By: Amy Rivers
Publisher: Compathy Press, LLC
Publication Date: March 2019
Reviewed by: Lynette Latzko
Review Date: January 7, 2020
Alice Bennett, journalist and wife to a man who appears to be wonderfully perfect, was finally able to crawl her way out of a horrifically abusive childhood, and into a well-crafted new life full of promise. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always seem to play out as planned, and Alice’s past, coupled with controlling behavior by her husband, slowly erodes their marriage. Meanwhile her mother-in-law, Mae, suffers a tragic fall that lands her in the hospital, unable to walk unassisted and care for herself. Alice decides to take some advantage of the situation by moving down to Georgia, where Mae lives, to not only help her at home while she recovers, but impress her husband enough that he’ll be more willing to work on repairing their relationship.
During Alice’s time caring for her mother-in-law, she attempts to do research for an article about a woman who was gruesomely murdered by her husband in 1940, but she quickly discovers that living in a small, very close-knit southern town makes it nearly impossible for her to get any answers when the townspeople are not only closemouthed, but suspicious of the outsider’s inquiries. Alice is also confronted with the reality that her in-laws have a decades-old feud with another family, the Simms, and her husband was somehow involved with the Simms’ daughter, Beth, and her brother, Larry Lee, who are both notorious for their addictions and criminal activity. She is both shocked and saddened by the fact that her husband may not be the man she originally thought he was when they first married.
While Mae Bennett is busy recovering, she suddenly has a flash of memory that someone pushed her, causing her to fall. The town law enforcement is quick to respond to this latest development, but slow in thoroughly investigating and, like the rest of the town, believes that Larry Lee is somehow involved. Matters only worsen when Beth Simms blows back into town, unleashing havoc in her wake; and at the same time, unusual and potentially criminal events are happening to a few townspeople. Alice and the folks of Jasper don't know whether or not anything is related to Mae's fall, or the Simms, and they're getting worried that their once peaceful town will soon be too dangerous to live in. But will they find answers quickly enough to put a stop to further destruction, or is it too late?
Seasoned author Amy Rivers’ first venture into the suspense genre proves to be a well-written, enjoyable read. The numerous characters are fully developed and likable; even with some of the “bad” characters readers will find it hard not to feel a bit of sympathy for their unfortunate lots in life. If you’re seeking a fast-paced thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, this is not the story for you. However, if you’re in search of a read that is heavy, richly atmospheric and a suspenseful slow burn, this is definitely the novel for you. Like the kudzu that the author writes about in her story, All the Broken People will quickly grow on you and won’t release its hold until the dramatic ending.
Quill says: Looking for a well-crafted suspense novel filled with strong, likable characters? Look no further!
For more information on All the Broken People, please visit the author's website: www.amyrivers.com