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.