According to Paul Simon, there must be 50 ways to leave your lover. But for the members of the Broken Hearts Club, it doesn't matter how you leave them -- in the end you will pay the ultimate price. It's rare to find a book that can thoroughly titillate all your senses, but Ethan Black's sexy suspense thriller, The Broken Hearts Club, does just that. You can smell the fear, hear the screams, taste the terror, and feel the heat. And through the eyes of a killer, you can see the stark depravity of a tortured mind, one that's been broken and ravaged by the dark side of love.
The three members of the Broken Hearts Club meet every week in the back room of a hole-in-the-wall tavern in New York City. There's the banker, a free spirit with a brittle heart; the literary agent, quick to anger and easy to sway; and the mechanic, a fragile soul with hands like a jackhammer. Heading the group is the psychologist who brought them together, a seemingly innocuous man with a haunting secret all his own. Together they discuss the lingering sting of rejection and the agonies of love. They share intimate details of their most shocking thoughts and forbidden desires. And they wonder about the ever-mysterious fifth man who wields a power over the group they have yet to understand, despite the fact that he's never come to one of the meetings.
Unable to mend the pieces of their shattered hearts, the men's bitterness escalates to rage, leaving them with a growing thirst for vengeance. Their anger spirals out of control in a malignant cyclone of madness until one of the members finally decides to put an end to his pain by exacting the ultimate revenge: cold-blooded murder.
The murder is so heinous, so bloodcurdling, it makes hardened homicide detectives who think they've seen it all lose both their composure and their breakfast. Heading the investigation is Detective Conrad Voort, descended from 200 years worth of distinguished and respected Voort policemen. Anxious to carry on with his family's proud heritage, Voort moves quickly to catch the killer, only to learn that this is no ordinary murderer, but rather one who kills with calculating madness and cold efficiency. Despite the savagery and apparent heat of the crime, the only clue the detective finds is the letters BHC carved into a wooden table in the victim's apartment. The case takes an even more puzzling turn when a second murder occurs and the same three letters are found at the scene. Yet the killer's MO is wildly different and the trail of clues is as long as the Voort family history.
By the time the third victim is found, Voort is suffering from his own broken heart. When he realizes his ex-girlfriend is the killer's next target, Voort is determined to put an end to the murders -- murders that appear to have been committed by one man, or many men, none of whom seem to really exist. Frightened and anguished, Voort grows desperate, and takes actions that threaten his sanity, his career, and the woman he loves. With life and love both hanging in the balance, Voort finds himself in a race to the death, face-to-face with an evil so dark and malicious it will leave him changed forever.
Novels featuring serial murders are a dime a dozen, but never has there been one this cunningly twisted. Black steers his readers down a road potholed with sizzling sex, frightening depravity, and surprising plot twists. By plumbing the dark depths of the base emotions we all share, Black reveals with horrifying clarity the thin line between common man and crazed killer. From the opening shadows of a backroom meeting to the wide-open spaces of its chilling climax, The Broken Hearts Club will keep you riveted and shocked, fascinated and appalled. But do yourself a favor before you settle in to read: Check and make sure all the doors and windows are locked. And you might want to think twice about the next heart you break.
A pumped-up, deeply silly thriller that shows that woman hath no fury like a man scorned. Every week four men meet at Mackey's Tavern to share their stories of love lost. Harris Tillman has been asked to slow down a little by poet Niana Embers because she's got issues with intimacy, though her issues haven't prevented her from enjoying three months of wild and crazy sex with the passionate banker. Literary agent Eric Porter, whose girlfriend Karen Chambers was originally so sweet about his health issues, has summarily been dumped when his symptoms turned up at the wrong moment. Greta Berger, the oncology nurse who helped auto mechanic Eric Porter confront his past as an abused child, has married a doctor at Mt. Sinai.
Even though the forlorn lovers know that they're supposed to take rejection like real men, they weep and wail as they pour out their woeful tales to psychologist Ian Bainbridge. "I love her. I want her to die," sobs the banker, then goes off into the night to settle Niana's intimacy issues once and for all. After he confesses what he's done to Dr. Bainbridge, the psychologist wishes he could turn him in, but when Tillman threatens to implicate him professionally, he backs down and watches in horror as Tillman persuades the literary agent to accept his help in resolving his own romantic problems. By the time Greta Berger is introduced, things aren't looking too good for her. Meantime, NYPD detective Conrad Voort has broken up with his own lover, TV network producer Camilla Ryan, who's flown into the arms of Ian Bainbridge. Voort seems too sunk in his own grief to be the world's sharpest sleuth, but even he eventually realizes that there's an unhealthy bond among the fourmembers of the Broken Hearts Club-a bond that makes for the one and only surprise in this overslung, underplotted debut. More sex than the Kama Sutra, fewer thrills than the Gospel according to Mark.