Shattered Illusions by Leigh Hershkovich

Dark and intense reading.
Synopsis: One murder. Four eyewitnesses. An unknown assailant. A victim with a mysterious secret. Bystanders beleaguered by life's losses. A killer at large...

When Sam, the proprietor of a local cafe, is shot dead on the street, four strangers become unwitting witnesses to the crime. As the investigation progresses, this quartet of onlookers find themselves not only haunted by the homicide, but pursued by their own pasts.

As they plunge deeper into the reality of his death, all are forced to realize that the loss of Sam is far from their most devastating. Inner anguish reaches a climax point for Ella, Marco, Sarah, and Danny as the answers they are hunting for continue to elude them—and the evidence they hope will vanish refuses to disappear.

My two cents

Death has a strange power over the fate of four strangers; their lives are turned upside down when they witness the murder of Sam, the friendly young man who serves up their daily cup of coffee. Two women and two men who are more than what meets the eye, with their own struggles and harbouring their own secrets, try to shed light on who and why Sam was killed.

One of the strengths of this book is that I couldn't help but get to know the characters very intimately, get into their minds, their struggles, and their pain. It is a little unsettling to read one story ... but five life stories!? It's an intense and unsettling read as none of their stories are pretty.

The writing style is distinctive, emotional and very evocative; Hershkovitch dug her nails into my mind and she never let go in this intense psychological murder mystery. It sort of reminds me of Midaq Alley with it's multiple perspectives -- the movie which I watched, not the book which I haven't read. And then again it reminds me of The Sixth Sense, a movie which had seemingly random pieces falling into place slowly.

Uh-oh: I did not feel at all right with the revelation chapter. I wanted more -- more intensity, more clarity, more logic. I felt that there was something not quite right in how the story came to a head and I was thinking "Did I miss something?" and "Wait, what the heck just happened?" The failing may have been mine, but I found the resolution unsatisfying.

Verdict: A psychological mystery revolving around the death of a mutual acquaintance, this intense and rather dark novel draws us into the minds of four strangers who must face their own secrets to make sense of themselves. Whodunit? Why? You'll need to read it ... I recommend it. I look forward to more of Hershkovitch's work because of her unique treatment of this novel.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. My apologies, Leigh, for the delay in getting this review up.

Shattered Illusions by Leigh Hershkovich
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1 comment

  1. Hi guiltless reader,

    The review you posted for Shattered Illusions by Leigh Hershkovich read to me like you demonstrated impartiality and insight. You stated your thought the way you should. I appreciate that you show both fairness and balance in your reviews. I will be following your other reviews with interest.



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