?Review: She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be by J. D. Barker

Posted on July 7, 2021 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 10 Comments

?Review: She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be by J. D. BarkerTitle: She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be
Author(s): J.D. Barker
Narrator(s): David Aaron Baker, Brian Hutchison
Published by Recorded Books on March 31, 2020
Length: 23 hrs 35 mins
Genre(s): Mystery, Sci-Fi, Suspense
Source: Purchase
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Purchase: Amazon|Audible|Audiobooks.com
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

A haunting tale of suspense, rendered with the masterful skill only Barker could muster.
After the loss of his parents, young Jack Thatch first met Stella as a child--this cryptic little girl of eight with dark hair and darker eyes, sitting alone on a bench in the cemetery clutching her favorite book. Gone moments later, the brief encounter would spark an obsession. She'd creep into his thoughts, his every waking moment, until he finally finds her again exactly one year later, sitting upon the same bench, only to disappear again soon after.
The body of a man found in an alley, every inch of his flesh horribly burned, yet his clothing completely untouched. For Detective Faustino Brier, this wasn't the first, and he knew it wouldn't be the last. It was no different from the others. He'd find another just like it one year from today. August 9, to be exact.
Isolated and locked away from the world in a shadowy lab, a little boy known only as Subject "D" waits, grows, learns. He's permitted to speak to no one. He has never known the touch of another. Harboring a power so horrific, those in control will never allow him beyond their walls.
All of them linked in ways unimaginable.
'SHE HAS A BROKEN THING WHERE HER HEART SHOULD BE' conjures thoughts of early King and Koontz. A heart-pounding ride that creeps under your skin and will have you turning pages long into the night.
©2020 Jonathan Dylan Barker (P)2020 Recorded Books

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Narrated by David Aaron and Brian Hutchinson, She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be, captured my attention with its unique concept. An engrossing tale of a  young girl who appears on August 8 each year and the boy who is obsessed with her.

First the title caught my attention, followed by the cover. Then when I read the synopsis, I immediately picked it up. A lengthy book, but worth each minute spent reading/listening.

The story began with eight-year-old Jack at the cemetery visiting his parents’ graves along with his aunt Jo. While there he encounters Stella, a young mysterious girl. He is  enamored of her and cannot stop thinking about her, but he only able to see her once a year on August 8. Around this time Detective Brier investigates a strange case of homicide involving a burnt body with clothing  intact. Even stranger was the discovery one year later of another body under the same circumstances. Amidst these strange events, a little boy known only as Subject ‘D’ was kept in a lab, with no interaction with the outside world.

This was a solid mash-up of sci-fi, mystery, suspense and action. There were so many things taking place, I wondered how they all tied together. I had several questions while reading, one of which had to do with the significance of August 8. The book may have been lengthy, but I never noticed as I found myself completely immersed in the world Barker created. Twists, secrets and surprise abound in this unique tale. I couldn’t wait to learn what would happen next. 

The story spans several years and during this time we see the main characters come of age. I enjoyed getting to know Jack. Perfect by no means whatsoever, evidenced by the poor choices he made. He has been through a lot, but he persevered. I didn’t like Stella first because of her better than thou attitude towards Jack. However, as the story progressed, providing me with more details about this mysterious girl, my feelings towards her changed. The remaining characters proved to be an interesting bunch, especially Subject ‘D’. He was indeed the most dangerous of the lot.


 This was my first time listening to both narrators. It took me awhile to adjust to the voices. I had to change the narration speed a few times before settling on 1. 5x. They both  brought a lot to the story and handled the voices for the different characters very well. However, I was not a fan of Stella’s voice, which I found annoying. I thought their narration helped to enhance the story.


Overall, a good listen/read and one I recommend without hesitation. 


Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Narrator (Audio)
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star


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