The Broken Ones

Stephen M. Irwin. Doubleday, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-0-385-53465-9
Irwin (The Dead Path) works a highly original idea—an unexplained cosmic catastrophe has left everyone in the world haunted by a persistent personal ghost that only they can see—into an engrossing hard-boiled thriller. When Oscar Mariani, a detective with the Nine-Ten Investigation Unit, which specializes in crimes related to the ghost sightings, looks into the brutal mutilation murder of a young woman, he discovers a strange symbol with apparent occult import carved into her flesh. As Oscar follows the trail of clues, a series of related murders suggests that corrupt and entitled parties are attempting a coverup that will threaten Oscar as well. The link between the murders and the ghostly hauntings proves as ingeniously imagined as the novel’s premise. Irwin’s depiction of a world falling apart under the onslaught of supernatural forces, and the desperate measures some will take to remedy it, is one of the more memorable in recent weird fiction. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2012
Release date: 08/07/2012
Genre: Fiction
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