Article first published as Book Review: ‘Shattered Illusions’ by Leigh Hershkovich on Blogcritics.
“Shattered Illusions” by Leigh Hershkovich is definitely a great piece of literature. The mystery behind this crime novel is not the detective’s journey to find a killer but a deep look into the lives of four, very different witnesses of the murder. Ella Sansburg, Marco Santorini, Danny Michaels and Sarah Grigg all witnessed the murder of Sam Knightly. Each character has a strong back story that make up the majority of this novel, giving the reader a chance to experience their shattered illusions.
One of the characters is a Jewish woman who had never been touched, hugged or held hands with a man as that is sacred and should be saved only for her husband. This was a fascination part of Ella’s character and it made up a large part of her personality, making her very real for me. I learned a lot about Jewish courtships and the early days of marriage, something I probably would have never known otherwise.
Our four main characters are all brought together in a small town in Louisiana with direct affiliation with Sam Knightly, the murder victim. Ella sets off in search of her mother who left her family years ago without saying a word. Marco is an Italian immigrant who finally settled in Louisiana with this late wife with intentions of starting a family. Danny is the trouble making, Australian teen sent to live with his estranged uncle in hopes he will straighten up his life before it is too late. Sarah is the motivational speaker who ups and leaves her life after getting a phone call from her sister that she is getting divorced. With each of these characters brings very different demons that each of them face, making them all very unlikely friends, only really even considered friends because of the investigation.
At about half way through the book, I was asking myself what exactly was the point of all the character development. I was unsure where the author was going. When characters are cast in such a way, it calls my attention and makes me wonder what is going to happen and how is this going to end. Leading up to the big question….is this going to work? When I reached the end, I realized that the focus on the characters was the exact intent of the author, making this ultimately the beautiful aspect of her writing style.
Leigh Hershkovich clearly has a passion for words and a knack for displaying the characters emotions on different levels. I read a lot (and prefer) mystery/thrillers and I have yet to see a one presented quite like “Shattered Illusions.” Hershkovich really has a special gift in storytelling. 4 stars.
Shattered Illusions: A Novel
Full Court Press (2013)
Reviewed by Savannah Mae for Say What? Savannah Mae (4/14)