Book Review: Broken Dolls by James Carol [SPOILER FREE]

Alive is always better than dead because any sort of life has to be better than a cold, lonely grave. If you’re alive, it doesn’t matter what horrors have been inflicted on you, there’s a chance you can be fixed.

Title: Broken Dolls (Jefferson Winter #1)

Author: James Carol

Release date: January 16th 2014

Pages: 382

GoodReads Rating: 4.08 stars

My Rating: 4 stars

The Plot: Jefferson Winter has left the FBI and is now a freelance criminal profiler, he is also haunted by his father, one of the most notorious serial killer in America. In this first book he is invited to London to profile a criminal who is torturing and lobotomising young women. In short if you are a fan of shows like Criminal Minds, then this will be right up your alley.

‘The name’s Winter, Jefferson Winter’: This aspect was sone that I found really interesting, I do watch a lot of crime shows, especially Criminal Minds, and have studies psychology in the past. Clearly I am in no way an expert but there were aspects in Winter’s character, or in his way of doing things, that really  seemed to come straight from the FBI handbook. Because of this his character, and his character’s background seemed very realistic, and did so much to help place this book firmly in reality. Ignoring this aspect of Winter, he was still a super fun character to have as a protagonist. Because eh has left the FBI you have his strict training, but also a lot of freedom on his part to work how he wants to which keeps things constantly moving.

The Criminal: Since I promised this would be spoiler free, don’t worry this will be a vague as possible. All I want to point out here is the way in which Carol manages to intersperse Winter’s chapters with those from the criminal’s next victim. When I was reading this I didn’t really pay much attention to this fact but looking back, Carol, somehow, manages to show the criminal throughout the book without giving the game away. So, even when we’re reading Rachel, or victim #5, chapters you still don’t know what’s going on. I really like that about this book, how even when I thought I had it pegged I was wrong.

Every hero needs a sidekick: I like to think that there are two sidekicks in this book; Sophie Templeton and Hatcher, both detectives working the case at Scotland Yard. I really liked Hatcher, an older detective who is in charge of the case, and loved they way that he and Winter bounced off each other. Templeton, a young attractive detective, was a great character that sadly fell into the typical fable sidekick role. It was such a shame and the main reason that I docked this book one star.

Overall: I really liked this book, and it was definitely an easy way for me to gat back into reading thrillers, since it has been forever since I last read one. I’ve already added the next one to by GoodReads TBR, but because theses are essentially stand alone with reoccurring characters, like most thrillers, I’m not racing to the bookstore. Yes, Carol did conform to a lot of motifs that I have seen a million times before in thrillers, but there was enough originality in other aspect to seek you guessing until the very end.

Have you read Broken Dolls and what did you think? Do you like thrillers? What is your favourite thriller?

Thanks for reading!


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