Title: Shattered Illusions
Author: Leigh Hershkovich
Release Date: April 20th 2013
Publisher: Full Court Press
Source: signed copy from author
One murder. Four eyewitnesses. An unknown assailant. A victim with a mysterious secret. Bystanders beleaguered by life's losses. A killer at large...
When Sam, the proprietor of a local cafe, is shot dead on the street, four strangers become unwitting witnesses to the crime. As the investigation progresses, this quartet of onlookers find themselves not only haunted by the homicide, but pursued by their own pasts.
As they plunge deeper into the reality of his death, all are forced to realize that the loss of Sam is far from their most devastating. Inner anguish reaches a climax point for Ella, Marco, Sarah, and Danny as the answers they are hunting for continue to elude them—and the evidence they hope will vanish refuses to disappear.I have history with Shattered Illusions. September of last year, I restarted my blog, and Leigh was the first author to contact me for a review. Back then, the book didn't even have a cover or release date yet, so I really watched this book grow. And wow, how finely it aged, indeed.
Leigh's captivating prose immediately stood out along with the obvious question of how four people, our main characters, got involved with the homicide. There were, admittedly, times when the story became too vague; one might even consider those parts unnecessary to the plot but, unclear as they were, I actually liked reading those because they tended to be the most descriptive bits and they added a lot to the overall mystery of this book.
What surprised me was how Shattered Illusions isn't a mystery novel so much as an exposition of our main characters' lives that diverged and culminated in Sam's killing. Even then you'd think the whole book is like listening to a new friend's life story, but no—I felt like I lived every moment as Ella, Danny, Sarah, and Marco. Shattered Illusions is dark, gritty, and emotional, just like how it truly is inside a human mind.
There couldn't be a group of four people with more different lives, yet at the heart of them laid one stark similarity: depression from taking the blame for another person's action. But one of this book's very few faults is the lack of distinction in the characters' voices despite their overall differences. Take out the essence of their thoughts and they might very well be the same person. Or maybe that's just a way of showing that suffering identifies with everyone.
A bleak story with lots of lessons to offer, Shattered Illusions is a very unique novel. It's not a simple thrilling mystery, and people looking for something straightforward and easy to read might find themselves easily distracted, but the right readers are surely in for a treat.
MY FAVORITE PART is the realistic ending.