Michael Robotham


"Michael Robotham really stands out from the crowd..."


Joe O’Loughlin is seconded to talk a woman down from jumping off the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The woman is naked and wears only red high heel shoes. All the while Joe is talking to her the woman is speaking to someone on a mobile phone. Soon the woman jumps to her death and Joe feels deflated with failure. Days later the woman’s daughter turns up on Joe’s doorstep. She refuses to believe that her mother would jump from the bridge - especially as she was petrified of heights.

Then another woman is found dead, a mobile phone found at the body’s feet. Again, the victim is wearing a pair of very expensive footwear. Finally, the police start to take Joe’s theories seriously that there is a man out there who is tampering with these women’s minds – making them do things, bending them to his will without going anywhere near them or touching them. He is a ghost of a killer. Soon Joe is personally caught up in a madman’s scheme and he has to find out what happened in the past to help him deal with what is happening in the present.

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Michael Robotham really stands out from the crowd as having launched a glittering, and highly original, crime-writing career with all guns blazing. First there was The Suspect - also starring Joe O’Loughlin - then the magnificent The Drowning Man (or Lost as it was originally published before the hit TV show...) and then The Night Ferry. All three previous novels had the feel of a writer who had been creating crime fiction for years. So, does Robotham continue this chain of fantastic reads with Shatter? The answer is yes, he most decidedly does. The characters that populate Shatter are well drawn and it is pleasing to see Vincent Ruiz taking a front seat in this novel after being relegated to a minor role in The Night Ferry. Robotham is a writer who, after only his fourth book is already pushing at the boundaries of crime fiction. Certainly with Shatter he does just that. It is a frightening premise that someone can kill without being close to the victim, but that is exactly what happens. The success of the novel is that in Robotham’s capable hands it appears totally credible. We are shown the deviant side of a killer’s mind, and the way it works to its own ends... Shatter is a highly contemporary, yet strangely gothic story that grips you and keeps you super-glued to those rapidly turning pages. Robotham is not merely a name to watch out for in the future, he is a dazzling and established name to look for right now. I urge you to read him and enjoy the stomach churning, thrilling ride that is Shatter.

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