Thursday, February 4, 2016

ARC REVIEW Breaker by Richard Thomas

This was a hard one for me to review, I had sit on it for a while and let the book just permeate in my mind. I enjoyed it. It was hard not to like it's beautifully written, a dark mystery that leans to the noir style. It's very dark, "Windy City Dark Mystery" it says it all. But it went deeper and darker than I was expecting. It's violent and raw; it shows the worst of the worst of human nature. It is also exciting, it makes you heart pound in your chest and then in the next chapter it depresses you just a little. The characters; an anti-hero, a tortured soul who is a freak that fights for money; a young girl on the brink of womanhood who sees a certain kinship in her secretive and somewhat scary next door neighbor; and a serial killer who trolls the streets looking for his next victim.

Ray Nelson is an undefeated underground fight club fighter. He lives alone in a dark apartment in a bad area of Chicago. He has no reason for living, I think he goes into every fight hoping it kills him, but the thought of his sister and his unafraid neighbor keep him from giving in to death's call. Natalie is his young neighbor and as much as he tells himself not to care he feels protective of her. Natalie knows there is a dark side to Ray but it's the same dark side that she herself has, she cares about Ray, she's kind to him when people usually shy way from him. When one of her friends from school ends up murdered she asks Ray for lessons in self defense, he obliges only because he knows it could be the matter of life of death for her. Ray wants to do one thing right in his whole fucked up life and that's to save Natalie.

Throughout the book Ray remembers certain things about his past, things that ultimately shaped him into the scary freak he is today. He remembers certain things and the whispers of the serial killer brings back the memories, and he discovers that he is somehow connected to the serial killer. The flashbacks are extensive but necessary for you to really understand and sympathize with Ray. It is a slow build up that definitely pays off in the end. Natalie is a brave girl, lead by paranoia and loyalty to Ray to see things through.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this to everyone but for those who enjoy a dark noir mystery this is a definite yes. If there would to be a sequel with Natalie, I would probably read it. And yes I'm such a girl I cried at the end.    

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