Good afternoon book lovers! Today is my turn on (and the last day of) the blog tour for Fractured Lives by Russ Colchamiro.
Thank you to the author and Crazy 8 Press for my copy and to Blackthorn Book Tours for organising the tour.
When your world gets turned inside out there is one person you call. Angela Hardwick.
Darla Fyne is a college freshman and a galaxy design savant who has been suffering from a nervous breakdown. Her mother goes to Angela Hardwick to get the answers that she craves. But is Darla going through a nervous breakdown of is Darla the victim of an urban legend known as the Scarlet Raj?
As Hardwick follows the clues in the intersecting worlds of art galleries, college dorms, and a semi-secret clan that patches up tears in the universe, Hardwick will either uncover a hoax gone wrong or a plot that could shift the power across the entire realm. If only Hardwick can fight through her paranoia to tell the difference.
In this book, Hardwicke is comforted by a PIs worse nightmare – dark secrets from her past.
Russ Colchamiro is author of the Sci-Fi mystery Crackle and Fire, the first novel in his ongoing series featuring intergalactic private eye Angela Hardwicke. Russ is also the author of the rollicking time travel/space adventure, Crossline, the SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, is editor of the scifi mystery anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, and co-author of the noir anthology Murder in Montague Falls.
Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Agents of the Abyss, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, Thrilling Adventure Yarns, Camelot 13, Footprints in the Stars, Devilish and Divine, Badass Moms, and Brave New Girls.
Russ is a member of the Mystery Writers Association and Crazy 8 Press, and hosts Russ’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster podcast, where he interviews best-selling and up-and-coming Sci-Fi, fantasy, crime, mystery, and horror authors.
He lives in New Jersey with his wife, two ninjas, a black lab, Jinx.
I do enjoy a good private detective story, add in that the PI in question is a woman balancing her choice of career and her responsibilities as the mother of a young boy, and I was sold.
I hadn’t read the first novel in this series, Crackle and Fire but that didn’t effect my enjoyment of the book and anything that might have happened in the first book was explained sufficiently well that I didn’t notice!
This is billed as a sci-fi mystery and I am, at best, only an occasional sci-fi reader. However, whilst the setting and some elements of the story draw on science fiction, the mystery is the heart of the story.
We are immediately drawn in to the plot and the questions as to what exactly is going on with Darla and the other students and their art and how the mysterious Scarlet Raj comes into play. It moves along at a good pace and kept me interested in what was happening.
The setting is great, it was well described and I loved the descriptions of the student’s work in designing potential new parts of the universe as art. I could really picture the locations described in this book in my mind’s eye.
Angela was a great main character and struggled with many of the things that working mother’s, sci-fi or otherwise, struggle with. The getting right of the balance between providing for your family in the best way you know how, and making sure you are there for them at the same time. There is no right answer there, you just have to do your best, as Angela tries to do for Owen. Angela’s support network of friends and colleagues made a great supporting cast too.
I’d certainly read more of this series and will have a look at going back to book 1 to see what I might have missed from these characters first time round!