I barely missed finishing Travis Thrasher's latest book, Broken, in time for the CFBA Tour for last week. Here's my take on the book.
Laila Torres is a beautiful woman on the outside, by anyone's standards. Inside she is tormented by choices she has made in the past, and she keeps everyone outside of a shell she has constructed as she tries to run from her past. Holed up in Greenville, South Carolina, working in an inconspicuous job, she is found by a stranger who knows things about her past.
As this stalker haunts her, leaving threatening messages, she starts seeing visions of a dead man. And something more, buried even deeper in the wasteland of her history. Even as a co-worker tries to peel back some of her layers, and her brother tries to track down his long-lost sister, the risks may be too deep for any of them to overcome.
Nebulous. From Merrian-Webster Online: "lacking clarity of feature or sharpness of outline." That is the one word that describes Broken the best. Thrasher is staking a claim to the suspense/horror side of Christian fiction. I know other writers that really enjoy his work. As for me, not as much.
There is plenty of building of tension in Broken, and there are some intriguing twists along the way. Laila has a complicated past, so Travis pulls back the layers ever so slowly. This leads to the problem of being nebulous - the book takes too long to develop. By the time I found out certain things that drove along Laila and even other characters, I was reading the book more for obligation than for enjoyment. In trying to keep the mystery hidden, it ends up obscured.
There is some touching resolution towards the end, and I did enjoy that. Some of the circumstances Laila faced did catch my interest to see how she escaped. Still, too much was veiled and strung along by "something in her past is spooking her" throughout the book.
I haven't really connected with Travis Thrasher's books in the past, so I think I'll stop trying. For another point of view, check out my friend Nicole's take on Broken at her blog, Into the Fire.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I’d like to thank Faith Words Publishers for providing me this Book free as part of the CFBA book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”