Linda Hurtado Bond is a new to me author and one whom I would definitely read again. Two things prompted me to pick up All the Broken Girls, the title and the synopsis. I have no regrets. All the Broken Girls delivered a chilling and suspenseful tale set against the background of the Floridian landscape and rich in Cuban culture and religion.
Title: All the Broken Girls
When one falls 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.
Author(s): Linda Hurtado Bond
Published by Entangled: Amara on August 23, 2022
Genre(s): Mystery, Suspense
Crime reporter Mari Alvarez was never able to solve her mother’s murder ten years ago. But when a woman is gunned down on the doorstep of her West Tampa neighborhood, Mari can’t shake the eerie sense of connection.
The others will break
Now there have been two murders in two days. Each crime scene awash with arcane clues—and without a trace of DNA from the killer. And for each victim, a doll. The first is missing an eye. The second is missing a heart. But are these clues leading to the killer…or messages for Mari?
And she’s the only one who can protect them…
Caught up in a maelstrom of Old-World superstition, secrets, and ties to her own past, Mari has only one option. Put the puzzle together before someone else dies—even if it destroys her career. But there’s no escaping the hungry spider’s web when it’s been made just for you…
When one falls
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.
August 22 – September 16, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
In All the Broken Girls, we meet crime reporter Mari Alvarez. At the beginning of the story Mari returns to work fresh off a suspension. However, instead of covering the crime beat, her boss relegated her to cover soft issues. She accepted her new assignment reluctantly, but what choice does she have? She either accepted it or lose her job permanently and that was not an option. While heading out to cover a human interest story, she received information about a crime scene. Against her boss’s wishes, she turned up at the crime scene. While there, she recognised the scene bore similarities to her mother’s murder, which occurred ten years ago. Despite the risk of losing her job, she knew she needed to learn the truth behind this murder and that of her mother’s. Will she find the answers before the killer strikes again?
All the Broken Girls is every crime fiction reader’s delight. It possessed all the elements to keep the reader flipping the pages. An evenly paced tale filled with suspense, mystery, betrayal, twists and shocking revelations.
I enjoyed getting to know Mari. Her determination and her desire to fight for the victims contributed to her being a top-notch crime reporter. However, there were moments when these traits led to her acting recklessly in her pursuit of finding the truth.
The story had no romance, however, the chemistry between Mari and the Detective Antonio Garcia could not be denied. It would have been nice if they were given the chance to explore their feelings for each other.
I had a fascinating time learning about Santeria, a Cuban religion steeped in African culture. The murders and Mari’s beliefs centered on this religion. Another note of interest was the killer’s motive, revenge and the belief justice was being served. The takeaway from all of this was ‘Does it matter how justice is served if it’s deserved?” It was interesting following the clues and trying to figure out the killer’s identity. This was not an easy one to solve because of the many suspects who all had motive and opportunity.
The manner in which the story ended suggests hints at the possibility of another book. It would be nice to revisit Mari’s world. All the Broken Girls is a must read for fans of crime fiction.
Speaking of which, the thought makes me notice how parched my throat is and I’m afraid my voice will crack when I talk. My lungs are so empty I’m not sure I can deliver any story pitches, even if my job depends on it.
Which, it does.
Reporting is in my blood.
But my paycheck—also a necessity.
I rub my right wrist. The red rope bracelet is there. The pea-sized, black gemstone dangles from it. I roll the azabache charm between my fingers, silently going through my routine: twist the stone three times to the right, three to the left. Six times in all. My lucky number. I swear I’ll never go to a crime scene again without the charm. I’ve learned my lesson. Asi es. Truth. That’s how it is.
I pull out the chair across from Mr. Payton and accidentally scrape the floor. It’s loud. Que escandalo!
More stares cut my way. The air conditioning kicks up a notch, but that means nothing to the sweat rolling down my back, sliding into the most inconvenient places. I ignore the wet tickle and stand even taller before taking a seat.
My boss drills me with that intense stare that says everything he’s not allowed to vocalize for fear Human Resources will reprimand him. “Thanks for joining us, Ms. Alvarez.”
“Had to drop off my grandmother at her doctor’s office. She doesn’t drive.” I sit and twist the water bottle on the table until the label faces me. I look at El Jefe and force the corners of my mouth up. Abuela Bonita always told me, no matter what’s going on inside, you can win over the world with a warm smile.
“Let’s continue.” Mr. Payton looks at Paul Johnson, our political reporter.
Paul clears his throat. “As I was saying, the governor is going to hold a press conference on the opioid crisis at a local…”
I cross my ankles to keep my leg from bouncing. It’s clear my boss doesn’t trust me anymore. Not since my serial killer story got the station sued.
I catch the ambitious, crime reporter wannabe eyeing me from the right corner of the room. Bet she’s dying to know what happened to warrant my suspension. She probably already knows. Secrets don’t stay secrets for long in a newsroom.
