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Shatter

(Joseph O'Loughlin #3)

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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  6,985 ratings  ·  743 reviews
Joe O'Loughlin is on familiar territory—standing on a bridge high above a flooded gorge, trying to stop a distraught woman from jumping. She is naked, wearing only high-heel shoes, sobbing into a cell phone. Suddenly, she turns to him and whispers, “You don’t understand,” and lets go. Joe is shattered by the suicide and haunted by his failure to save the woman, until her t ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 7th 2008 by Sphere (first published January 1st 2008)
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Lori I have read four or five of his books (though I do intend to read them all). Although it's the same character they don't need to be read in order,…moreI have read four or five of his books (though I do intend to read them all). Although it's the same character they don't need to be read in order, however, Gideon Tyler is mentioned in one of his latest books, but doesn't affect the book at all - only as an aside.(less)

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4.10  · 
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 ·  6,985 ratings  ·  743 reviews


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Kaceey
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book three in the Joseph O'Loughlin series by Michael Robotham.

Joe is a psychologist battling Parkinson’s. He’s also tasked with taking care of his two children while his wife works full time, often traveling abroad.

Police are at a stand-off with an apparent suicidal, and naked woman threatening to leap off the bridge. They’ve contacted Joe asking for his help. With no viable way out, he agrees.
As Joe calmly tries to convince her there’s a better way out, to everyone’s horror she lets go, falli
...more
Brenda
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I continue to be amazed by Michael Robotham. His writing style thoroughly engages me. His characters are fully developed. He proves that an exciting tension-filled story doesn't need blood and gore. It all takes place in the mind.

Robotham scatters pieces of truth, half truths, and lies throughout and applies them to both the good guys and the bad guys. Joe O'Laughlin and Vincent Ruiz have developed a wonderful friendship, and their humor and sarcasm offsets the tension when it's needed. Even sec
...more
Phrynne
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This author gets better and better! I raced through this book with my heart in my mouth, so scared about what might be going to happen! The main character is no super hero, suffering as he does from Parkinson's disease. And life is not always kind to him in many ways. Nevertheless he struggles to help others even when the result is that he really does not help himself.
I enjoyed this very much indeed. The killer was very, very scary, the tension was extreme and the other characters were all peopl
...more
Petra
Best one of the series so far! Another audiobook during yet another long car trip. Spent 2.5hrs. sitting in a traffic jam and didn't care. This book was that good! The culprit was fascinating. The friendship between Joe and Ruiz is brilliant, love their banter. The only thing that annoyed me in this one was Joe's wife. Her attitude and behavior were irritating. Brilliant writing, fantastic series.
Shirley Revill
This has to be the most frightening audiobook I have ever listened to and I'm still left thinking about what has just happened in the story.
A serial killer is on the loose who has been trained to torture with mind games that leaves his victims almost willing to die to save the life of their child.
Twists and turns at every corner in the race to find out just who is behind the crimes that have been committed.
I don't want to spoil the story by giving away too much but if you listen to this audioboo
...more
Brenda
When Professor Joseph O’Loughlin was asked to assist on the Clifton Suspension Bridge with talking to a woman who was going to jump, he had no idea the trauma and life changing events that he would set in place by agreeing. Unable to stop the woman, her tears and desperation buried deep in his mind, he was shocked to find the woman’s sixteen year old daughter at his door a few days later. Darcy did her best to convince Joe that her mother wouldn’t have committed suicide – she was terrified of he ...more
 Li'l Owl ~ Incorrigible Reader
Nerve shattering psychological terror!
Don't forget to breathe!


There is a moment when all hope disappears, all pride is gone, all expectation, all faith, all desire. I own that moment. It belongs to me. That’s when I hear the sound, the sound of a mind breaking. It’s not a loud crack like when bones shatter or a spine fractures or a skull collapses. And it’s not something soft and wet like a heart breaking. It’s a sound that makes you wonder how much pain a person can endure; a sound that shatter
...more
David
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Australian author Michael Robotham has concocted a chilling and unputdownable psychological thriller. The book title refers to the method in which the villian, 'shatters' the victim's minds. It also shattered my sleep patterns. Once started, I could not stop - all 460+ pages in one (very late) night.

The main protagonist is psychologist, Professor Joe O'Loughlin. Joe is highly skilled at reading people, yet he is flawed. He is suffering from an incureable disease, his wife is seemingly having an
...more
Emma
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really good. I really like the fact that Joe’s family and his evolving relationships within it are an integral part of these stories, as is his relationship with Ruiz. Then there is the upgrading of Mr. Parkinson’s status. You really get the whole man with this series. Excellent!
Adam
Review of the audiobook narrated by Seán Barrett.

