Shattered Glass

Title: Shattered Glass
Author: Dani Alexander
Cover Art: Dani Alexander
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Link: Buy Link Shattered Glass
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / Crime / Thriller
Length: Novel
Rating: 4.5 out 5 rating stars

A Guest Review by Raine

Summary Review: Somehow this book forced me to believe in the very unlikely and enjoy all of it’s frantic, fascinating and tangled action.

Blurb: A male prostitute, a mangy cat, a murder and a maniachal mix-up that threatens his career, his impending marriage and his life. Nothing is going as planned for Austin Glass.
Austin – seems to have it all. At least on the surface. A loving fiancee. A future with the FBI and a healthy sized trust fund. He also has a grin and a wisecrack for every situation. But the smile he presents to everyone hides a painful past he’s buried too deeply to remember. And his quips mask bitterness and insecurity. Austin has himself and most of the whole world fooled. Until he meets someone who immediately sees him better than he sees himself.
As events unfold and Austin’s world unravels, he finds himself pushed into making quick life-changing decisions. But can he trust Peter or what’s happening between them when each meeting seems to be just a series of volatile reactions?

Review:

We join police detective Austin Glass on his very wild ride to self – determination in this crazy page turner with more revelations than the last book of the New Testament. While I found some flaws in this book, it could not be faulted for it’s energy or the often fascinating and frustrating characters that join him on his sexual and emotional road trip.

The humour of his first person narration doesn’t leave the reader detached but rather in combination with Austin’s default position of over thinking allows us to understand far more about his personality, slowly revealing his defense mechanisms.

Instead of lies, I used off-colour humor to make the truth sound ridiculous, So I didn’t have to lie.

I particularly liked that not only was Austin’s personality with all it’s complications revealed gradually, but also that he – not without some rebirth pains- developed as a character throughout the story. The book is called Shattered Glass for a reason.

Dani Alexander’s ability to sell this complicated emotional coming out fell only a little short of the miraculous. I started in the first instance of Austin meeting Peter and the bunny slippers thinking….. ‘um not sure about this’,…. through to…..’okay’ …..and then…. ‘I understand’ …. to finally……. ‘yes, got it and yes I believe in it! ‘ I loved Austin and Peter’s tortuous and funny relationship.

Unfortunately my bumpy road to understanding the pin-ball plot with it’s ups, downs and occasional earth tremor was a little less satisfying. The combination of people trafficking, prostitution, rape, murder, witness protection, police informants, Russian and Albanian mafia, corruption, the FBI, with mood and neuropsychiatric disorders  and a present time scale of a couple of weeks with one of years in the past was exhausting.

I don’t know if the writer’s picture of police procedure was accurate or not. Purely from my experience of crime novels some things like the partnership between Luis and Austin felt believably familiar and I liked the details of the daily grind of detection. The court procedure and bail conditions seemed very real. These aspects did help to partially ground the whiplash effect of the multifarious story lines.

However my main problem was the incestuous involvement of so many of the characters; everybody and his cat was in the book for some entangled reason. Every time a new detail about a character was revealed it tended to come with an ever expanding shock. These unexpected details did prevent the characters becoming static, as we generally found out -albeit with ever increasing drama- more about them as the story went on; but this tactic was really really over used. After a while my surprise switch fused.

Dani Alexander’s secondary characters such as Cai and Darryl were lovingly imagined and I enjoyed all the interactions of their splintered, precarious and painful lives. Much of the detailed information revealed about Austin’s family and friends, especially the awesome Angelica was of real benefit in increasing the attachment I felt to Austin, who was not always an easy character to unconditionally like- for instance his overuse of the word whore became irritating as it quickly passed the function of self defense. However he does show some very endearing qualities – his attitude to children, loyalty and careless generosity.

So in conclusion, this self published novel was a fast paced, fascinating and frustrating tangle of events. While I found the writer over addicted to the shock tactic of sudden revelations; from small but vital character details to huge plot ramifications- I did become partially intrigued by what stunt the author would pull next. For me the complex relationship between Austin and Peter was the most satisfying and unexpectedly believable part of the book, which in spite of my reservations, I thoroughly enjoyed.

