Aspho's Reviews > Irretrievably Broken

Irretrievably Broken by Melissa F. Miller
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Sep 11, 12

Read from June 30 to August 17, 2012 — I own a copy

There is something distinctly slick and brand-like about the Sasha McCandless novels - for a start, all titles start with the letter ‘I’. Irreparable Harm, Inadvertent Disclosure and now Irretrievably Broken. The titles themselves make a considerable impact: they instantly appeal to the fans of the legal thriller genre, who will recognise the jargon, and grab the attention of the casual browser, who might be intrigued by the similar sounding headings. The ‘brand’ feel, of course, goes way beyond the titles: Irretrievably Broken is only Melissa F Miller’s third novel, but it already feels part of a firmly established series, and one that is destined to gain a bigger and bigger readership with every volume.

Readers new to the Sasha McCandless series would probably benefit from reading the previous two instalments in order, as they set a lot of the scene and introduce recurring characters; however, this is not strictly necessary - Miller expertly feeds enough background information throughout the story, so that all readers can follow the main plot, but without giving her existing readers the impression that content is being unnecessarily repeated. It’s a very tricky balance to achieve, and even very well-known writers often get it wrong; take the example of Jean M Auel - the author of the Earth’s Children series. Her last novel - The Land of Painted Caves - was plagued by continuous, mind numbing repetition of character traits and events that, by the seventh book in the series, most readers would have been be very familiar with. In this respect, Auel could certainly learn a things or two from Melissa Miller.

The ingredients of the ’Sasha novels’ have, by book 3, become essential staples that, I am sure, all her loyal readers have come to expect: a tight plot combining action and legal exposition; snappy but still realistic dialogue, and brilliantly flawed characters. This is the time for us readers to look at Sasha through a lens in order to really understand her relationship with Connelly and with her own family, her dedication to her work, her severe caffeine habit. As a result, Sasha as a heroine is not infallible - a trait that makes a fictional character instantly sympathetic.


Flawed characters demand a carefully balanced flawed world, and as we know,a lawyer’s life is not always hunky-dory; if Irreparable Harm set the scene and Inadvertent Disclosure expanded it, we could say that Irretrievably Broken signals a time for break-ups; not only by its reference to matrimonial law, but also by introducing a rift between Sasha and Connelly - which prevents the characters’ dynamics from becoming stale. Even Sasha’s invincibility is questioned, as she struggles to find her way in the unfamiliar territory of criminal law. Without giving away any spoilers, by the end of the book, her own infallibility as a lawyer will be seriously tested.

After having consumed my third ‘legal’ fix in the space of a year, I am once again left craving for more. I envy future readers of the series, because they will be able to binge read, while I have to wait patiently until the next instalment is published. Thankfully, Miller is a very prolific writer, and is already at work to keep us topped up with more coffee-fuelled Sasha goodness; until then, I might have to follow a friend’s example and just read the first three again, and hope that the megadose will tie me over until number four.

Check out my Q&A with the author, Melissa F. Miller, on my blog.
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Reading Progress

07/02/2012
4.0% "So far, so unputdownable...."
08/06/2012
37.0% "Brilliant so far..."
08/08/2012
49.0% "It just gets better"
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Kiana (new)

Kiana Davenport Hi Paola, I don't usually read this kind of book, but I agree, its unputdownable! Shades of Grisham? Onwards! I anyone is interested in my latest blog on how online reader reviews are taking the place of old-line book reviewers and changing the face of book marketing, please see my latest blog. 'CALL ME HUN.'
kianadavenportdialogues.blogspot.com Happy reading!


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