Shatter has flashes of brilliance, but the story is filled with plot holes and none of the characters are very likable so this one ended up as a "meh" for me. I really did want to like it as I had enjoyed a more recent book by Michael Robotham, Every Secret She Keeps. It's clear that this book was written earlier in his career and not as mature as that one. I skipped the first two books and jumped into the middle of this series for two reasons, th
...more
Mackey
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the third in a series involving psychologist Joseph O'Loughlin, a brilliant professor in the early stages of Parkinson's disease, who often is called upon to aid the police in their investigations due to his uncanny ability to profile the killer. This time, however, the killer is as cunning and psychologically astute as the good professor.
I thoroughly enjoy Robotham's writing style, the involvement of O'Loughlin's personal life as well as the unfolding of the criminal events, although a
...more
Maureen DeLuca
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a SOLID 4 star read, but i am throwing in another star for the fabulous continuation of a great series!! If you haven't read this series, star with Suspect which was AMAZING. Then continue from there. With this series it is best to start at book one, for the main characters continue to grow with each story line.
Rob
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The great thing about finding a series of books that have been around for a number of years and the first book you read in the series you really enjoyed,is, you don't have to wait a year before you can get your hands on the next one. That is just how I feel about the Joe O'loughlin series from Michael Robotham. The villain in this story is about as disgusting a character as you would never want to meet. As I listened to Shatter, I like listening to audio books when I'm out pounding the footpath, ...more
Perry
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
" Shattered, shattered
Love and hope and sex and dreams
Are still surviving on the street
Look at me, I'm in tatters!"
Jagger/Richards, 1978


Built upon intriguing psychological supports and jammed front to back with suspense, the story centers on a protagonist clinical psychologist who seems true and real, his gruff and witty sometimes-sidekick, a believable family that plays into the storyline and other characters who capture the imagination.

Mr. Robotham is greatly gifted in writing dialogue, into
...more
Nigel
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-recent-ones
I really do like the writing here. Joe has grown on me as a character and I'm hoping to get to know him much better! This is a very dark read at times and I did wonder if it went over the top occasionally. However there is also humour here to. I found the idea of Gideon as a character and a concept very powerful indeed. I cannot find it in me to like Julieanne...

I have a couple more of this series to read during the course of the year hopefully and I'm looking forward to them.
Alex Cantone
The garden is soggy and smells of decay. A rope swing is broken, frayed at one end, dangling halfway between a branch and the ground. I cross beneath it, skirting the garden furniture, and stand before a wooden shed. The door is padlocked. Crouching on my haunches, I press a pick into the keyhole and feel it bounce over the pins. The first lock I ever learned to pick was like this one. I practised for hours sitting in front of the TV.

Behavioural psychologist Professor Joe O’Loughlin is a part-t
...more
Fictionophile
This is the 3rd novel in the Joseph O'Loughlin series.
However, it works splendidly as a stand-alone.
This has to be the most unique serial killer I ever encountered in the pages of a novel. He kills without lifting a finger against them, without leaving a mark on their bodies.
It is their minds that he wants to break...
Raven D.
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was in New York when I bought this book at Barnes and Nobles. (I'm from Minnesota). I really had no book in mind and just wanted to find something to read. I actually chose this over a book I've been dying to read but didn't necessarily want to buy just yet. I was searching around for a good murder mystery which is my favorite genre, and found this book after reading the backs of dozens of other books. I have to say, what made me choose this was that on the front (different cover than the one ...more
Joe
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth book in the quasi-series of Vincent Ruiz, a detective inspector in London, England. Ruiz appears in all of the books but is only the central character (narrator), in one of them, (Lost). In Shatter, Joseph O'Loughlin, a psychologist, is our story-teller - for the second time - he was the narrator of the first book in the series, The Suspect. This sounds more complicated than it really is and regardless, this is a great mystery/thriller series.

The book opens with Professor O'Lo
...more
Barbara
"First, he'll break your heart. Then he'll destroy your mind."

