BookBrowse Reviews Half Broken Things by Morag Joss

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Half Broken Things

by Morag Joss

Half Broken Things by Morag Joss
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2005, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2006, 320 pages

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A stunning, thought-provoking crime novel of chilling moral complexity.

From the book jacket: A 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…and the 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.

Comment: 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."

Selected Reviews
"Offers psychological suspense of the highest order....a must-read." - PW.

"A grim, courageous work that crosses into dark, interior regions American readers rarely dare to tread." - Kirkus.

This review was originally published in October 2005, and has been updated for the July 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



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