Broken Dolls [Jefferson Winter] by James Carol

imagesIt takes a genius to catch a psychopath . . .

A few weeks ago, I was perusing the Kindle books over at, just looking for something that sounded interesting and would occupy a couple of hours. I’m not going to lie, the thing I noticed about this book, was the 59p price tag – which is an awesome price for a 382 page book. So I purchased it, not expecting too much, but mildly interested by the synopsis –

Not everyone who’s broken can be fixed.

Four victims, all young women, all tortured and then lobotomised. None of them able to tell the police the name of their attacker. None of them able to live normal lives again. Just broken dolls, played with then discarded.

Ex-FBI profiler Jefferson Winter is no ordinary investigator. The son of one of America’s most renowned serial killers, Winter has spent his life trying to distance himself from his father’s legacy. But are they more similar than he can admit?

When another young woman goes missing, Winter has to race against the clock to identify the attacker and find the latest victim before it’s too late…

So, I’ve bought the book, downloaded it to my Kindle and prepared to read a couple of chapters, then probably return to another book I’d been reading. Yea…didn’t happen like that. After 3 chapters, I was utterly hooked – not just by the storyline, but by the characterisation of Jefferson Winter – he is utterly fascinating.

The son of a psychopathic serial killer, whom he watched die via lethal injection – but not before his father mouthed 3 simple words to him. “We’re the same…“. Those 3 words lead to Winter quitting his job as a criminal profiler for the FBI’s behavioural analysis unit, and going freelance. He requires 3 things for him to accept a case – a hotel suite (NOT a room), said suite comes equipped with a bottle of single malt whiskey, and that the case is interesting.

And trust me, the case in Broken Dolls is an interesting, if not extremely twisted case.

The suspect kidnaps young woman, tortures them for months, then lobotomises and leaves the broken woman to be found…still not hooked? Okay, how about I mention the fact that many of the books chapters are told from the perspective of the torture victim? The tension that James Carol manages to create during those chapters…my goodness. I was literally on the edge of my seat, cringing at some of the details.

Winter is a genius, he’ll do whatever it takes to crack the case, he’s passionate – but can be very cold and clinical when the time arises. Which is just another thing to add to the massive pile of things I love about this damned fictitious character. This book needs a TV series. A decent one though.

I really want to write more about the story, and how at the end of each chapter, it’s like a mini cliffhanger which means you can’t close your eyes, until you’ve read just one more chapter…which eventually turns into the entire book. It’s just one of those rare books, where the term ‘page turner’ is completely accurate. Broken Dolls really does feel like a race against time. I really don’t want to give much (anything) away, as this book really is brilliant, and people need to buy it and read it – possibly in one sitting. Roll on the next Jefferson Winter book. James Carol, you’ve created a character akin to Sherlock Holmes, Archie Sheridan, Logan ‘Laz’ McRae, James Langton…some of my favourite characters – smart, ruthless at times, they do what they have to, to get the job done.

Winter is the main character, but he’s backed up by some interesting support characters. The main ones being DI Mark Hatcher and DS Sophie Templeton. Templeton is described as being truly stunning, and Winter notices this quite often, and each time they were alone I was convinced something was going to happen between them. Whether or not something does or does not happen, whether they catch the bad guy in time, well…you should read the book.

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