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She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  95 reviews
A haunting tale of suspense, rendered with the masterful skill only Barker could muster.

After the loss of his parents, young Jack Thatch first met Stella as a child--this cryptic little girl of eight with dark hair and darker eyes, sitting alone on a bench in the cemetery clutching her favorite book. Gone moments later, the brief encounter would spark an obsession. She'd
Hardcover, 774 pages
Published March 31st 2020 by Hampton Creek Press
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Average rating 4.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  110 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4.25 stars


She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be is a weird, dark, and mysterious novel about a mystery surrounding a girl who appears once a year in the cemetery on the anniversary of the death of a young boys parents.

The plot has many characters and many layers. While not complex, there are a lot of threads and strange dynamics to keep track of. Combining a mixture of genres, this is a story about a boy and a girl who meet at a cemetery. They both happen to be orphans.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Boy meets girl in a cemetery.
The girl is driven away in a white SUV.
The boy sees the same girl in the same cemetery on the same bench one year later...

Kismet? You decide!

The description calls this book "A haunting tale of suspense." but it's more than that. For me, this was also a love story, J.D. Barker Style. There are many kinds of love in this book - love for family, love for friends, romantic love, etc. Family is also a theme. What makes a family? It's not just those we are related to, it
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
My first thought about this JD Barker novel was what an unwieldy title, but this terrific multi-genre mystery thriller is a captivating and emotional roller coaster of a read, revolving around Dicken's Great Expectations whilst paying tribute to Stephen King. First though, you need to ensure you have time to sink into the story, the book is long, but rest assured you will not notice this as you become immersed and will not want to stop until it all concludes. Young Jack Thatch is living an ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'll be honest and tell you that I have never read J.D. Barkers 4MK series even though so many of my friends have sung its praises. For whatever reason I was just not sold on the premise. One day I was on NetGalley (I know, shocking!) and She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be was available to "read now". The title piqued my interest, the cover is perfection, and the synopsis intriguing - what does a girl have to lose?

I am so happy to have downloaded this gem of a book because it is
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Pittsburgh had a lot of cemeteries. This particular one, All Saints Hollow, was one of the largest.

The mausoleums.

I didn't much like the mausoleums.

When we drove by a cemetery, Auntie Jo said you're always supposed to hold your breath to keep the spirits of the dead from finding you. I'm not sure why this rule didn't apply when you were actually in the cemetery, but if it applied anywhere, it would be at the mausoleums. The air was still here. I pictured the dead peeking out from the
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, JD Barker, and Hampton Creek Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

A fan of JD Barker and his off the wall work, I was happy to get my hands on this ARC of his latest standalone. This book kept me up late, wondering how things would fall into place, while also impressing me with the twists embedded in the narrative. John Edward Jack Thatch suffered quite the loss when he
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One thing is for sure with a title such as this book has, one could certainly expect to be in for a surprise. With a book of close to eight hundred pages, this story's length might be one to discourage a reader. However, do yourself a favor and grab a copy for this is one heck of a story brilliantly told.

Jack Thatch is a young boy who is left bereft when his parents die in a car crash. Left to live with his hard working but very poor Aunt Jo, Jack's life look bleak and one where he will find
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Life is a series of crossroads, and most of the time, they lead down one-way streets.

Ladies and Gentlemen!
May I have your attention please?
I declare this book deliciously delectable. This book ROCKED! I am rocked!
I deliberately read it at a snails pace in order to savor every little detail, every sentence and every instance.

I love Charles Dickens and have read and cherished almost all of his work. I read Great Expectation for the first time when I was 12 and reread it a couple of years ago.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
It's funny how some tales take parts of a person. This one did it for me. I'm undecided whether it's a great story, or just o.k. Barker hits my weird bone! Some may have a funny bone, but that's a nerve ending. I can't tell ya' how Barker works in my head...but, he does! That's really all I care about. Love this author!
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
She Has A Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be is an exciting un-put-downable thriller. DONT read the rest of this review. DONT read any reviews. JUST dive into the book like I did based on all the unspoken promises in the amazing title and prepare yourself for the unexpected. Truly, you will find yourself fascinated by whats being told. And, you wont have a bloody clue where this yarn is going. Not a damn clue. JUST read the damn thing. Cmon now, its less than 800 pages (barely).

