Brittle Shadows


Fiction - Mystery - Murder
233 Pages
Reviewed on 02/14/2014
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Author Biography

Based in rural Victoria, Australia, bestselling author Vick Tyley writes fast-paced mystery and suspense novels in contemporary Australian settings.

Born and raised in New Zealand, she moved to Western Australia with a single suitcase when she was nineteen years old. She has travelled extensively, spending a year touring the world before terrorism was an influencing factor. She has lived in the central business districts of large cities, suburbia, idyllic seaside locations, rural areas, bushland, and remote desert mining camps.

In the lead up to her writing career, Vicki worked in a multitude of different industries including banking, stockbroking, importing and wholesaling, human resources, mining, hospitality, civil engineering, and toys, in predominantly accounting, IT and management roles.

All these life experiences are brought to bear in her writing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Julia Hopkinson for Readers' Favorite

Vicki Tyley continues her rise to be one of the best modern thriller writers around with Brittle Shadows, a disconcerting but compelling mystery about one woman’s belief that her recently deceased sister did not, as recorded, take her own life. Jemma Dalton flies into Melbourne from Perth, convinced that her sister, Tanya Clark, did not commit suicide, despite her sorrow at the death, two months earlier, of her fiancé, Sean Mullins, in an apparent sex act gone wrong. Jemma moves into her sister’s erstwhile apartment, intending to deal with Tanya’s estate, but instead finds evidence that she did not know her sister as well as she thought. She becomes the focus of Tanya’s circle of friends and associates, one or more of whom seems to have something to hide.

I loved reading Brittle Shadows and think that it is Vicki Tyley’s best book so far; I could not put it down and read it in practically one sitting. Everything about it had me hooked from the first page: the premise, characters, dialogue, and plot development. The book was, as ever, well written, but flowed particularly smoothly, gradually piling on the tension and revelations, and revealing its secrets cleverly. The ending came completely out of the blue to me and not once did I guess it correctly. Tyley is very adept at creating strong and original female characters and female-driven stories, but this does not mean that they could not be enjoyed by everyone. Another five star recommendation to all thriller lovers.

Sibel Hodge

Vicki really is the mistress of plot weaving and suspense. It's a gripping mystery that will constantly keep you wondering who is doing what to whom. A real page-turner that you can't put down. When I pick up one of Vicki's books I know I'm not going to be disappointed!

Grace Krispy, MotherLode

As with Vicki Tyley's other books, this book grips you from the very first scene, setting up a ride that twists and turns until the very end. New clues lead to potential suspects, and it's anyone's guess as to the who, what, and, most importantly for the reader, the why. As I read, I constantly formulated and dismissed perpetrators and motivations, as each page turn brought me closer to the surprise ending. Along the way, I fingered the right person, only to change my mind a few pages later. This book manages to get the reader to become an active participant in the story, and that always makes for an enjoyable read.

The characters were defined nicely, and I felt I really got to know each of them. I could genuinely relate to Jemma, and I felt liked her character. Through her eyes, I was able to get to know the other characters a little more, including the sister who was tragically lost. The writing style is fluid, for the most part, and very readable. The book has that "fun factor;" interesting and enjoyable, and difficult to put down before you've devoured every bit.

BigAl's Books and Pals

Tyley is a master at weaving a complex, multilayered plot. The many characters Jemma meets starting with the manager of her sister’s apartment and the police detective who assists her, continuing to her sister’s friends and co-workers, all have unclear alliances and murky agendas. Everyone is a possible ally or a potential foe. The more Jemma uncovers about her sister and the other characters the cloudier the picture gets. Somehow Tyley managed to keep me guessing and second guessing what really happened right up until the end.