What the hell had gone wrong?
Abuela Bonita calls it mala suerte. She insisted I wear the azabache bracelet today to ward off the bad
luck following me. I find the charm again and twist.
I will fix this. Don’t know how. But I will repair my damaged reputation.
I flinch in my seat.
“You have anything to add to the meeting?” El Jefe taps his engraved pen on the table in a slow, rhythmic pattern.
“Well, Mr. Payton.” He likes it when we use his last name. “I thought I’d do a feature on a young girl in New Tampa Hospital who needs a kidney transplant.”
“That from the crime beat reporter?” I hear the words he isn’t speaking.
“I know.” I answer in my head. “Eleven Emmys, and I still messed up that last crime story, didn’t I?” Out loud I say, “She’s an artist—truly amazing gift— and she’s willing to auction off her paintings to raise money so people can get tested to see if they’re a match. We could save her life by sharing her story.”
My boss nods but says, “Busch Gardens is showing off a new baby sloth this evening.”
My cheeks burn. I sit back. The heat floods down into my chest. “A baby sloth?” I’m pretty sure this is what a public castration feels like.
“We have enough crime, corruption, death, and destruction today. We need something positive after Weather. Sloth baby it is. Can’t go wrong with baby animals,” he says.
Can’t get the station sued again, you mean.
“You’re on that, Alvarez.”
“Gracias.” I close my eyes and visualize a sloth picking at El Jefe’s bushy, needs-to-be-cut eyebrows
with those two big claw-like toes. In slow motion, of course. “If our viewers see what I’m envisioning, they’re going to love it.” I smile. Warmly.
Whatever. It will keep me employed for at least one more day. My sister Izzy and Abuela are counting on me.
My phone goes off. I look down, fumbling it as I try to flip off the ringer. “Sorry. Sorry.” It’s not someone calling. It’s my home RING security camera alerting me. My pulse takes off like an F-16. Someone is at our front door. My heart stalls. And falls.
“An important source?” El Jefe asks.
A scoff from the right corner of the room. “Baby sloth police calling?” Crime reporter wannabe gets the room laughing.
Wannabe must have missed her café con leche this morning. I join the laughter and wink at her, despite the slow scalding heat I’m feeling. Abuela Bonita also taught me you get more with honey than vinegar. “No. No. Sorry.” Just my sister’s boyfriend of the week, who is not supposed to be at our house. I shake my head.
My spine straightens. “Yes?”
“You can take the new photographer, Chris Jensen.”
That pulls me back to the moment. “But I always work with Orlando.” A big eyeball fills the RING camera at the front door, but it isn’t Izzy’s new boyfriend. His eyes are as blue as the Florida sky. Isabella’s are dark brown, so dark you can’t tell where the pupil ends, and the iris begins. Izzy pulls back and yells at the RING camera, “Stop spying on me! De conseguir una vida!”
My younger sister is telling me to get a life of my own.
Snickers flicker across the room.
Every hair on the back of my neck rises. The audio on my iPhone is still on. Wanna get away?
I glance at my friend Kiara. She smiles and shakes her head. I appreciate her support. Time to turn the sound off my iPhone.
“Everything okay?” El Jefe’s features remain constant. He doesn’t chastise me for my sister’s outburst, even though she interrupted his busy news meeting.
“Yes sir, I’m fine.” Wait till I get home, Isabella Alvarez! “I’m fine.”
He nods, but his eyes narrow.
I sit through one of his nerve-wracking, wish-I-knew-what-he’s thinking pauses.
He says, “You can take Orlando.”
El Jefe is throwing me a peace offering, I think. Or maybe he believes I can’t even handle an animal story with the newbie photog, so giving me Orlando is like tossing out a safety vest.
Two weeks ago, I would have rolled my eyes at the insult of such an easy, nonrelevant assignment. I would have been deeply offended by the shade of making sure I had a veteran babysitter with me.
Tonight, I’m grateful for it.
Even though I know I can’t possibly screw up a baby sloth story, right?
Excerpt from All the Broken Girls by Linda Bond. Copyright 2022 by Linda Bond. Reproduced with permission from Entangled Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Thanks for the review! This one sounds like a great read.
Thanks for the opportunity to read and review.
What a wonderful review you have here! I would really struggle with having no romance haha but it looks like it turned out to be a solid read for you so I am happy that you enjoyed it.
I was disappointed about the lack of romance, but it was still a good read.
This one sounds really interesting. Wonderful review!
Oh yes, this one has some very intriguing elements. And, I love knowing how much you liked it.
It was quite intriguing.
This sounds like something I’d enjoy since I love crime fiction. Wonderful review and thanks for the giveaway!
You ate welcome. I hope you win.
I like this type of book sometimes. This sounds like a good story.
Mary,this is right up your alley.
This sounds exciting. I’ve never read anything by Linda Hurtado Bond either, but I need to look. out for her books.
Same here. I will be on the lookout for more of her work.