“The Shattering” by Karen Healey

"The Shattering" by Karen Healey

Keri plans for everything. Living in Summertown, probably the nicest place on earth, she doesn’t really have to worry about these things…but she does anyway. Earthquake? She knows what to do. Broken arm? She’s got it. She’s probably prepared for a zombie apocalypse, too (I know I am).

But the one thing she wasn’t prepared for was her brother’s suicide. When her childhood friend Janna appears near a dumpster and explains that her brother was murdered, it seems to make sense. Janna’s brother died the same way years ago. And Sione, a tourist Janna knows, found his brother after he committed suicide earlier that year.

So the trio team up to investigate. A pattern quickly emerges and it seems somebody (or somebodies) in Summerton are killers.

I never actually meant to read Karen Healey’s “The Shattering” (Little, Brown Books, September 2011). I just happened to pick it up one afternoon because I was bored and then read it in two hours. It was absolutely fantastic.

For once, despite the slightly paranormal elements, the characters are completely normal. There’s no 107-year-old sparkling vampire that wants to get into a young girl’s pants, no man who shapes into some weird beast every time the full moon hits him. Everybody is strangely normal — normal people, normal goals, normal lives.

And the slightly paranormal elements shouldn’t deter anybody from reading the story — they’re based on real religious beliefs, so depending on what you believe, the story might not even fall under paranormal. It reminds me of some of the old mystery novels I used to read where magic was supposedly involved but the mystery was still solved at the end. It’s like “Scooby Doo,” but the young adult version.

I recommend reading it. It’s a fabulous novel, and one which I would love to have the experience of reading again.