Book 4 of Stephen King’s Summer Reading List: Shatter, by Michael Robotham

Here’s the full list.

a very dark, very twisted villain, in a suspense-filled page turner

Joe is this psychologist who gets called by the police to talk a woman down from a bridge. She jumps instead, but she is apparently influenced by someone she was talking to on her cell phone. So Joe gets involved in tracking down a misogynist psycho killer. The book was a very fast read; I read it in two days (and would have in one were it not for professional obligations). The plotting is excellent, the protagonist is sympathetic and friendly and three-dimensional. The psycho is a really really bad dude.

If I were to go back in time, I wouldn’t read it again because of the extensive explicit content (see below). But I let myself get drawn in, and I credit Robotham for spinning a compelling tale that leaves me interested in seeing Joe in action again. AND the book has two funny jokes, which I reproduce here:

  1. “Ever heard the joke about the nursery-school teacher who stands up in front of the class and says, ‘If anyone feels stupid, I want you to stand up.’ Well this little boy, Jimmy, gets to his feet and the teacher says, ‘Do you really feel stupid, Jimmy?’ And Jimmy says, ‘No, miss, I just didn’t want you standing up there all alone.’” (397)
  2. A woman gets on a bus with her baby and the bus driver says, ‘That’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen.’ The woman is furious but pays the fare and sits down. Another passenger says, ‘You can’t let him get away with saying that. You go back and tell him off. Here, I’ll hold the monkey for you.’” (278)

Note on content: If you even care about the note on content, then you probably shouldn’t read this book. The villain uses lots of graphic language, including sexually explicit language. There are several murders and attempted murders, and we observe at least a couple.

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1 thought on “Book 4 of Stephen King’s Summer Reading List: Shatter, by Michael Robotham”

  1. This is a book I would love to read. Since Salem’s Lot, Needful Thing, Totem (by David Morrel) and perhaps False Memory by Dean Koontz I have not read anything macabre. I also love the play on the mind…thus when psychologists turn psychopaths and manipulates people’s minds to kill themselves. It has always fascinated me…losing the one thing that makes you human…the mind to another person or seceding it to someone who could totally transform your constitution.

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