If you cant
Alan Cotterell
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received this from NetGalley in exchange for my review
I highly recommend this book, but make sure you don't have anything planned, as once you turn the first page. It is impossible to put down. This book is right up there with the 4MK trilogy, as one hell of a literary ride. The story line was well thought out and written with fantastic characters that are well drawn and developed. This is a multi-genre mystery, thriller, paranormal, love story.
The story takes you from 1978 all the way through
The wonderful thing about starting to read a book by J.D. Barker is that you never know where his weird and amazing imagination is going to take you. A consummate storyteller, he admits that he doesn't work to a plot outline and lets the book take him where it will and perhaps that is why it works so well for him.

As promised She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be is not as dark as the 4MK trilogy but it is just as wondrous. We have two children who meet in a cemetery on 8th August
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
She Has A Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be, was a book that I just could not put down!

I read another book by JD Barker last year - Dracul which I also thought was exceptional. I will definitely be reading more of this author's collection.

A young boy Jack Thatch meets a young girl Stella every year on August 8th on a bench, in a cemetery by the graves of his parents, who were killed when Jack was just a little boy.

The story unfolds throughout events that cover a great many years of their
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OMG what a book! This is only the second book I've read by J.D. Barker - the first being a collaboration with Dacre Stoker - Dracul - which was a fascinating read. This book is horror first of all, but could be considered mystery or thriller as well - there is definitely quite a mystery and thriller definitely fits. In the acknowledgements J. D. Barker said he wrote this book as something lighter after his dark 4MK thriller series. I thought this one was pretty dark, but now I'm figuring I'll ...more
Xavier Hugonet
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be is the first novel Ive read from J.D. Barker, in spite of having exchanging with him on Twitter about his 4MK series a while ago (I still have to get to it).

This is a great novel.

August, 8 1984. A boy codenamed  D  is kept in an inescapable room by an unknown organization. Hes constantly under surveillance through monitors on a thirty seconds delay.

August, 8 1984. John Edward Thatch, then 8 years old, visits his parents grave with his aunt Jo.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Jack was eight years old when he met Stella, a girl his age sitting reading a book on a bench in the cemetery where his parents were buried.
This meeting would be the beginning of an obsession for Jack that would change the course of his life.
I was completely hooked on this book from the first page. The story had everything, mystery, suspense, intrigue, romance, friendship and plenty of action.
There was also lots of great characters.
The book has almost 800 pages but I read it three days because
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Her name was Stella, and I loved her from the first moment I saw her. Even after watching her kill a man who looked a lot like me, I couldn't help but love her."

Spanning years, from 1984 to 2020, we follow Jack "Pip" Thatch starting at age 8 on his journey of growing up, heartache, love and obsession. Jack lives with his Auntie Jo and every year on August 8th, they visit his parents graves in an old cemetery. This is where he meets Stella ... and the obsession starts.

Stella is a beautiful
Available now through NetGalley, I thought I'd share these blurbs:

"A talented writer with a delightfully devious mind! Jeffrey Deaver

I dont say this lightly: J.D. Barker is a force to be reckoned with. Tosca Lee
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Last summer I read the 4MK series in a little more than a week and it instantly became one of my favorite thrillers ever, so when I saw on NG that its author had a new book coming out I requested it even without reading the blurb and I'm so glad I did.

"She has a broken thing where her heart should be" was a mesmerizing read. It's a multi-genre story with so many layers I got sucked in almost from page one. It is a friendship tale, a thriller, a coming of age story, an 80s kids adventure, a
Donna Hines
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
"Something as simple as a pencil can open the door to a new world, can create life or experience death. Writing can take you to places youve never been, introduce you to people youve never met, take you back to when you first saw those shadows in your room, when you first heard the sounds mumbling ever so softly from your closet, and it can show you what uttered them. It can scare the hell out of you, and thats when you know its good." -J.D. Barker
Well, hot damn -Welcome- !!!
Have you ever been
Joy E Perry
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 ⭐ rounded up to 5 🌟

Where do I start? For a person like me who really enjoys books when they span a person's life beginning in childhood this book was a joy to read.

The main characters, Jack and Stella meet in sort of strange circumstances on August 8, when they are both 8 years old. Jack is at the cemetery with his Aunt Jo visiting his parents gravesite when he wanders off and meets a beautiful lil girl (Stella) sitting on a bench reading a worn copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
Bam cooks the books ;-)
*4.5 stars rounded up.

Epic! At almost 800 pages, you wouldn't think this would be a page-turner of a thriller, but it is! J.D Barker is well-known for his 4MK horror series but this one is a bit of a departure. Oh, there's still plenty of horror, to be sure, but the novel is also a coming-of-age story and a love story. Barker takes the time in these pages to fully develop his characters and their situation. There are lots of twists and turns in the plot, a host of 'bad guys' and a mystery from
Kirsty ❤️
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Normally I'm not a fan of long books but this is probably an excellent one to read in this troubling times. For reference, I'm trying to isolate as much as possibly during the Coronavirus.  Being stuck at home is not something I'm used to as I often work away along with general socialising.

Anything over about 450 pages has me wondering what waffle I'm going to find and how many (hundred) pages aren't needed. Not so with this one. Every page had something relevant and worthy of being here. 

Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
After reading the 4MK trilogy by Barker, when given the opportunity for an early copy of this book, I immediately said yes, never read the synopsis and went in completely blind. 700+ pages had me putting it off just for a bit - not because big books intimidate me, they don't, but because I wanted to get through a few others before my concentration could be put into such a large story. I am SO glad that I did.

I absolutely loved this entire book. With being such a large novel, it read extremely
Sue Blanchard
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thankyou to NetGalley, Hampton Creek Press, IBPA and the author, J. D. Barker, for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of She Has A Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.
I was beyond excited at receiving a copy of this book. I have read JD Barker's previous novels and loved every one of them. I was eager to see what this offering would be like. I mean, all fabulous writers ( and in my opinion JD Barker definitely belongs in this
Michelle Only Wants to Read
Release day is finally here, 3/31! ...if you dont know what to do while staying home, heres a cool story to keep you busy and entertained 😏

I did not read the blurb for this book. I got the NetGalley email inviting me to read it and because it's J.D. Barker I immediately downloaded it. Mr. Barker has slowly entered my list of favorites. His 4MK series was the golden ticket. I had heaps of fun reading this book (even when I questioned the decisions of some of the characters many times).

She Has A
Alma Katsu
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and thrilling. JD Barker pulls off a magic trick with SHE HAS A BROKEN THING WHERE HER HEART SHOULD BE. A puzzle box, a thriller, and a love story, the wonderfully developed characters pull you into a pulse-pounding, can't-put-it-down story.
Tiffany PSquared
It's hard to not compare this book to his 4MK series. That's how I came to know this author - through cleverly crafted, thrilling murders. This is a horse of a different color.
Let the wordy title be your guide, this book is big. Sure, I read it on a Kindle so 700+ pages looked different for me, but there's a lot of story, told over decades, with many, many characters.
But was it good? Sci-fi fans will appreciate the underbelly of the story that hides as much as it shows about a few
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review Copy

Don't make any outside plans. Order groceries to be delivered. Check out what restaurants will deliver to your home. Plan on becoming a shut-in for as long as it takes to read 775 pages of the best storytelling I have read in a very long time.

Here's some more do's and don'ts. Don't read reviews with spoilers! Do go into BROKEN THING with no expectations other than J.D. Barker is a thriller writer in his prime. Do try to figure the story out. (It won't matter). Don't forget to eye
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-netgalley
J. D. Barker never fails to deliver a page-flipping read. From the 4MK trilogy to Dracul, and Forsaken, the author has always pulled me into the story, and hasn't let go until the last page. I can't blame him for my addiction to all night reads since it started before The Fourth Monkey. What I can say is that this book, once again, was a story that I wasn't willing to put down, just to sleep.
I don't choose a book based on its length, but if you do try to schedule your reading time, be aware that
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J.D. Barker is the international best-selling author of numerous novels, including DRACUL and THE FOURTH MONKEY. He is currently collaborating with James Patterson. His novels have been translated into two dozen languages and optioned for both film and television. Barker resides in coastal New Hampshire with his wife, Dayna, and their daughter, Ember.

A note from J.D.
As a child I was always told

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