*I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.
The Broken by Shelley Coriell is about a woman named Kate Johnson and a man named Agent Hayden Reed. The story follows these two as their lives become intertwined by a similar foe, a serial killer named the Broadcast Butcher. Kate has spent three years trying to get away from this killer, and Hayden has done months of research, trying to stop the killer before he/she strikes again.
Kate was the first victim of the Broadcast Butcher and she managed to survive but not without being scarred physically and mentally. After the attack, she lives her life on the run to ensure her safety. Hayden, on the other hand, wants to find the Butcher, and in order to get closer to the killer, he must find Kate. Kate is the only survivor, and she has leads that will help with the investigation. Hayden has to earn Kate’s trust and must learn her dark secrets to finally stop the killings.
This novel was interesting, and I did like it for the most part, but there were some problems. There were a lot of red herrings, and once the reader found out who the killer is, it seemed kind of random. When the killer revealed himself/herself, it was a bit of an info dump. The killer wasn’t exciting, and I was kind of disappointed with who it ended up being. I actually forgot about this particular character until the end. There were also moments in the book that I felt weren’t plausible and really didn’t make much sense. Some examples: Sergeant Lottie King is an older heavy-set woman who wears three inch heels while working in the field, Kate being with Hayden while he investigates the case, and Smokey Joe being with Kate while she is in danger of being killed by the Butcher. It doesn’t seem like Lottie would be able to get much work done, and it seemed kind of silly. It didn’t seem safe to have Kate or Smokey around Hayden while he was investigating the case. The butcher wanted Kate, and it seemed to put her and others in unnecessary danger. I know Hayden doesn’t play by the rules but having them around didn’t seem like the best idea.
However, I did enjoy the characters. I loved their different personalities, and it was nice to see memorable secondary characters. Smokey Joe was one of my favorites. He was spirited and at times, very useful. Smokey held his own, and his fighting spirit was something to be admired. Kate’s fighting spirit was great as well. Even though she was on the run and feared the killer would try to find her, she still managed to go on with her life. She didn’t want the past to represent her, and she was pretty independent. Hayden desperately seeks justice and order. It was interesting to see Kate break his shell and make him rethink his obsession with control. The romance between Kate and Hayden was alright. I did like how their relationship started, but the confession was kind of odd to me and seemed out of place.
The Broken was an entertaining read. The characters were likable and provided some great moments in the novel. There were some problems I had with the plot, but I did end up liking the overall story. The killer was not the best or most memorable, but the plot was enjoyable. I would recommend this book. I will most likely be picking up the second book The Buried because it tells Hatch’s story. The synopsis sounds really interesting, and I’ll get it when it’s released later this year.
My Rating: ★★★