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Splintered - Criminal Delights: Obsession

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Criminal Delights

Everything in Ben's life was perfect. He had it all. The good career. The perfect partner, Evan. The happy home. They were even talking about turning the extra bedroom into a nursery.

But things start to splinter.

Evan begins missing time, not knowing where he was or how he got there. Terrors in the night rip them both from sleep, and Evan's suddenly viol
Kindle Edition, 214 pages
Published May 6th 2019
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  82 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, m-m, suspense, dark, arc

The overriding feeling I got from finishing this was this:

If this book was made into a film it would be paranormal horror.When reading it I was actually watching the film in my head.I could draw comparisons but I won't,only because I really don't want to give too much away.

Honestly it started out so positively.It's my first read by this Author and I loved his writing.I actually couldn't put it down but then it took a turn/ a twist that I kind of knew was coming but still hoped it wouldn't.I
Sophia Triad
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: demons, thriller

Something was wrong. Something was very, very wrong.

A very good firstly psychologist thriller and secondly paranormal thriller. I had a few minor issues with the character development (which I suppose it is a normal thing for a short length novel) but overall I enjoyed it.

My main issue probably was the fact that I didn’t really had a full picture of Evan's character. We get to know him after he starts having the psychotic, schizophrenic incidents. So, everything we know about him comes from Ben'
Anne Boleyn's Ghost
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

If Tal Bauer writes it, I like it. Well, unless it involves reindeer. And even when I don't like something about a Tal Bauer story, I always appreciate his flawless writing, well-crafted characters, and uniqueness.

Both psychological thriller and paranormal horror, Splintered is gripping, thrusting the reader into darkness and doubt. The relationship between Evan and Ben is falling apart; that much is clear. The why isn't. There is much to be uncovered. And feared.

First things first, p
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it

I love Tal's writing. The research he does for his books his brilliant. This book i would say is paranormal/horror/thriller mixed in one.

Ben has started to notice changes in Evan. Ben thinks Evan wants to move on from their life but you soon find out that is not true and there is another reason why Evan's behaviour has started to change. This is where the paranormal aspects come up in the book. The more I read of the book I had feeling what was going to to be the cause of Evan's behaviour change
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Well that was different... unexpected storyline even though you could see it coming as elements of the story played out. This was more a paranormal horror type story, the MM element felt secondary to underlying issues. No spoilers here - well written for sure.
Apr 01, 2019 added it
Shelves: i-rest-my-case
DNF @50%

The writing is excellent and the plot interesting enough. But the content is definitely not for me.
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
It kills me to give a Tal Bauer book a 3 but it’s all me and NOT the book! It just wasn’t my jam. I expected some gore and violence but the blurb didn’t really prepare me for the supernatural and religious references in the story. It’s more of a supernatural/horror story. As always, the research is impeccable and was quite interesting, the writing was excellent and many people will enjoy this greatly.

*An ARC was provided by the author, publisher or a promotional service and I have chosen to publ
This is book #6 of the Criminal Delights series so ideally I should've started with #1 and continued onwards. However, I totally jumped the gun and started with this because I saw who wrote this and my brain started chanting "gimme gimme" because I luuurrve me some Tal Bauer.

Now this story was more on the horror/scary(at least for me) end of the "darkness spectrum" and less on the "morally ambiguous/vile characters but you still have a soft spot for them" end of the spectrum.

I felt bad for Evan
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Who truly is in there?

When all is said and done, I couldn’t put this down.

The beginning felt repetitive, rehashing Ben’s need of home and staying and building a family. Obsessively. Which may have been the point, as we find out later. Tethers play an important role here (love, religion, work, family, place).

Nothing happened much until 21% in the book. I really wasn’t feeling the story. All we got were Ben’s deep-rooted feelings of needing to stay and the mystery of Evan, his partner.

The last 3
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love Tal's books, but I will not lie. This was not a direction I was expecting. At all. I was expecting an action adventure kind of thing and Tal blew me away. There are possible triggers. Possession, demons, attempted murder, stabbing, exorcisms. If any of that bothers you, have a care. But it's a good book. Definitely different but so good.
Ben is scared. He's been noticing more and more that Evan is drawing away. After all their hopes and dreams, Ben can't believe it would finally
May 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
Wow does this sound good!!
May 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Brus
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is suspense at its finest. The whole first half of this book has you waiting. You know there is something coming. You know it is not good. You know it is waiting for you to look away or let your guard down. And Tal Bauer is really good at instilling that anxiety and fear in the reader. Ben is easy to like and the reader is caught up with his journey to figure out what exactly is going on in his life. Evan is harder to like. Until you realize he may not be in control of what is going on eith ...more
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This is my first read from this author. I have seen his books on KU but never read. I might have to check him out.

First off, wasn't sure where the book was leading us but as you progress further in the book you get the just of what the author is trying to convey to us. Splintered in the right word to describe what the characters were going through but Obsession was lost on me til about halfway through the book. Ben was obsessed with Evan not loving him but Ben didn't understand what Eva
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm gonna start saying that I'm awful at this kind of stuff. Giving my opinion, expressing myself and everything, even more knowing English isn't my native language.

First of all, Splintered is Tal's book. Tal's. That is enough reason to read this book. Because Tal is an amazingly talented writer. He can easily get in your head, make your heart race... Make you sympathize with his characters...

That's what happened to me while reading Splintered.

I admit confusion was what I felt for most of the re
Jun 01, 2019 marked it as wishlist-amazon
Recommended by Anne Bolyn's Ghost
Jennifer Gosley
Apr 26, 2019 marked it as to-read
What a wonderful birthday present to me!!
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-read
Wow!!! That was a hell of a read.

