Mariani and his less jaded partner, implicates those in high places.

However, if he can solve it, and keep alive himself, he may be able to exorcise his own ghostly shadow, a dead young man who might just have something to say.

Mixing police procedural, suspense and horror, Stephen M Irwin's new book is a compelling, knuckle-whitening ride.

I have to admit, I enjoy a good ghost story (actually, I've even got an upcoming series featuring ghosts) so I was looking forward to getting stuck into this book...

When Grey Wednesday happened, the world changed forever. All of a sudden, every person in the world was haunted by a ghost from their past. Some, by ghosts they didn't even know. That's the case for detective, Oscar Mariani. He doesn't know the boy haunting him, but the appearance of this ghost changed the course of his life.

Now, three years later, the world is a horrible, bleak place. Oscar works for a unit--dubbed, the Barelies--specialising in crimes committed in regards to these ghosts, but it's under threat of being closed.

The night he becomes involved with investigating the death of a teenage girl with some sort of carvings on her flesh, Oscar gets caught up in an investigation that no one wants him to follow... because it leads to death, ritualistic magic, and the horrid misuse of young girls who can't protect themselves.

The Broken Ones is a dark and gritty thriller that doesn't shy away from the horrid side of the world, and even delves into some pretty heavy paranormal and mythical situations. I loved the fact that no matter how much he searches and tries to figure out what's going on, Oscar gets himself deeper into trouble. No matter how hard he tries, both his professional and personal life suffer to the point of breaking. Still, he's got the guts and determination to continue. He's one of the most flawed characters I've ever read, but I still enjoyed following him into the pits of hell.

This is a unique, fast-paced book with an awesome concept, that kept me guessing until the big mystery is revealed. And I wasn't disappointed. Stephen M. Irwin's written another intriguing book!

The Broken Ones, September 2011, ISBN 9780733627132,  Hachette Australia Paperback

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