Book Reviews

WHAT YOU BREAK Is a Story of Redemption



WHAT YOU BREAK by Reed Farrel Coleman

Words are an important part of our lives. We all speak them; we all write them; we all read them. Yes, all of us have a need for words. But some few of us have a need to tell stories with words and one of the best at doing that is Reed Farrel Coleman. Coleman uses words to communicate the stories found in his novels but more importantly he uses words to create places, things and people. He is at the top of his game in doing that within the pages of his latest novel WHAT YOU BREAK.

WHAT YOU BREAK is the second novel to feature retired Suffolk County policeman Gus Murphy. Murphy is a man who knows misery, and the weight of his world hangs heavily on his shoulders. Murphy was at one time married to a woman named Annie. They were a happy couple until their son John died suddenly. This drove a wedge of grief between the couple and eventually they divorced.

Now Murphy works as a van driver for a second rate hotel. He carts passengers from the airport to the hotel and vice versa. This job provides him with enough money to get by, and it also provides a form of isolation which he likes. He has few friends but two men he does care about are a retired priest named Bill, and a Russian named Slava, who also works at the hotel.

In this story Murphy is working two cases. He has agreed to look into the reasons why a young woman named Linh Trang was murdered. The police have a confessed killer but they have never determined why he killed her. Her grandfather hires Murphy to find out why.

Then there is Slava, a man of few words and little emotion. He is in some deep trouble and Murphy wants to help him. Doing Slava a favor puts Murphy and his girlfriend Magdalena in the crosshairs of some violent people.

All of these elements of the plot are exciting and fascinating but it is the way they are described and explained that makes the story superb reading. Coleman doesn’t just write his story, he crafts it. He makes sure Murphy’s heart and soul are exposed in the rawest sense. Murphy’s life reeks of melancholia and he at times wallows in it. Still there is still some fight left in the man and he tries to dig out of his well of depression one day at a time, one step at a time.

Coleman transfers the weariness and despair from the page to the reader and it is a heavy load to carry. Still wth each minor victory Murphy has in reclaiming his life the reader is filled with the joy of redemption. This is an emotion you rarely feel when exploring a story.

Reading a Reed Farrel Coleman book is surrendering your mind to a master teacher. He fills his books with experiences, adventures and messages. You will learn about life in WHAT YOU BREAK. It isn’t a life you would wish on yourself, but it is a life that will hold your attention. Join the Reed Farrel Coleman fan club and share his name with your friends. His books are only going to get more and more popular.

WHAT YOU BREAK is published by Putnam. It contains 368 pages and sells for $27.00.

Jackie K Cooper

The author


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