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Book Review: Broken Grace

Broken Grace. E.C. Diskin. Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, August 25, 2015, Trade Paperback, 308 pages.

Reviewed by Renee James

A Mystery That Grabs You and Won't Let Go

Broken Grace opens with a spate of sheer terror as Grace Abbott flees from an ominous, unseen pursuer, nearly dies in a car crash, and wakes up in a hospital with no idea who she is.

All this occurs in the first three pages, and the tension never relents in this five-star page turner from E.C. Diskin.

Diskin's debut novel, The Green Line, gave readers an insider look at corporate law and a thrilling tour of Chicago's shadowy western suburbs, along with a cracking good mystery built around a smart, vulnerable heroine. Broken Grace is even more compelling. Set in the small cities along the southwest Michigan shores of Lake Michigan, this story unfolds in quick, fast-moving scenes as Grace unravels the mysteries of who she is, whom she can trust, and who was responsible for a series of grisly murders in her family.

The cast of characters includes a dead fiancé—and Grace is a prime suspect in his death—a doting sister she doesn't recognize and feels uneasy about, a handsome cop who warms her heart, and a steady stream of characters that seem murky and, in many cases, a little (or a lot) bent. As we view these people through the eyes of Grace and the detectives investigating the fiancé's murder, we're completely engaged in Grace's story and trying to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

This is a masterfully crafted story in the best traditions of classical murder mysteries. Every scene adds tension to Grace's plight and ends at the edge of another emotional cliff, daring the reader to put the book down. The story zigs and zags without feeling contrived and reveals its truths in unpredictable leaps and starts, right up to and including the very last page.

If you love a fast-moving mystery that keeps you guessing, Broken Grace is highly recommended.


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