“Seventeen-year-old Keri likes to plan for every possibility. She knows what to do if you break an arm, or get caught in an earthquake or fire. But she wasn’t prepared for her brother’s suicide, and his death has left her shattered with grief. When her childhood friend Janna tells her it was murder, not suicide, Keri wants to believe her. After all, Janna’s brother died under similar circumstances years ago, and Janna insists a visiting tourist, Sione, who also lost a brother to apparent suicide that year, has helped her find some answers.

As the three dig deeper, disturbing facts begin to pile up: one boy killed every year; all older brothers; all had spent New Year’s Eve in the idyllic town of Summerton. But when their search for the serial killer takes an unexpected turn, suspicion is cast on those they trust the most.

As secrets shatter around them, can they save the next victim? Or will they become victims themselves?”

In Karen Healey’s sophmore release we revisit New Zealand. If you haven’t read Guardian of the Dead, go check it out! (I may be giving away a copy of it next month…hint hint).

In The Shattering the three acquaintances have each suffered a horrible loss. Their older brothers have all killed themselves, but they suspect it’s actually murder. With a premise like that how can you not be curious, heartbroken, and a bit scared? These poor characters! They’ve all lost someone over the past few years. Death in general is bad enough, but suicide of loved ones is horrifying.

When the book began I really thought the characters were likely just making connections that were all in their heads. As the story went on I started with my suspicions about who or what was the cause of the mysterious happenings. I was kept guessing – something I, of course, love! Without posting a big spoiler: I’m very curious to know if there is any real (or myth) basis in the story. (If anyone has any English versions of sites or books that have to do with history of New Zealand send them my way! Everything I found was in other languages.)

Each character and their reactions to death, racial bullying, and just friendship struck me as so realistic. Summertown is a character within itself – it’s perfect! Just reading about it made me want to hop on a plane and visit New Zealand immediately.

I cannot wait to read even more from Healey, The Shattering was another intense, suspense-filled book from her. It releases September 5th.