I read this book on the strength of those two sentences. This is one of the better thriller/serial killer novels out there, and I compare it to Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter series. A psychologist, Joe O'Loughlin, is called to help a distraught woman down from a bridge. However, rather than working with him, she jumps to her death. That she was talking to someone on a cell phone only adds to the mystery of why she killed herself--esp
...more
Michael
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis: Joe O'Loughlin is in familiar territory-standing on a bridge high above a flooded gorge, trying to stop a distraught woman from jumping. "You don't understand," she whispers, and lets go. Joe is haunted by his failure to save the woman, until her teenage daughter finds him and reveals that her mother would never have committed suicide-not like that. She was terrified of heights. What could have driven her to commit such a desperate act? Whose voice? What evil?
Having devoted his career
...more
Carol
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another reviewer (on this website) was referred to this novel when she requested a recommendation for a book that was a “good, solid, well written, sharp, cutting edge” thriller. I cannot add one more adjective that would describe this suspense novel any better. I think that I enjoyed it more because the main protagonist isn’t a detective. He is a forensic psychologist with Parkinson’s disease. His name is Joe O’Laughlin and he is a flawed but most likable man with a personal story as interestin ...more
Jo
Nov 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars. For me, there was far too much time spent describing the thoughts of psychopath, I felt revolted for a lot of the book. Sadly, the main characters are not likeable enough to balance out the story, which often lacked pace and believability. Not for me.
Hannah Garden
May 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book is dumb as hell so far! WTF, Stephen King?? Frikken psychological-thriller-protagonists who have Cynical World Weary Outlooks expressed in dumbass witty-ass comments. HAR HAR HAR, sooo super-not-funny. But there is grossness in it! And it promises to let me swoop through it quick as shit! Which are the main two priorities right now. For me.

Oh, plus, James keeps calling it SHARTER, which, do you know what SHART means? I learned it from some movie I think I am supposed to be embarrassed
...more
Camille
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow!!!! This has been my absolute favorite book in this series so far. I can honestly say I haven't read a book like this before. I'm truly curious to see how this author will follow this one up!
Laurie
May 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Robotham is little known here, but absolutely first rate, both as a writer and as a crime writer. All of his books are deeply satisfying.
Tim
Feb 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Take an interesting idea of psychological control and intertwine it with kidnapped women, children, death and a handicap lead and you get 0 of 10 stars.
Kim Dyer
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve become so addicted to these books!! Cannot put them down.
BuchBesessen
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ich fand das Buch von Anfang bis Ende spannend, obwohl viele Entwicklungen absehbar sind. Der Autor hat es von Anbeginn an geschafft, mich zu fesseln, und ich hätte am liebsten einfach alles in einem Rutsch durchgelesen.

Man kann sich den Band auch problemlos separat vornehmen. Ich werde mich jetzt definitiv um den Nachfolger kümmern.
Calzean
Best of the series so far. The culprit uses his training as a military interrogator to manipulate women. To be believable the words spoken by the culprit have to convince the reader that the victim would be willing to kill herself to save their child. It's a tricky problem and one which Robotham pulls off.
As far as the regular characters go the dynamics between Joe and Riuz has matured, Joe and Julianne's marriage is rocky and their kids are growing up. This series is worth following.
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Edgar finalist and Gold Dagger winning author, Michael Robotham was born in Australia in November 1960 and grew up in small country towns that had more dogs than people and more flies than dogs. He escaped in 1979 and became a cadet journalist on an afternoon newspaper in Sydney.

For the next fourteen years he worked for newspapers in Australia, Europe, Africa and America. As a senior feature write
...more

Other books in the series

Joseph O'Loughlin (9 books)
  • Suspect (Joseph O'Loughlin, #1)
  • Lost (Joseph O'Loughlin #2)
  • Bleed for Me (Joseph O'Loughlin #4)
  • The Wreckage (Joseph O'Loughlin, #5)
  • Say You're Sorry (Joseph O'Loughlin #6)
  • Watching You (Joseph O'Loughlin, #7)
  • Close Your Eyes (Joseph O'Loughlin, #8)
  • The Other Wife (Joseph O'Loughlin, #9)
“There is a moment when all hope disappears, all pride is gone, all expectation, all faith, all desire. I own that moment. It belongs to me. That's when I hear the sound, the sound of a mind breaking. It's not a loud crack like when bones shatter or a spine fractures or a skull collapses. And it's not something soft and wet like a heart breaking. It's a sound that makes you wonder how much pain a person can endure; a sound that shatters memories and lets the past leak into the present; a sound so high that only the hounds of hell can hear it. Can you hear it? Someone is curled up in a tiny ball crying softly into an endless night.” 8 likes
“Sometimes I wake at night and worry that I might have disappeared in my sleep. That's what happens when nobody cares about you. Bit by bit you begin to disappear until people look right through your chest and head like you're made of glass. It's not about love; it's about being forgotten. We only exist if others think about us. It is like that tree that falls in the forest with nobody around to hear it. Who the fuck cares except the birds?” 6 likes
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