Sunday, July 25, 2010

Torn Apart by Shane Gericke

Tess Gerritsen recently said that women like books about serial killers with women as victims.  So, why aren't Shane Gericke's books more popular than they are?  Women should be buying tons of his books, and Torn Apart should be at the top of the list.

The third book about Naperville Illinois detective Emily Thompson is nerve-wracking.  If you can turn the pages fast enough, you can try to keep up with a plot that involves narcotics drivers, kidnapped children, sexual slavery, a Mexican drug cartel, a missing police officer all converging on two points, the Wisconsin woods during deer hunting season, and Naperville.  And, I didn't mention that Emily, who has been the target of two serial killers, is receiving "gifts" and notes from a third.

I can't even say this book started slowly.  It's a violent book from page one.  If you don't want to read books that tell part of the story from the villains point of view, you'll stop immediately when you find a teenager screaming in the back of a van with four brutal men.  Gericke hits the reader with scene after scene of violence before giving the police a little down town, allowing Emily time with her best friend, Annie Bates, SWAT team captain, and her lover, Marty, before he leaves for a hunting trip.  But, even as Marty leaves, the reader knows those hunters will somehow run into the men in the van.  Drug money is leaving its trail up and down the interstate, tearing apart families, communities, and the police force.

Torn Apart will leave you gasping for breath.  It's action-packed and suspenseful, and doesn't give the reader or Emily Thompson a break until the very end.  And, if you can guess the serial killer's identity, you're quicker than I am.  Once again, Shane Gericke has written a stunning thriller, with enough action for any reader.

Shane Gericke's website is

Torn Apart by Shane Gericke.  Kensington, ©2010.  ISBN 9780786020393 (paperback), 320p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, in hopes I would review it.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sounds like an exciting book that makes you keep turning the pages!

You know my stomach isn't a very strong one (thus the cozies!) :) , but the idea of looking at things from the villain's POV every once in a while is interesting to me.

kathy d. said...

Thank you for this good, frank review. Again, it isn't my cup of tea but many should find it riveting.

And a good page-turner is often what a mystery reader is craving.

I'm in a post-good-book slump, having just finished Australian writer Adrian Hyland's second book featuring Emily Tempest, "Gunshot Road."

It is a beautifully-written book; some of it is like poetry, full of the landscape, culture and language of Indigenous people in Australia. And, a terrific main character--Emily Tempest.

I wish I had the Vicki Delany book handy but I don't or the new Sara Paretsky or Nevada Barr, but I don't.

Happy Sunday reading!

Lesa said...

I do give fair warning in my review, Elizabeth, so you'll know what's coming if you decide to read it. I know this book isn't going to be for everyone.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, kathy. Isn't it difficult to come up with the next book after you've read something that just fit your mood? Something nothing else seems to fit at that time. (That's when I do logic puzzles.)

Kaye Barley said...

I agree this book is not for the faint of heart, but - I love how Mr. Gericke gives us the comraderie and closeness amongst his characters with a touch of tenderness. It offsets those bad guys in a point/counter-point way I really like. And I loved having a small character role (couldn't resist saying that!).

Lesa said...


You were the best police dispatcher I've read about in a book. You were one of those caring characters. Very nice role!

You're right. He does show that comraderie between his characters, and that's what keeps me reading.

Pat Browning said...

Thanks for your review, Lesa. I really would love to read one of Shane's books but violence, especially from the killer's point of view, is just not for me.

But then I don't read about vampires and zombies,either. Just call me a fraidy cat and hand me an amateur sleuth mystery.

I'm at a loss to understand Gerritsen's comment about readers wanting to read about female victims. For me there's more than enough of that in the daily news.

Fortunately there's something for everyone in the mystery stacks.

Pat Browning

kathy d. said...

I agree with Pat. I don't understand women readers wanting to read about women victims of brutal crimes or to read the psychopath's screwy thinking or plans to get his victims.

And, yes, there is enough of this in the daily, local news which sometimes causes me to turn it off.

B-r-r-r-r! Just gives me the chills to think about it in mystery fiction.

However, there is a wide spectrum to choose from so all readers should be able to pick what they want to read.

Shane Gericke said...

You guys are much too good to me! Thanks for this wonderful review, Lesa. It's very much appreciated, as is all your writing, which I follow faithfully.

My work IS strong tea, no question. But I care very much about my characters and the integrity of the emotional violence I commit, so nobody is killed or injured without very good cause. Particularly, women. They take way too much crap in real life for me to slap them around without reason here. Plus, Emily and Annie dish out the two-fisted good stuff twice as hard as the bad guys.

Plus, there's a magical deer. How can you beat that?

Lesa said...

Pat & kathy,

Yes, the good thing is, there is something for everyone. And, I understand that violence in a book may be more than you want to read.

As long as you find something good to read, that's what counts!

Lesa said...

And, I should have mentioned the deer, Shane! I love that deer.

You and Kaye are right. Your female police officers are wonderful, and I like the way the male officers work with, and respect the female ones.

But, I do understand the violence is more than some readers will want, and I need to point that out.

Will there be another Emily book? I do love her and Marty.

kathy d. said...

It's good to hear Annie and Emily dish it out. That helps a lot in a book with violence, that women can stand up for themselves and are not only victims.

Lesa said...

Oh, no, kathy. These women can dish it out. They're hell on wheels. One's the captain of the SWAT team, and Emily is something else in a chase. Tough women.