In 📚Pretty Broken Dolls, the reader is transported back to Pine Valley, California. In this installment, Detective Katie Scott and her partner Deputy Sean McGaven works assiduously to stop a serial killer before he claims his next victim.
Title: Pretty Broken Dolls
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 purchase the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
Author(s): Jennifer Chase
Series: Detective Katie Scott #6
Also in this series: The Fragile Ones
Published by Bookouture on August 5, 2021
Source: Pump Up Your Book
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 purchase the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
Despite being the sixth book in the series 📚Pretty Broken Dolls works well as a standalone. In this installment, Katie and her partner are handed a case courtesy of the FBI. This case in question involves the victims, all females, who were posed as broken dolls after being murdered. They would learn that the case had a connection to a murder in Pine Valley, which occurred one year ago. Katie had reservations about the case, which stemmed from her lack of trust in the agent who brought the case to their attention. However, when she discovered that she and the victims shared a military and K9 connection, she knew she has to find justice for them.
The story had me on the edge of my seat from its intense prologue to the end when the case was tied up. Danger and suspense permeated the pages of this riveting read. I was on pins and needles, knowing that Katie would likely be in the killer’s crosshairs because of her K9 connection. Katie can handle herself, but it didn’t stop me from fearing for her safety.
At first, it was difficult to determine the identity of the killer. Several potential suspects made it difficult to highlight the true villain. However, the deeper we got into the investigation, several things became clear, giving me an idea of the villain’s identity. I was on point with my suspicions.
Amidst all of this, Katie struggles with personal issues with PTSD, topping the list. However, she proved to the consummate professional, as she did not allow her personal issues impede her in solving the case.
Overall, 📚Pretty Broken Dolls was a thrilling read and a great addition to the series. Suitable for fans of police procedurals featuring strong female characters and a small town setting.
5 Things I Do when Writing Action Scenes
I love reading and writing action-oriented stories for my crime thrillers. It doesn’t matter if it’s a movie or book—I love all the action with fights, weapons, car chases, martial arts, or an old-fashioned shootout. It may sound easy enough to write, but you might be surprised what it takes to make your fight scene really shine and get your readers excited—an me too.
If you’re incorporating some type of fight scene into your story of any genre, there are a few things that you should be aware of when prepping for it. It’s not just a one-two punch and that’s the end of the fight. It may look that easy, but I have a few tricks that help punch up the scene.
KNOW YOUR HUMAN ANATOMY
The first phase to writing a fight scene is to know and understand basic human anatomy. Visit a reputable website(s), borrow a book from the library, or purchase a book for research (highly recommended).
Did you know that you have 206 bones in your body? More than half of those bones are in your hands and feet. Truly amazing. Take a closer look at your own hands. Study the details of the bones, tendons, veins, and how your fingernails are shaped. Think about it and how it would pertain to your characters. The next time your characters are in a fist fight or searching for something to defend themselves with, there are many possible scenarios of what can happen to the body, specifically the hands and feet. Think about injuries, weaknesses, and strengths.
It’s not just about the bones. By having an understanding of where the major organs are located, such as the kidneys, solar plexus, liver, and the heart, it will make the scene much more believable.
I don’t know how many times I’ve read a novel where the author doesn’t understand the difference between a revolver and semi-automatic gun. If you’re going to use a gun as the character’s weapon of choice, know everything about it—size, make, model, type of grip, how many bullets it holds, how to hold, and how the safety works.
Weapons aren’t just limited to guns. There is a whole host of weapons that could be used in a fight. Besides bare hands, the character can use hatchets, hammers, knives, swords, bats, and just about anything that a person could use to attack someone or defend themselves. I’ve used kitchen pots and pans to implements found in a garden and garage for my character’s fights. The list is endless. Whatever the weapon of choice in a fight—find out everything about it.
IDENTIFY SELF DEFENSE & OFFENSIVE MOVES
If you’ve ever taken a basic self-defense class or some type of martial arts, it will help you on a fundamental level to know where your characters should and shouldn’t stand during a fight. Know the stances, both for defensive and offensive moves. How does your character stand? Where is the position of feet and hands? What are some of the realistic capabilities for your character?
You can watch movie fight sequences or pick up a book on various fighting techniques. Once you put your mind to it, there are almost limitless possibilities to your character’s fighting techniques. Whether your hero is a freestyle amateur or trained fighter, know your defensive and offensive moves.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
When you’re preparing to write a story, whether a book or script, make sure to add to the research list your fight scenes. I know that it may not sound like a big thing, but don’t drop the ball on understanding what you need to know for your fight scenes.
You can get as detailed as necessary, whatever the fight scene dictates. Plus, as an added bonus, whatever research you’ve done for one project can work for other stories as well. I think you’ll find that preparing for your fight scenes can be really fun as well as beneficial to the story.
SKETCH OUT SPECIFIC SCENES
This may seem extreme or even funny, but I cannot express to you how helpful it is to take a plain piece of paper and sketch out your fight scenes—nothing fancy just the basics. I do this for my crime scenes as well, when I have a scene with several people involved, detailed action scenes, and when I need the hero to kick some butt in a fight. Even if you’re not an outliner, it’s highly recommended that you outline a good fight scene. It’s actually fun and helps you to visually realize your scene. Try it. I promise it will help you make your fight scene jump off the page…
In the thin light of the moon, the woman’s limp body hangs from the iron fence amongst the redwoods. Looped over the railings is the little gold locket her mother gave her when she turned sixteen. The picture of the girl inside smiles out at a future she’ll never see…
As day breaks over the fairground, Detective Katie Scott forces herself to take in another disturbing scene in front of her. A woman, the same age as her, found slumped in the carriage of the Ferris wheel, red lipstick dragged across her lips, her throat cut.
Katie doesn’t want to believe that the serial killer picking off women across the state has found their way to the small town of Pine Valley, California, but when her team finds a gold engagement ring hanging nearby, it’s a terrifying, but undeniable fact.
With a twisted killer on her doorstep, Katie knows if she doesn’t act fast, she’ll find more women left out in the cold like broken dolls. Her team hit dead end after dead end, but only she can see the vital link between the victims: a connection with Katie herself.
Katie has spent years pushing traumatic memories of her years in the military far out of reach, but she must confront them now or more innocent women will die. But as the killer circles closer and closer to Katie, what if the only answer is to give him what he wants? There must be another way…
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: