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Summary

A string of murders targeting effeminate gay men has the GLBTQ community of Chicago on alert, but budget cuts have left many precincts understaffed and overworked. Not to mention homophobia is alive and well within the law enforcement community, and little has been done to solve the mystery. When the FBI calls in Special Agent Todd Hutchinson and his team, the locals are glad to hand the case off. But Hutch finds a bigger mystery than anyone originally realized - 17 linked murders committed in several different jurisdictions. Hutch's clues lead him to Noah Walker.

Working on his PhD in forensic psychology, Noah has been obsessed with serial murders since he was a child. But coming to Hutch's attention as a suspect isn't a good way to start a relationship. Noah finds himself hunted, striking him off Hutch's suspect list but not off his radar. To catch the killer before anyone else falls victim, they'll have to work together, and quickly, to bring him to justice.

©2014 SJD Peterson (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press

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  • Dennis
  • 14-07-15

This book is just awful.

Would you try another book from SJD Peterson and/or Rusty Topsfield?

No I wouldn't from SJD Peterson. I found the prose to be one-dimentional and lacking imagination. The characters were written as lacking in any sense of style or verve. The dialogue was mundane and profane. And, the mystery was unintriguing.

Would you ever listen to anything by SJD Peterson again?

No.

What didn’t you like about Rusty Topsfield’s performance?

It's hard to see how he could have breathed life in this turd of a mystery.

What character would you cut from Splintered?

All of these characters had to be re-written with backstories and life. This book needed a real editor. 90 percent of reference to local law enforcement can't be an insult, and 90% of emotion exhibited by characters can't be anger. You have write characters from the inside out for goodness sakes.

Any additional comments?

Read other LGBTQ mystery authors for better characters and better prose, including Josh Lanyon, Marshall Thornton, Dani Alexander, or Dorien Grey.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Annika
  • 07-07-20

Not my favourite

I love mysteries and always have, probably always will. And when I find a gay mysteries or m/m mystery I’m always eager to start listening, ready for my next adventure.

The premise of this book was a good one; a serial killer roaming in Chicago targeting effeminate gay men in the most horrific of ways. And of course, we follow the detectives trying to find and stop the killer. This is all really good and should have been great and possibly heart-pounding listen, but to me it wasn’t for a few reasons.

The characters felt one dimensional and after finishing the book I still don’t feel like I know them any better than I did when I started. I wished for a back story for them, or something that indicated they had a past and lives before the book started. Parts of the book were really great, I mentioned the set-up before. I also enjoyed the profiling part of it, trying to get into the mind of the killer, and trying to make all the clues fit.

But then there were entirely too many clichés thrown in, too much wannabe macho-men, not to mention the TSTL moments. I mean if you know you are being stalked by a vicious serial killer, why do you run off without your police protection? There was also a distinct lack of depth and emotion in this book. I felt as if there was a distance between the story and the listener, so while listening I had a hard time to really connect and become invested. In general I don’t mind gruesome details or descriptions in my books, I can even stomach the odd abuse scene – but there has to be a place for it. They need to fit the narrative of the story and not been added as a way to manipulate the reader or reader as I felt it was here.

I think this might be my first foray with Rusty Topsfield, and it was an enjoyable one. I loved listening to his deep voice and appreciated how he varied his tone and pacing to fit the situation the characters fund themselves in. I’ve found that a particularly tricky thing for any narrator (male and female) is voicing the opposite sex in a seemingly natural way without overdoing it. Some can be downright cringe-worthy, but Topsfield portrayed really well, to the point where I stopped to take notice. Not that there were many women in this story, but it’s still something I appreciate all the same. The story might not have been for me, but the narration was, and I’ll happily listen to more of Topsfield’s books in the future.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

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  • Rachael
  • 25-07-15

Excellent Thriller

Where does Splintered rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I loved the narrator and the story was quite compelling.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the thriller part of the story and the bit of romance mixed in with it.

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  • A. Clark
  • 09-06-15

DNF

I was really excited to listen to this, but it ended up being a DNF. It was like the worst/most cliche episodes of every FBI procedural out there. And the fact that the main characters name is Hutch, made me keep thinking this was a bad fic of Criminal Minds, where it autocorrects Hotch.

1 person found this helpful