Shattered by Death by Catherine Finger is the second book in the Jo Oliver Thriller series. If you’ve read my review for Anchored by Death, you’ll know that this review is for the book preceding it. Normally I don’t read out of order but that is how I received the books. For those interested, here is the correct reading order for the Jo Oliver series:
- Cleansed by Death (Jo Oliver Book 1)
- Shattered by Death (Jo Oliver Book 2)
- Anchored by Death (Jo Oliver Book 3)
- Capsized by Death (Jo Oliver Book 4)
Now, with that out of the way, let me put the spotlight on the elephant in the room: did knowing the ending of Shattered by Death, which is discussed in the first few chapters of Anchored by Death, ruin the plot, suspense, etc for me? The answer is not really. I might have looked for clues with a keener eye to detail but Ms. Finger did a great job weaving in clues, red herrings, and misdirection. It was more satisfying than upsetting, really, because now I know why Jo is emotionally fragile in Anchored by Death.
It is interesting that she uses a similar framework in both books though, e.g. framing of an innocent person. And although it didn’t feature as prominently in Anchored by Death, it’s the main focus of this novel. No one likes to be accused of something they didn’t do and it’s a million times worse when you’re the police chief. Doubts creep in and that crack in self-confidence allows evil to whisper in Jo’s ear. This framing of the novel fits neatly with her struggles with her faith.
And tht is a lovely segue to mention that Ms. Finger weaves the message of Christ throughout the story. I particularly like that the struggles are included and not glossed over. It was an excellent way to acknowledge that Christians aren’t perfect and that they still sin and fall short of the glory of God. Jo has to learn to lean on Christ rather than herself, which is a theme that continues into the next book.
One thing that I have noticed is that Jo is tough. More so, she’s nearly indestructible, which, at times, pulls me out of the story. This happened a few times in Anchored by Death as well. I’m assuming that this is part of the “strong woman” trope that Jo seems to be based upon. But, Ms. Finger does manage to balance that somewhat with Jo’s fragile innermost state of mind.
Additionally, it helps to read the series in order (oops!) as the events build on each other. I will go back and read the first book, Cleansed by Death, so I can finally finish up the series with Capsized by Death.
I recommend this book – and the series – to anyone who enjoys fast-paced thrillers with a Christian theme that is easy to read.
GoodReads Rating ★★★☆☆ I liked it.
About the Book
Book: Shattered by Death
Author: Catherine Finger
Release Date: June 2016
When Josie’s abusive soon-to-be-ex-husband had an affair with another woman, Josie could have murdered them. When someone does, Jo is the prime suspect and the only one who can solve the case.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Recently retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates the ability to choose how to spend her time in a new way during the second half of life. So far, she chooses to write books, ride horses, serve others, and generally find her way into and out of trouble both on the road and at home. She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends.
Capsized by Death, the fourth novel in her Jo Oliver Thriller series, will be released by Elk Lake Publishing in November 2019. Anchored by Death, the third of her Jo Oliver novels, was a Bronze Medal winner at the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards; a 2018 Selah Awards finalist; and a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards. Her second Jo Oliver Thriller, Shattered by Death, was a finalist in the International Book Awards and the National Indie Excellence Awards. Catherine and her novels have been featured on radio stations, blogs, and in numerous articles—all posted at www.CatherineFinger.com.
Catherine loves to interact with her readers at www.CatherineFinger.com Follow her on Facebook at Catherine Finger, Author, and on Twitter at CatherineFinger@BeJoOliver.
More from Catherine
“If you could kill someone and get away with it, what would you do? How would you do it?”
Having posed this question over dessert during a really good first date several years ago—to my surprise and delight my date proceeded to share a story about an international cosmetic gone badly awry. I was so taken with this story, that I couldn’t wait to get home and start writing. And I did. That night I sat down to write a scene between two powerful women, intending one to toy with the other by playing with a jar of deadly moisturizer as they interacted.
As I wrote that night, an unexpected scene involving spiritual warfare popped into my head and onto the screen. The edgy, scary, lock-your-doors-before reading story I called Shattered by Death was born.
While the moisturizer scene didn’t ultimately stay in the book, the idea of powerful women pitted against each other did. I strive to create antagonists that are as strong—or stronger—than Jo Oliver. When I feel the tension of wondering whether or not Josie is going to make it out alive—that’s when I know I’m in the middle of a great story.
I hope you think so too.
Enjoy the read!
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 26
My Devotional Thoughts, May 26
Deb’s Book Review, May 27
Blogging With Carol, May 27
Texas Book-aholic, May 28
Betti Mace, May 29
Emily Yager, May 29
Older & Smarter?, May 30
Bigreadersite, May 30
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31
Inklings and Notions, June 1
Rebecca Tews, June 1
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2
Soulfully Romantic, June 2
For Him and My Family, June 3
Daysong Reflections, June 4
For the Love of Literature, June 5
Pause for Tales, June 5
Through the Fire Blogs, June 6
April Hayman, Author, June 6
Christian Bookaholic, June 7
Splashes of Joy, June 7
Amanda in PA, June 8
Genesis 5020, June 8
To celebrate her tour, Catherine is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.