Shatter the Night by Emily Littlejohn

Note: I received an advanced copy for review. This book publishes on December 10, 2019.

Quickie review here. In a nutshell, dialogue and writing in general were very poor, but the suspense of the plot kept me going through to the end, which fact still surprises me.

This is the fourth in the Detective Gemma Monroe series, and the first I’ve tried. I won’t bother with any more in this series, not with the likes of Lee Child, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke, and Tana French mysteries in the world. It took me just a few pages to laugh out loud at stilted dialogue (one of my pet peeves: two characters who know each other very well, discussing a third person they know very well, with first and last name and character’s background in dialogue – ugh!), and I continued to note less-than-credible police procedure and other basic factual matter all the way through this book. (Vampire bats in Colorado? A quick Google search says no.) These weaknesses – huge, glaring, obnoxious weaknesses – continued to annoy me from start to finish, and this is why I did not write a review for Shelf Awareness.

But I read the whole book! And you know I am quick to put down a book I don’t like and walk away forever. So, kudos to Littlejohn for a plot that kept me turning the pages (and probably a nod to the fact that I’m a bit stressed and it felt good to escape into something mindless). I enjoyed the mystery aspect itself, and there were enough goofy characters (possible suspects) that I didn’t guess the solution too far before Detective Monroe herself did. The ending, following the denouement, turned weak again: we took a hard left turn into sappy romance, even though the romance had itself looked a bit endangered earlier in the novel. Ah, well.

A far from perfect book, and one I might have put down at another time in my reading life, but credit for a plot that kept me til the end. Do I recommend this book? Not really.

Rating: 5 times the cops were shocked and called someone a ‘bastard.’

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