Psychologist Joseph O’ Loughlin (main character in The Suspect) is dealing with Parkinson’s disease, while raising two daughters (a toddler and a teenager) and giving lectures at University. One day, he is asked to intervene to prevent the suicide of a woman intent on jumping from Clifton Suspension Bridge, in London, but while he tries to talk her out of jumping, the woman is listening to someone else on a cell phone. Before jumping, she only says “you don’t understand”.

Some days later Joe is visited by the woman’s daughter, who is adamant her mother didn’t commit suicide: she wasn’t depressed and also, she was afraid of heights. After talking to several people and seeing the woman’s house, Joe is also convinced that someone manipulated the woman into jumping. But how is such a thing possible? How can someone convince a woman afraid of heights to jump from a bridge? And also, will Joe’s couple resist the pressure of yet another mind game with a mad killer?

While Shatter stems from a promising idea which is mental manipulation, this thriller is way too predictable, every step of the way. It had all the elements of a good suspense novel: a cruel and determined killer, an unheard-of manner of killing, an investigation from the point of view of a psychologist: it could have been original but its predictability ruined the suspense for me. It seemed like a story I have already read ten times, following a too well-known pattern. I don’t know why I picked Shatter since The Suspect (read in a French translation) did not particularly impress me either…

Shatter is not a bad book but just more of the same… Given the great ratings it usually got, maybe it is just me not being fair or being bored with the whole thriller genre…

Rating: 3/5