I have been a fan of murder mysteries for a long time. I'm currently reading the Kay Scarpetta series, The Women's Murder Club, the King and Maxwell series,and a few others. Shatter Point is very well written and kept me engaged from start to finish. Very few authors write stand-alone mysteries, so that in and of itself is note worthy. It is nice to be able to read a book and not feel like I'm on the hook for the next several years.
The book bounces between a few different stories which converge about two thirds of the way through. I found this to be a little confusing at first. Once I worked through the first several chapters, I began to connect with the characters and everything fell into place.
The story is set several years into the future in a country that is clearly divided. There are the extremely wealthy and the poor. The government is run by the wealthy, so there is very little advancement opportunity for those who are not part of the elite. Dr. Beck is one of the few exceptions. He grew up in an orphanage, but his exceptional test scores earned him the opportunity to attend college. He is on the verge of creating a cure for Alzheimer's, but the government has alternate plans for his research.
Cooper first met Maggie while his family was vacationing at a resort for the summer. Her parents worked at the resort, but Cooper took an interest in her. He quickly became obsessed with her, but she could see past his good looks and charming personality. He had an explosive temper that she couldn't ignore.
When Maggie disappears her two sons, Jack and Tom, turn to the Fourteenth Colony for help. This is an underground resistance to the over powering government that has taken over the country. The organization's goal is to restore democracy and the chance for the American dream. Tom and Jack quickly discover that their great aunt Jackie and mother have been hiding family secrets since well before they were born.
The link between Dr. Beck, Cooper, Maggie, and the underground resistance was intricately woven throughout the story. With surprises around every corner, I found this to be a very fast paced story that I simply could not put down. I would highly recommend this book to any adult who enjoys murder mysteries. (There is some graphic violence, so this is not for younger readers.)
I've already added Jeff Altabef's Fourteenth Colony to my to-be-read list. While Shatter Point is a stand-alone novel, Fourteenth Colony appears to provide the back story.
About the Author:
Jeff Altabef lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of "telling stories," he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, is his debut novel. Jeff has a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories. You can find his blog, The Accidental Writers Workshop, on The Patch. Jeff also rights a column for The Examiner under the byline - The Accidental Writer.
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