Book Review of “Made to Be Broken” by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong is a very prolific and successful author. Her Otherworld series, which focuses on supernatural characters like werewolves and witches, is very enjoyable. I’ve read most of them. So when I saw a book by Kelley Armstrong, I picked it up without hesitation.

“Made to Be Broken” is the second book in the Nadia Stafford series. I didn’t realize when I got it that “Made to Be Broken” is the second book in the series. Luckily everything that you need to know from the earlier book is mentioned in “Made to Be Broken”, so you can read, enjoy, and understand it without having read the first book (“Exit Strategy”). Now that I’ve read it, I would like to find and read “Exit Strategy”, and I hope that more Nadia Stafford novels will be published soon.

Nadia Stafford is an ex-cop (there’s a story about that, but I’ll let you read it for yourself). Now she runs a lodge in rural Canada and works part-time as a professional hitman. She’s always kept these two sides of her life seperate, but she’s forced to reconcile her two lives when there’s a disappearance close to home. When she starts to investigate, Nadia finds herself investigating a much bigger series of crimes than she had anticipated.

The story is fast-paced with a strong detective and thriller side. Nadia is a killer with a conscience, and yet she doesn’t hesitate when she needs to whip out her gun. I liked her as a character. The story line is interesting, as are the characters. In addition to Nadia and the “bad guys”, we also read about two of her fellow assasins: her mentor Jack and friend Quinn. Although it’s not over-played, there is a bit of a love triangle in the novel as well with Jack, Quinn, and Nadia. This added another element to the novel without detracting from its basic thriller/crime style.

I doubt that it’s a very realistic portrayal of life as a professional killer, but it makes a good read. There are some pretty terrible crimes in the book, but as the main character is a killer, you can expect justice to prevail (even if it’s not given through legal channels).

This offered good, fast-paced entertainment. I would definitely recommend reading “Made to Be Broken” and the other books in the Nadia Stafford series. If you enjoy them, I would recommend reading Patricia Cornwell’s novels (especially the Scarpetta series).

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