A Broken Reality

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
318 Pages
Reviewed on 11/21/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

“A Broken Reality” is much darker than his last book, "One Last Lie" - with characters who hold bits and pieces of strangers he’s known, friends he’s had and "crazy" people he’s only read about.

“This book hits home for me,” says Rob. “There were a few pages that made me laugh out loud as I wrote them... and many that made me cry. And the great thing is, I’m finding that many readers of this book are experiencing the same emotions.”

Through social and other media, Rob hopes to get “A Broken Reality” into the hands of millions, so that they, too, can experience the ups, downs, twists, turns and final tragedy that has helped make this book a Five-Star contender

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

A Broken Reality by Robert Kaufman is a blend of crime and thriller with strong psychological hints. After Danny Madsen has been missing for four days, Danny’s godfather, Jesse Carlton, sets out in his car in search for him in very inclement weather. An accident happens on the snowy path just at the same time that his godson comes running out of the bush. Jesse hits the boy he had set out to find and kills him. Charles Hastings, a sociopath, witnesses the incident and sets Jesse up, sparking off an emotional spiral of events that bring untold suffering to both Jesse and his wife and Danny’s parents. Can the police see through the mind game of a vicious sociopath and give closure to the grieving?

The narrative starts with a crisis — Danny Madsen is missing — and this immediately arouses the reader’s curiosity, wanting to know what happens. I enjoyed the way the author captures elements of the setting, the unfriendly weather and the snow reflecting the sad experience of loss and the difficulty in finding answers. Robert Kaufman is a master at writing emotionally charged and focused scenes. I loved the imagery; it’s vivid and strong and serves as a backbone to the already riveting story. The characters in A Broken Reality are sophisticated and well developed, and the author allows the depth of their humanity to shine through the complex web of the plot. The prose is beautiful, simple and crisp, and the narrative voice is exciting and engaging. A Broken Reality is emotionally gripping and psychologically exciting, one of those books you read and feel deeply for the characters. Cunningly plotted and brilliantly written!

Jack Magnus

A Broken Reality is a psychological thriller written by Rob Kaufman. Jesse and Melissa Carlton, and Becky and Don Madsen had been best friends for years. Jesse and Don (who had actually grown up together) had been friends since they were young boys in school. Becky and Don had introduced Melissa to Jesse some fifteen years earlier. Danny Madsen was Jesse and Melissa’s godchild, and they loved him as if he were their own, so when they learned that the ten-year-old boy had gone missing, they instantly were part of the efforts made to find him. It was the dead of winter in Massachusetts, and the area where Danny was last seen bordered on acres of densely wooded conservation land.

On the fourth day of the search, the two families were fighting exhaustion, fear and the growing despondency that came from realizing the critical “48-hour window” had long been vanished. Jesse was out there searching through the streets as dusk darkened into night. There were few streetlights on this stretch of road, and new snow-covered treacherous patches of black ice. When Jesse got word that a woman in the neighborhood had reported seeing a young boy fitting Danny’s description running past her house, he was elated on realizing that he was driving quite near that location. Then the unthinkable happened. Something so awful, Jesse couldn’t bear to remember it.

Rob Kaufman’s psychological thriller novel, A Broken Reality, is a taut and compelling blend of the thriller and police procedural genres. Kaufman’s work deals with the intertwined themes of loss, guilt and forgiveness as the police, the FBI and the community try to apprehend a kidnapper who was himself a victim of brutality as a child. Kaufman’s story works quite well, and his characters, particularly FBI agent Antonia Rivera, are well-defined and credible. I would love to see Agent Rivera solve more cases in the future. A Broken Reality is most highly recommended.

Viga Boland

It’s exciting to discover an author’s motivation for writing novels in a particular genre. After not being able to put down A Broken Reality by Robert Kaufman, I just had to look up this author. What I found is a writer who achieves his goals, whose stories do exactly what he hopes they will. In this psychological thriller about the disappearance of a young boy, Danny, his kidnapper, Charles, and Danny’s godfather, Jesse, whom local police wrongly conclude is the perpetrator, Kaufman, a psychologist explores his fascination with “what makes people tick - what forces them to become evil when deep down in their heart of hearts, they are yearning for love”.

The character of Charles best demonstrates how a person’s yearning for love can force him/her to become evil, and as much as readers will hate Charles, they will also understand what has brought him to this deranged way of finding love. Then, as we watch the lives of Jesse, his wife and Danny’s parents go haywire as a result of Charles’ actions, the tension mounts with every turn of the page, not just because of the constant plot twists, but because of what those twists are doing to these people. Even the lives of the FBI agent investigating the case and his family, are disrupted by one desperate-for-love man, Charles.

If, like Kaufman, you are fascinated by what makes people tick, A Broken Reality is a novel that will stay with you as much for its characterization as its plot. Kaufman brings his expertise as a psychologist into the story when Jesse is struggling to understand why he feels guilty about Danny’s disappearance. When he finally realizes the truth and is unable to accept it, the result is devastating. Kaufman’s other stated goal in writing books like this one is “to create characters with whom people could relate, while at the same time bringing them through a journey from which most would crumble.” Again, he has certainly succeeded in creating characters to whom we can relate: any parent or godparent would identify with Jesse and Danny’s family. It’s the kind of situation we all hope will never happen to us. A psychological thriller? You bet…and one of the best I’ve ever read! Awesome read!