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July 15, 2019

A Shattered Lens by Layton Green ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

A Shattered Lens is the second book in Layton Green's Detective Preach Everson series. It is a police procedural set in a small town in North Carolina. (You can read my review of book 1 - Written in Blood - here.)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review. 

May 2019; Seventh Street Books; 978-1633885387
ebook, print (344 pages); police procedural
I don't usually read police procedurals, but I love Layton Green's writing and the characters he creates. And I do really like Preach Everson, maybe not as much as Dominic Grey, but Preach is definitely growing on me.

Preach is the only homicide detective in Creeksville, his childhood hometown. So it stands to reason that he will run into old classmates and friends. That's the case when the son of the woman whom he had a crush on in high school has been found dead. Can Preach remain object or will unrequited feelings surface to muddy the waters?

Preach's girlfriend Ari has finished law school and now working in the DA's office in Durham. She is much more of a periphery character in this novel. You can tell from the start that her current case is going to somehow intersect with Preach's. It is almost the only reason she's in this story at all, I think. The other officers that we had gotten to know in the first book, namely Terry, are still around too, but again pushed to the background. Because of this, we spend more time in Preach's head. That might be why I'm liking him more. However, I thought without a solid secondary character or two to interact with Preach that the story was lacking something.

In the first book, there were a lot of literary references (a man who owned a bookstore was murdered) which I really liked. There is only passing comments like "what are you reading?" and too wound up to read along with a quote here and there. So maybe that is why I didn't enjoy it as much as the first?

I liked getting to know Preach more. And I enjoyed the descriptions of Creeksville and Durham, though at times I thought there was too much description (how many times do I need to be told about the trendy coffee shops that had moved into the area). The crime was kind of interesting, though there weren't really any shocking moments. If I had to describe the story in one word, it would be sedate.

I thought there was more social commentary in this novel than I've noticed in his other novels. A few times I wondered if Green had an agenda other than telling an entertaining story. I've not felt that with the other novels I've read by him.

It was nice to step into the world of Creeksville again and getting to know Preach more. I hope that he doesn't stay the lone wolf so much in the next book in the series.

Buy A Shattered Lens at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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