“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”
Zakk reviews The Sound of Broken Ribs by Edward Lorn, 247 pages published in a limited edition format by Thunderstorm Books July, 2017.
“The only thing needed for complicity in violence was a willing friend at your side.”
Lei Duncan has it all: the ideal life, the perfect career, a loving husband. What more could someone ask for? It is with this in mind that Lei takes her morning run, oblivious to everything ahead.
Belinda Walsh has lost it all: her home, her husband, her mind. She thought she knew Dan, but one phone call changed all that. Now everything she’s known to be true is a lie. It is with this in mind that she goes looking for something—or someone—to destroy.
When the lives of two strangers intersect, something will be born of the connection. For one of these two souls, the truth of the world will shift and morph into something powerful and dangerous. A darkness of the mind, a tear in sanity.
And something will peek through that darkness, beckoned by the sound of broken ribs.
“When you break, you don’t hear the snap.”
Like a few of my peers, I seem to have missed the boat on Edward Lorn brand fiction. The man has a great deal of work readily available, how have I not made my acquaintance until earlier this year? Considering that my Kindle informs me that I purchased a Lorn novel a couple of years ago (plus pulling a second novel from Netgalley), it’s baffling.
However it happened, it happened. 2017 is the year I personally discovered Mr. Lorn. Introduced by a mutual friend, where everyone “meets” these days, on Facebook, I answered a review solicitation call for an upcoming release. The Sound of Broken Ribs, quite an intriguing and effective title that implies nothing more than pain. With an equally effective cover (I’ve actually seen two covers, both great. At the time of this writing I don’t know which is the limited release cover and which is the mass release cover) and an overall urgent vibe to the book. I am very excited to open the cover.
**Note: In the time between the solicitation of reviews and the receiving The Sound of Broken Ribs I squeezed in Life After Dane, one of the Lorn titles I had been sitting on, just to get a feel for the man’s style. And minus the one line that systematically caused me to completely lose support for the main character, I enjoyed the read quite a bit. I just wanted it to be clear that TSoBR wasn’t my first Lorn title.**
I can’t seem to recall the last time that I was so jazzed, so amped up while reading, nor can I recall the last title to elicit such a response. I’m an easy reader to please (also an easy reader to lose) so a lot of books sit well with me, but only a few really strike me. Only a few quench that primal thirst deep inside me. A thirst that is satisfied not only by unsettling themes and/ or violence but also by great dialog and an air of the unexpected.
The Sound of Broken Ribs hits the notes of “unsettling themes and/ or violence” spot on, with an emphases on AND. There are some truly unnerving events taking place, perpetrated by people and executed upon other people. And it isn’t gore for the sake of turning the reader’s stomach, it’s a natural progression and escalation of violence stemming from an ugly event. Because lets face it folks, man is the real monster. And the monster will feed.
Great dialog, check. No clunk, no syrupy lingo, no overly hip Diablo Cody bullshit. No cardboard cutouts slinging cliches at each other. Real characters saying real things that make sense and move the story along. It’s a wonderful thing. A lack of believable dialog is my number one pet peeve, and there are zero qualms here.
An air of the unexpected is the real winner with The Sound of Broken Ribs. I’m the type of reader (and movie watcher, for that matter) that doesn’t try to guess where the narrative is going. I let the story lead the way. So when I do guess, when it’s obvious where the story is going I’ve probably already lost some interest. No worries here. I couldn’t have predicted this if I tried. Not just the end game, throughout the entirety of the read. Every time I thought to myself “here is where the narrative will slow down, detour, maybe dilly-dally just a little bit” the book points out my ignorance and bursts forward with no hesitation. These are not twists, mind you, not all of them anyway. They are natural progressions of the narrative, not deceptions, so they feel honest. And at one point I let out an audible “no way he did that!” He did it. It was brutal and upsetting.
I enjoyed The Sound of Broken Ribs a great deal. It felt less like a story and more like an event. Which tells me that I should, no, that I need to explore the work of Edward Lorn further. Sooner rather than later. Bay’s End, I’m staring directly at you. I imagine that we are going to get along nicely.
“There are two sides to every story, and every good story has a twist.”
The Sound of Broken Ribs is one of the best times I’ve had reading this year, and one of the best times in recent years. Highly enjoyable and quite refreshing. When this thing drops in a mass format, run, don’t walk, to your favorite bookseller, find a quiet corner of the house and dig in.
A brutal, no-nonsense, easy 5/5
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
**Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and/ or publisher and I am reviewing it voluntarily. These are my honest, unbiased feelings. I did not receive any sort of compensation.
Edward Lorn is a reader, writer, and content creator. He’s been writing for fun since the age of six, and writing professionally since 2011. He can be found haunting the halls of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Goodreads.
Edward Lorn lives in the southeast United States with his wife and two children. He is currently working on his next novel.
Sold out 😦 sorry.
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