Recommended

14 comments

  • Perhaps more than a bit too clever, with too many coincidences, and occasionally I wanted to slap some sense into Austin, especially when he kept shooting their budding relationship in the foot. And yes, probably too many revelations and serendipitous connections. But I pretty much loved it nonetheless, and appreciate Dani Alexander’s craft, bravura, and gutsy excess. Really looking forward to the sequel.

    I also appreciate your review, as it nicely conveys something of the ambivalence I experienced while reading. Still it was a very good read for me.

    Reply
    • Oh yes Karen thats a good phrase..” gutsy excess”. 😀

      I kept wanting to bring in the term- balls to the wall school of writing- but I couldn’t get it to fit!

      Yes in particular everytime Austin made Peter wince with that word made me- as you say -want to shake some sense into him.

      It’s going to be very interesting to see what we all think of the next one. Glad you liked the review. Thanks.

      Reply
  • Love your review (I know I usually love them, but it feels like you are getting better and better :)). Yes, I really was hooked and loved the characters and enjoyed crazy over the top situations, but sometimes plot got a bit buzy. I have to ponder whether I got finally tired of surprises or it was just enough for me, but for sure there were plenty. And such a good deal price wise.

    Reply
    • Hey Sirius

      thank you, sometimes- as you know- writing these reviews can be a struggle, usually for me when it seems I’ve overused all the good words and any others have run to the hills…………..

      So pleased you enjoyed this one as much as me. Especially as it’s all your fault for being so adventurous in your reviews that I tried it in the first place. 😀

      Reply
  • Wonderful review, Raine. Shattered Glass was definitely an entertaining story for all its flaws. I agree with your following statement: “Every time a new detail about a character was revealed it tended to come with an ever expanding shock…but this tactic was really really over used. After a while my surprise switch fused.” I especially love the last sentence because my switch shorted out.

    I enjoyed the main characters, but didn’t love them. I did, however, fall in love with the secondary characters Cai and Darryl. I look forward to reading any story that features one or both.

    Reply
    • Thank you DammitJanet.

      I think you are in luck as I understand from Dani Alexander’s page that the next book is about Cai……I really like the cover for it…. ….almost uncomfortably colourful……which I’m guessing could be a prediction! Any way I’m really looking forward to it too.

      Reply
  • I bought this one yesterday after reading great reviews on Goodreads, I’m glad to read your review also.
    So far I like Austins humor, it will interesting to see what happens…

    Reply
    • Sorry to keep asking for homework- but if you could report back I’d love to know what you think?

      Interesting is the least of it………. 😮

      Reply
  • I would give it the same rating and while some of the law enforcement stuff was a total handwave, I enjoyed the characters so much I ignored that. It’s weird, but I hate rent boy stories, but this one made sense in context to the plot.

    Now it did need a good edit to make the plot tighter, but for a self-published book, I thought it was a great first effort. (Plus $2.99 on Amazon is a deal!)

    Reply
    • I’d been uncertain about the law stuff, I think I only really felt that the reinstatement felt off……but I don’t know any better!

      I agree about hustler characters…..but I have another exception-
      First You Fall- Scott Sherman……

      Yes I think an edit would have sorted some of the stuff I had issues with, but those characters just stole the show.

      I hadn’t realised it was such a good price….. wows!

      Reply
  • Great review, Raine! I haven’t read this yet, but I have it on Kindle and will probably get to it mid- next week. Sounds like a lot of plot! Plus that line you quoted is very intriguing (Instead of lies, I used off-colour humor to make the truth sound ridiculous, So I didn’t have to lie).

    Reply
    • Thanks Val.

      It’s one of those books that sweep you along with it’s self belief. Hope you enjoy the ride. Feed back very welcome, especially from the viewpoint of an author. 🙂

      Reply

Please comment! We'd love to hear from you.

%d bloggers like this: