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She Has A Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  880 ratings  ·  294 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
Kindle Edition, 774 pages
Published March 31st 2020 by Hampton Creek Press
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Terry JD Barker's books are difficult to get in Canada. Although I enjoy the feel of a paper-copy book, I have switched to an eReader for his novels. You wo…moreJD Barker's books are difficult to get in Canada. Although I enjoy the feel of a paper-copy book, I have switched to an eReader for his novels. You won't be disappointed... he is my favorite author right now. (less)

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Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 i
Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)
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 boy’s 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.
From the beginning of this book, I didn't want to put it down. It's a long book but it certainly didn't seem long. It's full of interesting, multi faceted characters, people that make choices, right or wrong but also full of people that are caught in something that makes them do things they would never do, under other circumstances. I think that is the scariest thing about this book, the horror of losing control of everything that you are, everything that you believe, being just a passenger insi ...more
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 impov ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 n
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Hot Diggity Dang! If I were to describe this one in one word, it would be MASTERFUL. But of course, I have many words, and so much I want to say about this one. I just had to ask J.D. Barker about his books and he joined us in The Behind the Pages group for a Q & A.

I am always intimidated by longer books, and J.D. has intimidated me a few times with the length of his books. Even the title is long for this one! Lol, I am slow to start, but once I do, I can't wait to finish but don't want them to
Kelli Wilson
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

After the first 100 pages I had to check whether I was actually reading a Stephen King novel. By the end though, I knew it was a J.D. novel all his own because I had been totally enthralled!

Some context: I don't personally care for Stephen Kings books. (I know, it's a reader sin to admit that!).  Initially I was worried it was going to be just like another recent King read: another very long, very dark and very dry book. But I was wonderfully proven wrong!  This book was exactly how I w
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be starts off with eight-year old Jack at the cemetery, where he briefly meets a mysterious young girl named Stella. From then on, he can't get her out of his head, but it'll be another year before he sees her again, at the exact same place. In a separate storyline, Detective Brier is investigating a homicide where the victim's body is burned completely, but his clothes are perfectly intact. He can't make heads or tails of it, but a year later, anoth ...more
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing

(And a gorgeous cover, too!)

Who would’ve thought that you could start with a Charles Dickens classic, “Great Expectations” and reimagine it, as a haunting tale of suspense/horror?!

Not me, that’s for sure.

But J.D Barker, does just that, and he does it brilliantly!

This 700+ Page Kindle copy, opens with 8 year old Jack Thatch, an orphan who lives with his Aunt Jo Gargery, visiting the cemetery to visit his parent’s graves.

He spots a beautiful, young girl about his age, called Stella,
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
tw: rape, home invasion, brutality, child abuse, alcoholism

'That's a mouthful for a title.' My first thought when I read the title. And that cover? It emits mystery but still bland personally. I thought this book was going to revolve around a dead/missing girl trope. Boy, I was wrong. COMPLETELY WRONG. (ps. I don't read the synopsis of the books I'm reading. I always just check the genres if I got it right.)

The story follows John Edward Thatch, a boy who persistently named himself as Jack, throu
Michael David
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever read a book that sounded like it may take you out of your routine reading comfort zone because you could no longer ignore all of the amazing reviews and recommendations...and come to find that you love it? For me, this is that book.

On August 8, 1984, 8-year old Jack meets Stella at the cemetery while visiting the graves of his parents with his Auntie Jo. Stella is sitting alone on a bench, reading GREAT EXPECTATIONS, while her chaperone watches in the distance. Although Stella isn’
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
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 lit
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 eve
She Has A Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be is an exciting un-put-downable thriller. DON’T read the rest of this review. DON’T 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 what’s being told. And, you won’t have a bloody clue where this yarn is going. Not a damn clue. JUST read the damn thing. C’mon now, it’s less than 800 pages (barely).

If you
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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 snail’s 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.
Alan Cotterell
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
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Amazing!! I’m stunned that I’ve never read J.D. Barker before. I will definitely be fixing that mistake!

This book spanned decades and the length was a little intimidating at first. But I was immediately drawn into the story and vivid characters. They took on a life of themselves and will be on my mind for awhile.

It’s hard to put the story in just one category so I recommend to horror, mystery, and thriller readers. *Many thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the free copy of this book in excha
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 secre
A paranormal thriller from J.D. Barker published 2020.

5 well deserved stars.
This book proves what I have believed for some time now, that J. D. Barker is one of the premium storytellers of the modern era.

‘She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be’ is a genre defying masterpiece. Genre defying because it’s a thriller based in the paranormal genre. At the same time it’s great science fiction, it’s a coming of age tale and last but definitely not least it’s a love story. Not your average chi
Pat (not getting friend updates currently)
Wowsers! I absolutely loved this book. My favourite read for 2020 so far. Saying anything about the plot will give too much away, but I can tell you that it is part coming-of-age, part adventure, part fantasy, part mystery, part conspiracy, part horror and it had a pretty thrilling ending.

My friend Mort often mentions songs that go with the book he is reviewing. This book really invoked Ava Adore by The Smashing Pumpkins. The lyrics are perfect for it. Actually the Pumpkins with Billy Corgan’s n
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 li
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
"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 myste
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A stunning novel, I loved the characters in this book,obviously jack and stella but I had a soft spot for dunk.
Honestly do yourself a big favour and get yourself copy the story is excellent, and the ending was brilliantly done cant praise this book enough.
Many thanks to publishers Hampton creek press,for allowing me to read this also a massive thank you to J.D.Barker,for such an exceptional book, and also many thanks to him for answering messages.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ha ...more
Xavier Hugonet
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be is the first novel I’ve 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. He’s 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
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this wasn't the book for me. The first half of the book was great, I was intrigued and the story seemed interesting, but after that I got bored. The story was dragged out and it took way too long for us to find out what was actually happening. I lost track on a lot of stuff, because by the end of it, I wasn't interested at all. ...more
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J.D. Barker is the New York Times and international best-selling author of numerous novels, including DRACUL and THE FOURTH MONKEY. His latest, SHE HAS A BROKEN THING WHERE HER HEART SHOULD BE, released March 31. He is currently collaborating with James Patterson. His books have been translated into two dozen languages, sold in more than 150 countries, and optioned for both film and television. Ba ...more

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