Book of the Month (June): Shatter by Michael Robotham

Hello All,
Before I get into it I’ve decided to take BOTM to a blog format over a vlog. I enjoy the vlog format a great deal but for every 10 minutes of footage, it takes a few hours of videoing and editing (although that probably speaks more to my skillsets). As I’ve taken on YouTube full-time, my filming schedule is demanding and, frankly, I can produce blogs faster. I am terribly aware that I missed May BOTM, I was still working out the kinks in my schedule and May fell through the cracks. So here we are, June Book of the Month. But, and as you will see, I believe it worked out quite well.


Not only is this a BOTM recommendation, I’m providing you a Summer Series read too! Summer Series is popular here on WordPress. I haven’t actively delved into a summer series recommendation as I tend to read several novels at one time (it’s like changing radio stations) I’m not as likely to stick to a series of novels consecutively but even I admit if there was ever a Summer Series recommendation I could make, it’s this one. Like always, I will present this recommendation from a ‘get to the point’ format. No need to deep dive, something either leaves an impression on you or it does not.

Shatter is the 3rd installment of the Joseph O’Loughlin series but is a fully-fleshed out novel in its own right – not requiring familiarity with the other novels in the series. Shatter is what introduced me to the O’Loughlin series (shoutout to my beloved local bookstore BookPeople – great recommendation as always – I miss your shelves and look forward to strolling them once more) and I’ve been mad for the collection since, and Michael Robotham in all honesty. A brilliant author and a favorite.

I adore a good mystery/thriller/suspense novel, I do, but I went off the genre for years as every time I picked up a new story it was actually the same old story. I can spot a red herring a mile away. I’m not trying to brag, it’s just my truth. I ruin television and movies for everyone, I really do. “Called it” has become my unintended life motto. You might recall from previous blogs my background is in psychology and counseling. I am trained to notice behavioral patterns – fiction is nothing but contrived behavioral patterns. It sucks seeing things a mile off. I’m never surprised anymore. But I tell you what does surprise me, when an author captures inner processes (feelings and thoughts). Robotham f*cking nails his characters, skin to bone. I’ve never read anything like it.

People are more or less familiar with Poe (warning! apples and oranges up ahead!) and if Poe can be credited with capturing abject misery of the soul, Robotham can be credited for capturing the essence of motivation and behavior. When he breaks down character processes, Robotham does it so well it’s seamless for the audience. I’m guessing his readers experience volumes of, ‘oh yeah, makes perfect sense, that’s exactly what I would have thought too, yep, yep, yep totally would have said that, totally would have done that…’ Reading Robotham is that equivalent of experience where you’re watching a play and then suddenly realize, ‘holy crap, I’m watching a play, I can’t believe this isn’t actually happening.’

I’ve read the O’Loughlin series and Shatter is prime Robotham. I do not mean to reduce this author to just one of his many brilliant works, not at all. Shatter just happened to mark that point of no return. Frankly, I have new expectations for the genre now. Human motivation and behavior should be the focal point of mystery/thriller, which begs the question…why the hell do I find behavioral drives to be absent in a genre that is all about behavioral drives? See? No going back.

Book of the Month (June): Shatter by Micahel Robotham

Summer Series: Jospeh O’Loughlin

Book 1
The Suspect

Book 2

Book 3

Book 4
Bleed for Me

Book 5
The Wreckage

Book 6
Say You’re Sorry

Book 7
Watching You

Book 8
Close Your Eyes

Book 9
The Other Wife

I am open to book recommendations, always. Please let me know what you’re reading or if there is a series you’re really into at the moment.

Happy Reading,
Christina Schmidt, MA

Published by Christina Schmidt

I'm an author and live in the vibrant city of Austin, Texas. Cheers, y'all.

8 thoughts on “Book of the Month (June): Shatter by Michael Robotham

  1. I have multiple to-read and to-watch queues, but it sounds like I need to add Robotham. I do enjoy a good mystery or detective story. What you said about him nailing the humanity of his characters — that’s one reason I love Elmore Leonard. (Chandler and Hammett did that well, too, I’ve always thought.)

    “why the hell do I find behavioral drives to be absent in a genre that is all about behavioral drives?”

    It’s a bit like science fiction, maybe? Some SF is just a vehicle to explore some aspect of humanity, whereas other SF is just a ripping good yarn or a geeky tech manual thinly cloaked in a story. Perhaps we can look at crime fiction as sometimes a vehicle to explore human motivations behind crime, and sometimes a ripping good yarn about a puzzle to solve. Different Strokes.

    Totally get the “radio stations” thing. I’ve usually got a handful going. (More if one includes various short story collections I ration like a box of premium chocolates.) Kinda ties to what I was just saying about different strokes — sometimes the folks is me! 🙂

    “I am trained to notice behavioral patterns”

    Indeed! 😉 I’ve long been struck by how special knowledge alters one’s perceptions. I’ve been asked if knowing how films are made ruins them, and the answer is both yes and no. It can, as you say, remove the delight of surprise, but it also provides deeper insight. It’s a Yin-Yang pros and cons thing. Spoiling and elevating at the same time.


  2. Insightful post, Christina. This series must be really out-of-the-box to surprise someone with you educational background and genre reading experience.

    Also: you are a fulltime YouTuber! Wow. Where do you find the time to do all this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amita – I DON’T KNOW!!! I’m laughing on my end. I get this question regularly, I still don’t know how to answer it 🙂

      If you’re a fan of the genre, you’ll love the O’Loughlin series. I thank you for your thoughts, Amita!


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