Title: The Broken by Shelley Coriell
The Apostles Series Book One
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
He took her life, but left her alive.
Three years ago, reporter Kate Johnson was the first victim-and only survivor-of the Broadcast Butcher. Scarred both physically and psychologically by the brutal serial killer, Kate lives life on the run, knowing that one day, he will find her and finish what he started.
In the pursuit of justice, you sometimes have to step outside the law.
Agent Hayden Reed spends his life chasing monsters. The only way to stay sane is to detach, but the second the Broadcast Butcher case crosses his desk, Hayden knows this is the case that might just cost him his soul. To catch this vicious murderer before he strikes again, Hayden must find Kate and earn her trust. For it’s her darkest secrets that hold the key to stopping this madman once and for all . . .
The first installment of Shelley Coriell’s The Apostles series, The Broken is an intricately plotted and suspenseful mystery. Full of intriguing twists and turns, this compelling novel moves at a furious pace from beginning to end.
Broadcast journalist Katrina Erickson barely escaped with her life after a brutal attack by a knife-wielding attacker. Three years later and now living under the alias Kate Johnson, she is a live-in companion to a feisty disabled vet when she learns that her attacker has begun killing again. Knowing Katrina is the key to unmasking the Broadcast Butcher, FBI Agent Hayden Reed single-mindedly tracks her down and they, along with the other members of the elite FBI team known as The Apostles, work round the clock to catch the Butcher before he strikes again.
Kate escaped her dysfunctional and abusive childhood and through hard work and dedication, she forged a successful career as a broadcast journalist. In the aftermath of the vicious assault, she lost faith in the justice system and she now leads a lonely and fearful life. Kate is not weak or timid and despite her trepidation at emerging from hiding, she is quite determined to aid Hayden in his investigation. As the story progresses, Kate slowly regains her confidence and never lets her worries stand in the way of following where the evidence leads.
Hayden is absolutely brilliant and super dedicated to his career. Despite the atrocities he investigates, he remains hopeful he will catch the criminals he is seeking. Hayden has an uncanny ability to get into the minds of the suspects and he relentlessly pursues any and all leads. Coming off his own personal tragedy, Hayden immerses himself in the search for the Butcher and despite his concerns for Kate’s safety, he concedes she has valuable insight into the investigation.
Kate has surprising information about the killer’s possible identity and their investigation is off to a exciting start. The evidence takes them in several, sometimes unforeseen, directions. Ever conscious of the risks, Kate and Hayden follow the clues but dead ends and shocking discoveries leave them frustrated by their lack of progress.
Their close quarters forge an unexpected intimacy between Kate and Hayden and they are surprised by their growing attraction for one another. Although their focus remains primarily on the search for the Butcher, Kate and Hayden begin to reveal bits and pieces of their pasts and gradually, their relationship takes a personal turn. They do eventually act on their passion, but their love scenes fade to black.
The Broken is an extremely well-written and tightly plotted mystery. The murders take place off screen but there is no denying the brutality of the crimes. A series of red herrings and misdirects seamlessly and carefully conceals the killer’s identity and motives for the killings until the novel’s dramatic conclusion.
Shelley Coriell’s The Apostles is off to a strong beginning and I cannot wait to read the next novel in the series, The Buried!