Shattered Glass

Shattered Glass  - Dani Alexander image

**** 4 Rabbit stars ****

"Rabbit's the rock we cling to when we're drowning. He needs a mountain to hold him up, not another storm that'll wear away at him."
~Darryl to Austin about Peter~

Oh wow, that was some last half/last third of the book. Jesus Christ, I was on the edge of my seat for a long while there, even though I've read this book before and knew what was going to happen!

I read this book in May (2014), but never got around to write a review, now I've listened to the audio book.

This book is... different. From what I'm used to, I guess is the right way to say it. But good different, great different. If you're looking for perfect, sweet, lovey-dovey story and characters you won't find it here. It felt more "real life", a gritty and unforgiving life.

You ever watched a cop show or movie where the plot and characters depicts a more "real" reality than their polished, perfect counter-shows/movies? I'm thinking NYPD Blue or something similar versus, I don't know CSI/CSI Miami? I'm not dissing any of these shows, just trying to make out the difference between NYPD Blue's "real life" style and CSI's fancy, cool, my-hair-clothes-and-make-up-is-perfect-on-the-scene-of-the-crime-no-matter-where-I-am-or-what-time-of-day-it-is. Well, Shattered Glass is firmly in the NYPD Blue category.

The main character is Austin Glass, who is... "an unusually accurate picture of an asshole gay dude roped into giving a shit about other people by means of his cock." (quote from , 3 stars) And I have to agree, but with a smile on my lips.
julio's review

"What is wrong with you?" He [Peter] glared at me.

"I'm somewhat sure I'm suddenly gay," I shrugged, "My father and mother are hypocritical abandoning homophobic assholes. The former defending my chief suspect in the biggest case of my life—something I'm sure you had a hand in. I'm obsessed with your freckles, your bunny slippers and your lips — which I should be getting points for not kissing while you're incapacitated, by the way. I'm dating a whore while working on the vice squad—points to me again for not arresting your ass for that — and I'm ridiculously horny. Oh, and my fiancée won't talk to me."


"Here are the facts, Austin. You’ve been engaged four times.
You’ve cheated on every single one of them. You’re cruel
sometimes and superficial and spoiled and really fucked up
emotionally. You talk about my being inscrutable, but you treat
nothing as if it matters to you. Something terrible happens? You
make a joke and shrug it off. You feel too much? You get angry
and lash out at me. So no, I’m not in love with you. I’m fighting
it every fucking step! I just wish I could stop it."

~Peter to Austin~

Despite this, he is however likable, in a sneak-upon-you-kind-of-way.

"Since I was sixteen there’s been this heaviness in my chest. The second I’d meet a woman who wanted to settle down, the pressure eased. As it got closer to the point of actually getting married or moving in together, the pressure would start bearing down again. So I’d fuck it up and find another one and another. (...)

At first Peter was like that moment when the pressure eased, but it never quite lifted until I acknowledged I was gay." (...)

"Just like that?" She [Angelica] asked.
"As terrifying and painful as our breakup was, the pressure evaporated," I snapped my fingers. "I wasn’t obsessed with, or in love with, or even enamored with Peter. It was that feeling of relief that I was chasing."


He has a snarky humor and a quick wit. A troubled past that makes him a bit rebellious, and made him into the man he is today. Today he is a detective, meeting an informant at a diner. The informant is a no-show. What does catch Austin's interest, though, is the busboy at the diner who is wearing bunny slippers.

And f*ck it, I'm not gay. Goddammit.
I'm bunny-slipper-sexual?


Austin starts questioning himself and his sexuality. What he finds is hidden in the the emotions and memories of his past as a youth.

Peter, the other MC, is no less of an asshole, really. But as with Austin, there's a depth to his character and a past which makes him behave as he does. Remember the NYPD Blue analogy, where the story feels more "real life", a gritty and unforgiving life, "you gotta do what you gotta do to survive"? Well, it definitely is right when it comes to Peter.

He's 19 (Austin is 26) and used to turn tricks, but hasn't for four years (four years, geez, he's only 19!), since a good-will cop took him and two other boys off the streets and offered them a foster home.

The story is intricate and doesn't evolve much until the middle-ish of the book. The first part is about Austin struggling to come to grips with his sudden attraction to Bunny Slippers, Peter. What is said and done in this part is not all rosy-red. Some of it made me mentally cross my fingers and think "please, don't".

When the plot takes off, however, holy crap, it takes off! Christ, I was on the edge of my seat, as mention in the beginning, and I knew how what was going to happen since I've read this before! The plot it much bigger than Austin and Peter, although Peter is involved. And goddamn it was good. The suspense was almost palpable. The book was hovering around a 3 stars rating before things really started happening. What pushed the book to a 4 stars rating was the great detective/crime story and the narration of it, together with the blossoming romance between Austin and Peter started to turn sweet.

"Clean." Peter said.

"Can I get a water bottle or something to clean his hands?" I scanned the crowd. He drew my attention back to him with a pull of my hand.

"No," Peter said. "I'm...clean."

I had missed who Peter was until that very moment.

I had called him names and treated him callously. I had read every micro expression in a vacuum of how it related to Austin Glass. And in return Peter had cared for my wounds, treated me tenderly and assured me that he was HIV negative while bleeding out in a hallway of strangers.

I broke. It wasn't a visible fracture. I didn't sob or explode into anguish. I didn't give in to my vomitus urge that came from the burst of self-loathing. But I shattered nonetheless.


So, would I recommend it? Definitely. Listen to the audio, though. The narration is good. The narrator makes different voices for each character, and his sultry, whisper-ish voice of Peter with a american southern drawl? Holy hotness. Oh, sorry... "Peet-ah". *whimper*

Listen to the sample of the audio at HERE.
It gives you the first five minutes of the book. A taste of Austin and the description of "Peet-ah".

My gaze hopped from one table to the next. With all the boisterous laughter and the rapid fingers texting, it was the quiet, methodical busboy who caught and held my eye. He was wearing bunny slippers. (...)

Curious about the wearer, I skipped over the ripped pajama bottoms and stained tank top, to his face. My breath caught. Model beautiful, with thick red hair and millions of freckles, the man was as incongruous to the setting as those endearing slippers. (...)

Bunny Slippers was pierced. Lots of places. Little rings, nipple high, were outlined under his tank top and the ones in his ears and eyebrow glinted. I immediately began to speculate where else he was pierced. (...)

Blue eyes . No, not just blue, blue like glacial waters, like romantic poems, like heavens and moonstones. Cornflower blue. And— Blue like romantic poems? What the ever-living fuck?


My vision of "Peet-ah" is somewhere between these two:



Shattered Glass, audio edition: