Book Review: Shattered By Death

Shattered by Death (A Jo Oliver Thriller, #2)Shattered by Death by Catherine Finger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What do you do when your bitter divorce battle ends in death? If you’re Chief of Police Josie “Jo” Oliver, you look for the killer. Her fellow police officer husband Del was vindictive. I remember wanting him to be held accountable for his actions in the first book, but I was caught off guard with his murder. While Jo was not applauding the vengeful actions of her soon-to-be ex, she wasn’t the one that wanted him and his girlfriend to suffer a horrible death. The killer went to a lot of trouble to make it look like she did.

After being cleared of suspicion, the hunt is on to find the sadistic soul that shows no mercy for either the victims or Jo. Then a slippery eel of a criminal that Jo has arrested innumerable times is found dead in a similar manner. Next, a dirty cop, part of Jo’s own police force is found dead. And now, someone else in her orbit is missing.

A personal crisis can squeeze a lot of ugly thoughts and behaviors out of us. When everything in your life falls apart, how is it possible to have faith in the God you’re just learning to trust? Josie learns that trusting God is a choice. One moment she’s basking in His Presence, the next minute she is suspicious of Him and everyone around her, especially Nick Vitallero, the man that she’s afraid to love. It makes for a yo-yo effect in her emotions. One moment I’m rooting for Josie; the next minute I really don’t like her.

She loved Del, the man that abused her, but she’s afraid to love Nick, the one that cherishes her. And therein is the crux of her struggle; she is still convinced that she does not deserve to be loved. Her sense of unworthiness can only be answered as she fully receives the gift of God’s grace.

I imagine a number of people will read and feel the same types of emotions. I applaud the author for creating that sense of ambivalence – it draws Josie as a flawed character, someone relatable. Although I will buy the final version; this review stems from an advanced reader’s copy. Prayerfully the typos, grammatical errors and abrupt ending I saw were caught before final release. I’m committed to this series; I want to see what happens next.

I would love for the author to go all out in the next book. It’s time for Jo to grow up. I’d suggest therapy, but that’s probably a touchy subject with her at the moment. I would like to see more confidence, maturity, faith and consistent fight in Jo. I can relate to the sense of rejection and betrayal she feels. God can help her. Maybe she can start seeing herself the way God and Nick do. “Hello Beautiful.” Yeah, Josie Oliver, I’m talking to you. Tell yourself that, and believe it. I’m sure we’ll get our chance to see growth. After all, there are a number of unresolved issues, and this is only book number two.

I received a complimentary advanced reader’s copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Can you identify with Josie’s turmoil? Here is a woman that is trained to view the most horrendous of crime scenes. She has been witness to the ugliness of society. But when her life is touched by violence, heartbreak and tragedy, it is difficult for her to accept love. It’s that old belief that she is not worth loving, based upon the choices of someone else. Is that you?

Do you believe that you aren’t worth loving or knowing, because someone else said so? Yeah, that’s a heavy topic. We’ll save it for next time.

It is a thought worth considering, so I hope you do. As always, I’m not telling you what to do, I’m just asking.

View all my reviews

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