Remember the scene in Pulp Fiction when Mia snorts just one too many lines of blow and goes into cardiac arrest? (Yes, that was gross. Blech.) But then in the end, Vincent…eventually…stabs her in the heart with a syringe of adrenaline and she comes rushing back from the brink of non-existence, her consciousness slamming back into her body in a rush of “what the…?” That’s what the first words of Shattered Glass were like for me. “Fucking Bunny Slippers.” If an author starts Chapter One of a book and has the brass chucks to title it Fucking Bunny Slippers, he damn well better be able to deliver on everything after that. Yeah, well, he delivered; I signed for it and am still enjoying the payoff for that giddy rush I get when I find a new author and a freaking awesome book.
This book left my brain happy dancing for all it was worth because Dani Alexander is ten thousand kinds of brilliant, a god of wordology, the master of my fanatical obsession with books and characters and snark and flawed but fantabulous men who just can’t seem to stay away from each other in spite of how much all the fates oppose them.
Peter Cotton had no chance, really, against all the mantastic charm and charisma that is Austin Glass. Austin has no brain-to-mouth filter and his train of thought jumps the rails frequently, but just bring your Tom-Tom and prepare to navigate along with him, because honestly, it’s well worth the journey.
Austin’s a police detective, you see, and Peter? Uh, Peter exists somewhere across that invisible line of the law that means he does whatever he has to do to survive and protect the two people who mean more to him than anything else in the world.
This isn’t as much a story of two men from different sides of the tracks as it is a story of Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear.” The straight line here is Austin’s obsession with Peter, the mystery that is Peter Cotton, Peter’s reluctant attraction to the smartass that is Austin. It’s the crime syndicate, murder, and general mayhem that seems to surround Peter, his little “brother” Cai, and Darryl, the brotherish-friend-with-benefits who makes up the final link in the chain of this little family. Austin and Peter pass through these straight lines that, as the story continues, get more and more confused by the secrets that Peter, Cai, and Darryl hide.
Austin is the trust fund baby with a badge and a gun, who has career ambitions that lead straight to the FBI. Peter is the ex-whore, drug dealer, and sometimes prime suspect in the case Austin and his partner Luis are investigating. Complicated, no? Especially as Austin’s feelings for Peter compromise and eventually derail any chance he might have had of ever maintaining, let alone advancing, a career in law enforcement. There’s lots of pushing and pulling and manipulating and mistrust of actions and motivations, and it all added up to Angst + Chemistry + Denial + Suspense + Danger + Murder + Attempted Murder + Lies∞ (okay, maybe not infinite lies, but there were a lot!) = Happy Gray Matter
I loved this book, loved it like Mia loved her coke, except it didn’t leave me foaming at the mouth… Okay, maybe a little. But only in a good way.