Shot to Pieces

A Novel

Fiction - Crime
412 Pages
Reviewed on 09/20/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Shot to Pieces is a thrilling work of crime fiction by author Michael O’Keefe. In a story set in the dangerous contemporary world of the NYPD, we follow Detective Padraig Joseph Durr into the not so secret gang world of Brooklyn to investigate a potential homicide. But although the world of the gangs of New York is a perilous one, Durr’s real problems are deep in his own mind. Struggling with the lifelong hardship of being an abused and exploited child, Durr has horrific inner demons which have already cost him his family and his only love. It’s make or break during this case for the detective, ending either in resolution or total destruction.

I absolutely loved this book. The crime plot with the gangs was very well done and interesting to follow; however, the real star of the whole novel is Detective Durr’s inner psyche. I felt so terribly sorry for him and the life he had as a young boy, but it’s also difficult not to pass judgement on the wrongs he’s committed as an adult in terms of his own self destruction. The plot follows a compelling journey of a man on the road to ruin, and as the reader I constantly wanted to pull him back from the brink myself. Michael O’Keefe has created an emotional sensation that keeps readers with their hearts in their throats at every decision Durr makes. Overall, Shot to Pieces will not only please crime fans, but fans of powerfully emotive fiction in general.

Renee Guill

Shot to Pieces by Michael O’Keefe is a novel about Detective Padraig (Paddy) Durr. Detective Durr works for the NYPD in the 83rd precinct. Shot to Pieces tells the story of Detective Durr’s life while the detective is working on a case. It kind of reminds you of the show NYPD Blue (yes, I’m old). Michael O’Keefe goes behind the scenes and goes into great detail. In fact, I should give readers a trigger warning. There are swear words and lots of detailed bloody scenes, even a detailed autopsy. Michael O’Keefe shows how it takes a lot of cops and different sections to crack a case, especially a big one like this one was.

I thought Shot to Pieces by Michael O’Keefe was fascinating. I love detective shows and novels like this. You get the behind the scenes look at how the police force really works. The fact that Durr was a detective makes it even better. I also loved how he explained things in great detail, maybe too much sometimes. Also, he gave definitions when needed. Michael O’Keefe did a great job in giving details about each character, and talked about how they all worked as a team. The world building was also well done. I could picture myself in NYC, and I have never been there. I actually hope this gets turned into a movie or a television show. There was a lot of action and high end drama in a feel good story, and hopefully there are more stories like this to come.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Shot to Pieces by Michael O’Keefe is a fictional crime story with a basis in fact. Padraig Joseph Durr, a 1st Grade NYPD detective, is falling apart. A childhood of sexual exploitation and abuse has followed Durr through life, bringing him to the edge of a meltdown. He feels as if he is an unimportant person, he has no place in life and nobody wants him around. When he gets the call to attend a gang-related murder, he throws himself into it but he can't shake off his past. This could be the case that pushes him completely over the edge or it could be the one that brings him back together with his family. Which will it be? Salvation or self-destruct?

Shot to Pieces by Michael O’Keefe may be a fictional story but there are elements of truth, of fact in it. This is a gripping, gritty tale of one man’s bid to put his life back on track. From page one, you can't help but be drawn into the story, a story that is written from the heart, harrowing and vividly laid out in all its grisly glory. We can't possibly understand what our police face on a day to day basis. Based on real happenings in Brooklyn in 1992 and written from the point of view of someone who was there, in the middle of it, this story is told with open honesty and very real detail. The story might appear to be somewhat random, flitting through Durr’s life, but it all makes sense and there is nothing here that doesn’t impact on the story. The characters are real, identifiable and developed thoroughly, and the plot is thrilling from start to finish. This is powerful stuff, highly recommended for those who want a really gripping story to get their teeth into.