Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book review: The Broken Ones by Stephen M. Irwin

The Broken Ones review


Author: Stephen M. Irwin
5 out of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Paranormal Horror/Thriller Suspense Noir Reading Level: Adult book available 8/7/12

Disclosure: I received a free paperback ARC from Doubleday in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Award-winning author Stephen M. Irwin returns with a thrilling, supernatural crime novel built around an intriguing question: What happens when every single person is haunted by a ghost only they can see?

Without warning, a boy in the middle of a city intersection sends Detective Oscar Mariani's car careening into a busy sidewalk. The scene is bedlam as every person becomes visited by something no one else can see. We are all haunted. Usually, the apparition is someone known: a lost relative, a lover, an enemy. But not always. For Oscar Mariani, the only secret that matters is the unknown ghost who now shares his every waking moment . . . and why.

The worldwide aftershock of what becomes known as "Gray Wednesday" is immediate and catastrophic, leaving governments barely functioning and economies devastated . . . but some things don't change. When Detective Mariani discovers the grisly remains of an anonymous murder victim in the city sewage system, his investigation will pit him against a corrupt police department and a murky cabal conspiring for power in the new world order. 

My Thoughts: I was absolutely thrilled when Doubleday contacted me about receiving an ARC of Stephen Irwin’s latest book! I loved his first book, The Dead Path, and have been excitedly awaiting another book by this wonderfully talented author.

A phrase haunts Mariani: I have parted the curtain of bone. He keeps hearing it in his head at odd times and in strange circumstances. Intricate is, I believe, a good word to use to describe the plot in this book – intricate, and twisting, and full of danger. The premise of this book is just fascinating – it is the 2nd book I’ve read within the past year that deals with the repercussions of a sudden flip in the magnetic poles, but the results of this one (other than the usual results of technological disarray and climatological changes) are particularly odd, with the appearance of a personal ghost for each person. The ghost is unable to speak (although some try), and they are always there, and this has led to an increase in mental-health issues. As a result, the Nine Ten department is formed in the police departments; they are responsible for evaluating cases where the suspect claims they did what they did due to their ghost.

There are a lot of arcane symbols described in this book, such as the fairy star

and the veve symbol used to call Baron Samedi in voudon.


I would have really liked to have seen illustrations, honestly; while I was obviously able to find images, they aren’t exactly the same as those described, and there is more to the image than I was able to find. Ereshkigal and Lilith are both mentioned; I was absolutely delighted that the author gave an accurate representation of Ereshkigal’s true nature toward the end of the book. It is so rare that authors go beyond the “approved” ideas of these Goddesses and find their true meaning.

While this book probably won’t be for everyone, I absolutely loved it. It fulfilled every expectation I had for Irwin’s follow-up to his first terrific novel, and I can’t recommend his books enough. If this sounds like the sort of book you like, do not hesitate to pick it up when it comes available.

11 comments:

  1. Sounds terrific. I've not read this author, but sounds like I'd like his work.

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    1. Oh, he's FABULOUS!! One of the best authors I've read in the past two years (both books).

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  2. The Dead Path was the scariest book I'd read in a LONG time. This guy is talented.

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    1. Oh, I highly agree - he's fabulous!

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  3. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    A while ago I put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's a collection of short pieces, mostly dark fantasy.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog.

    If so, please email me: news@apolitical.info. Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy.

    You can download a sample from the ebook's page on Smashwords:

    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/92126

    I'm also happy to do interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. Just let me know what you'd prefer.

    Yours,
    James.

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    Replies
    1. It's cool, James - I haven't made it easy to contact me directly through here, but just so you know for future reference, you can also find me on Goodreads, Shelfari and LibraryThing, and they all have private messaging available.

      As to "The New Death..." - guess what!? I actually have a copy I've been meaning to get to! How about that, eh? laugh I'll get it read this weekend, sound like a plan?

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    2. Thanks!

      I actually just sent you another copy (I thought the comment to dpswanwriter.com below was to me).

      Yours,
      James.

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    3. Ah, that's explains it... well, go and look, I've reviewed both your books on my blog now - go forth and send out links ;-)

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    4. Thanks, I've posted a link to your review on the New Death page of my blog.

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  4. Hi, any chance of getting a book reviewed. I am straight of the shelf with no reviews or ever even published. Happy to send a free copy just to get some critique going.Here is the blurb.Thanks

    If you like dark and twisted stories then please give me a chance. I am fresh out of the box and need a break. How about sexy reptilians that use their powerful orgasms to create peace on earth, or the cynical author that is ecstatic about the Iranian missile heading towards a mall town in England, and if that isn’t twisted enough, try getting your head around a jealous re-incarnated man, who as a baby, only has two years before his memories fade, and his girlfriends new lover needs killing. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083ZAEVO

    Support New Talent !

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    Replies
    1. laugh I just responded to your comment on my Amazon review. I have a very large TBR shelf, but it sounds like your book is pretty short, so I should be able to squeeze it in - if you send me a copy, I'll get it read ASAP. My e-dress is at gmail.com and it is katy.sozaeva (I hope you can figure that out - I'm trying to fool spambots here). If you can't figure that out, drop by my profile page on Goodreads and leave me a PM and I'll get it to you that way.

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