‘Broken Dolls’ – James Carol


After a recommendation from a friend, I, even now, still can’t believe how much I enjoyed reading this fantastic crime thriller by James Carol. The Jefferson Winter books have a particular reputation in the world of fiction and I’m extremely impressed with my first ever Jefferon Winter read.

‘It takes a genius to catch a psychopath’. As is made obvious by the cover, Carol immediately promises a novel of phychological twists and turns, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat from the very first page to the last.

One of Carol’s genius literary tactics is setting up false hopes and ideas within the readers’ mind. By that, I mean that he begins to build a setting and, just when we thought we’ve got it all figured out, he then unexpectedly takes that away at the very last moment, replacing it with that key, thrilling component of crime fiction writing to show us just how misconstrued our vision of reality really has been.

Carol is a very descriptive writer; he does not leave any elements out as they all eventually fall together just in the right places, helping build that tension and rush that we all look for in a great thriller novel. We’re given the classic cop chases and we’re really spoiled with the amount of detail and description given by Carol. Not only in these instances, but also in scenes of torture and pain, Carol really doesn’t spare us the details of grotesque and cruel imagery. Interestingly, though, even with so much detail, Carol is still able to build a fragile yet powerful wall between the reader and his charaters, allowing us to continue to exist in a state of safety, seperating ourselves from the suffering of his characters; a necessary component guiding us through the pages and pages of tension that put this book together.

Carol’s Broken Dolls has fulfilled my thriller fiction needs for a long while! If only I had the time, I’d read this in one straight go. After a long enough and well-deserved break, I’ll give this one another go.


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