Broken by Don Winslow
Don Winslow’s Broken comprises six hard-hitting short novels. An abusive father, drug traffickers, torture, murder and vicious revenge, the title novella ‘Broken’ is not for the faint-hearted but powerfully introduces the themes which connect the stories; corruption, revenge, injustice, justice, loss and renewal. The characters are flawed and complex, the writing is immersed in both humour and darkness and each story is honest, raw and gripping.
There is a wonderful diversity of characters. Crime 101, for example, combines a jewel thief who loves fancy American cars with Detective Lou Lubesnick who, while considering his unhappy marriage, is also considering living at the beach. My personal favourite out of the six novellas is ‘The Last Ride’ where a border patrol agent encounters a little girl imprisoned in a detention camp and becomes determined to reunite her with her deported mother. The devastating circumstance of immigrant children being separated from their parents is powerfully portrayed.
Don Winslow is both a marvellous story-teller and writer. These stories are gritty and provocative and at the same time filled with humour, insight and hope.
Reviewer: Paddy Richardson