gripping tale of psychological suspense perfect for the readership of
Minette Walters and Ruth Rendell, Half Broken Things is a novel
that peers into the lives of three dangerously lost people
ominous haven they find when they find each other.
Jean is a house sitter at the end of a dreary career. Steph is nine months pregnant and on the run. And Michael is a thief. Through a mixture of deceit, good luck, and misfortune, these three damaged loners have come together at a secluded country home called Walden Manor. Now all three have found what they needed most: a new beginning, a little kindness, a little love. Living off the manor's riches, tending its grounds and gardens, they leave the outside world far behind and build a happiness so long denied them. That is, until the first unexpected visitor arrives...igniting a chain reaction that is at once spellbinding and disastrous.
A stunning, thought-provoking crime novel of chilling moral complexity, Half Broken Things is a gripping, haunting exploration of love and our need for it, of the damage done when we go long without it, and the deeds we might be driven to in its name.
Walden Manor August
This is not what it might look like. We're quiet people. As a general rule extraordinary things do not happen to us, and we are not the type to go looking for them. But so much has happened since January, and I started it. Things began to happen, things I must have brought about somehow without quite foreseeing where they would lead. So I feel I must explain, late in the day though it is. I'm going to set out, as clearly as I can, in the order in which they occurred, the things that have happened here. And I shall find it difficult because I was brought up not to draw attention to myself and I've never been considered a forthcoming person, never being one to splurge out on anything, least of all great long explanations. Indeed, Mother always described me as secretive. But that was because, with her, I came to ...
A number of reviewers compare Morag Joss to Minette Walters, as does the book jacket cover. Other than that they've both British and write psychological suspense I don't really see the comparison - I've tried a few of Minette Walters's books but found them too gory for my tastes - but I did not feel this when reading Half Broken Things.
As Joss herself says, "Although Half Broken Things has a crime in it, I didn't set out to write it as a crime novel. It's been published as a crime novel and one can see why but if it is a crime novel, it's one by accident.....I've started to feel queasy about murder as entertainment. I've begun to think there are so many more interesting things about death than the whodunnit.....I wanted to explore what people will do when they're in such terrible need of love. If there was a big idea then that was it." (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (565 words).
Morag Joss grew up on the west coast of Scotland, completed a degree in English at St Andrew's University and then studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music. The trigger for her start as a writer was in the mid 1980s when family friend P.D. James came to stay and Joss took her on a tour of the Roman Baths in the city of Bath. While touring the baths Joss jokingly suggested that 'this would be a good place to find a body', they bounced around the idea for a minute or two and then P.D. James said 'Oh, ...
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