Imagine a world where suddenly, everyone has a personal ghost. Your ghost might be your father, or your second baby who died of SIDS, or your mortal enemy – but somehow, your ghost is connected to you. How many would adjust? And how many would go crazy? And how many of these crazy ones would become violent? And of even more concern in Stephen Irwin’s The Broken Ones, how many would fake crazy so they could get away with violence?
That’s the world that Detective Oscar Mariani lives in. He and his partner, Neve de Rossa, have the job of separating the fakers from the truly beleaguered. If the crime is apparition-related, they get to investigate. If it’s not, they must turn it over to the “real” detectives. It’s their call.
Of course, Oscar has his own ghost – a boy, thin and hollow-eyed. He first appeared to Oscar while he was driving, causing him to jerk the wheel and run over a young girl. His guilt and grief pushes him to the edge, and he manages to deal with the apparition by ignoring him as much as possible.
Stubborn Oscar has already lost his wife, the respect of his colleagues, and his partner’s support when he digs in his heels over the mutilated body of a teenage girl. The intricate carvings on her abdomen – done while she was alive – suggests something supernaturally malevolent at work. So despite the pressure to turn the case over, Oscar investigates.
What follows is both an engrossing police procedural and a compelling horror novel. The unravelling of the crime includes a surprising twist related to Oscar’s ghost and evil in unexpected places.
Read The Broken Ones if:
- you like a twisty plot
- you like underdog heroes
- you are accepting of paranormal plot lines
- you don’t mind a healthy dose of bleak
Don’t read it if:
- you like to figure it out early
- you’re looking for a hero who’s always one step ahead
- you keep thinking “that would never happen”
- you agree that cozies are the best!