If you're a fan of Tal Bauer and the rollercoaster-like stories they tell, then this is right up your alley. A completely different genre from what this author have given us in the past, you are still treated to the same level of story-telling we're use to.

Ben and Evan, two men who are drifting in their relationship. They're definitely a "Tal Bauer couple": their love is apparent, they're sweet, they're a team . . . just this time they're established and being pu
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Our original sin is not our rebellion. It's that we weren't ready. We weren't ready for the burdens that came with knowing. Because to truly know good and evil is a terrible thing."

This suspenseful thriller had me in its grips throughout the story. It is full of conflicting emotions and beliefs that are essential to the characters' lives.

Ben is an Athiest, living in the house in which he was raised and teaching at his home town school. He has been living with the love of his life for the past
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
Well...I could be persuaded to go with 5 stars....

Ben is deeply worried about Evan. Despite their love for each other, Evan’s been so.....distracted....and so distant, that Ben isn’t sure what to do. When Evan begins to exhibit disturbing signs of mental illness, Ben is almost relieved; maybe his doctor can help discover exactly what’s wrong. However as Evan continues in a horrific downward spiral, Ben is forced to confront possibilities that are beyond anything he’s ever thought possible.

Marina Mathurin
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, arc-recieved

* ARC received for unbiased and honest review*

When it comes to Tal Bauer I am used to a certain type of writing so to see a deviation to paranormal romance was truly an intriguing prospect to read.

In reading Splintered I loved that the main character Ben and I share the same profession that is of a teacher. The story itself was a roller coaster of emotion not only from the characters perspective but for me as a reader watching him go through watching his p
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had some reservations about reading this book (although I love the author), because I'm a huge wimp and was afraid it might be too scary for me. As it turned out, it wasn't. If you can watch Supernatural, you can read this book. I guess I'll also say if you DO watch Supernatural, you probably won't be surprised by much that happens in this book.

That's a pretty negative way to start a review of a book I really did like—but didn't LOVE. I don't want to give away too much about the story, becaus
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not a book to read on a dark, stormy night! I read my copy on a cross-country fight with 300 strangers who probably wondered what the old lady in the third row was squeaking about.
This old lady was squeaking about (spoilers) true love, demons, exorcism, the wonder of unexpected parental acceptance, and... what true love will do in the face of unimaginable horror.
The book was beautifully written, as Tal Bauer always writes. Definitely not his usual style. Not MY usual style.
It’s part of a collect
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Tal Bauer’s writing. The first part of the book is suspense the second is supernatural thriller. This story begins at a tense time between Ben and Evan which was conveyed so well that I felt uncomfortable. I never do well witnessing fights between people and this story starts with Ben thinking it’s the end of his relationship with Evan. The tension is palpable. Ben’s description of his feeling of dread as ‘an ice cream scoop to his guts’ is so evocative. But Evan is hiding his own problem ...more
Anne Farrell
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even better than you're expecting.

Holy wow. This had my heart pounding pretty much the entire way through. I felt like I was a the top of a 500 ft rollercoaster just teetering on the edge waiting for it to plunge and to scream at the fright. I wasn't expecting the reasons for Evan's illness to be what it was but once I got a fix on the clues I just thought this is going to be epic and a bit scary. The writing was so descriptive I felt every fright , temperature change , every wail and scream and
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, ibooks, haz, gblt
I'm at a loss for words, all I can say is this book is incredible.

This book is not your typical MM book, it is not your typical suspense trope, nor is it a paranormal trope.

This book is bigger than all of that and Tal Bauer is the ringleader.

It is an edge of your seat, hiding under a pillow, not wanting to turn off the light, being tormented by strange dreams read.

This book will keep you guessing and wondering, who or what is the cause of the voices in Evan's head? Does the ending of the book gi
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow...just wow. Leave the lights on... Yet again Tal Bauer proves he can write in any genre. He deftly weaves a tale of horror, suspense and dark romance as a relationship splinters and falls apart. It's so realistic you actually start to examine your own relationships in contrast to what is happening on the page. There were definitely passages that I held my breath. If you are a Friends fan- I wanted to put it in the freezer a couple of times. Bauer's books are always researched and perfectly e ...more
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tal Bauer never fails to take his readers on the ride of their lives. He creates characters that you connect with right away. Ben and Evan have been together for four years and things are suddenly changing. Ben doesn't understand what is happening and Evan has distanced himself from their relationship. There is something troubling going on and each is lost in their fear and pain.

What comes from this is how humanity and love can battle inhuman evil. How faith and hope can bring healing and comfor
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m
A very extreme suspenseful thriller extremely dark to be there would be frightening .
Ben a school teacher always lived in the house that was his parents before.
Lives with his partner /lover Evan who works in sales .
When Evan seems to be pulling away Ben gets extremely worried and perhaps he is jumping to conclusions!
Evan hears voices they don't stop and his head is constantly spinning he feels out of control.

Tal Bauer writes wonderful worded books , so much research goes into his writing but
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tal Bauer never disappoints me with his writing and Splintered is no different. Evan is a man with a secret that he is withholding from his partner Ben. Ben is just trying to hold on to the love of his life and trying to make sense of the changes Evan is going through. You can feel the love between the men as the story progresses. Ben's life is turned upside down when Evan is fired from his job and Ben finally learns about Evan's secret. Together both men must take a leap of faith to survive
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Tal Bauer is an award-winning and best-selling author of LGBT romantic thrillers. He is happily married and lives with his husband in Texas. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

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