• A tale of light against dark in a small seaside town
  • A mutilated body is washed up on a beach.
    A teenager pays a heavy price for breaking a few windows.
    When Kevin Kelly tries to find out why the police are operating a vendetta against his son, he unknowingly disturbs a web of murder, cover-up and corruption, a darkness that lurks unseen beneath the surface of his idyllic and beautiful seaside town.
    As his quest progresses, Kevin finds himself reaching into his own past, dredging up memories of half-forgotten events to make sense of the present.
    With a growing sense of dread, he finally puts the pieces together. What he discovers is shocking beyond his worst nightmare - and it may be too late.  Frantically, he embarks on a race against time to save all that is dear to him.
    A compelling story of ordinary heroism in the struggle between light and dark. 
  • Reader comments on "Shattered"
    "Shattered gives an insight into the dark underbelly of a coastal Irish town. The author creates a very believable setting and assembles a cast of well-drawn memorable characters.  Themes such as abuse, alcoholism, family relationships, murder and police corruption are deftly handled by J. J. Jameson. When the lead character's son is implicated in an act of vandalism against one of the grandees of the town, the lead character is drawn into an escalating chain of events which forces him to examine his past in order to save his son. His researches and investigations eventually lead to a high-octane climax worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. This is thoroughly engaging novel brings the reader to the very heart of a modern Irish town."
    "Brilliantly Written Thriller"
    "J.J Jameson’s book “Shattered”, has all the suspense of a Jo Nesbo thriller, along with the wonderful skill and sensitivity of Maeve Binchy. Engrossing you in the lives and unravelling events in this Irish Coastal Community. Highly Recommended."

    "Excellent nail biter with twists at every turn. Some red herrings to keep you guessing and an ending that will shock. Well worth a read."
    "You won't be able to put this down and only when you have closed the last page will you start to breath properly again."
    "Unpredictable and captivating."
    "You know when you’re watching a film that's so good you can't stop watching it but at times you want to duck behind the couch in case your worst nightmare is about to happen! If you love those films, then this book is for you!"
    "Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Lots of suspense throughout the story. Didn't want to put it down."
    "A very good read with lots of unexpected twists and turns. If you like “who done its” this book is for you."
  • Excerpt from Shattered - Kevin goes to meet Brandon

    …….With a heavy heart I trudged up the steep hill to one of the most beautiful parts of our town, oblivious to the crisp wintry air and the stunning land and seascapes around me. For no other reason than the hope that physical exertion would expend energy that might otherwise go in negative directions, I had decided to walk. I was on my way to do something that is anathema to me – to beg.
            Every step rammed home a sense of dread as I approached my destination. Why should I have to do this? But when your child is in trouble there is not much you won’t do.
            I approached several thousand Euros worth of crafted wrought iron gate, tasteful but discrete. The words “Beautiful Bay” were engraved in the stone of one of the pillars. Given the flawless view over the curving shore and the sparkling foam swept sea the name was more than apt. This was the understated entrance to the home of a wealthy but sophisticated man. The gates were open, perhaps signifying the home of an open, welcoming man. Somehow I doubted that.
            Resigned, I strode onto the driveway towards the unseen house; gravel crunched underfoot as the drive curved through a small wood, then into a green tunnel of trained laurel. A friend once told me that Laurel was a poisonous tree. Then I was back into watery sunshine at the edge of a turning circle in front of a long low bungalow built of brown weathered ivy strewn brick. Picture windows and patio doors framed what would be magnificent views of the town, its harbour and its ever changing bay.
            One of the disadvantages of a great view is that people in the view can look back at you. I had verified Brandon’s presence earlier, having scoped his wine Mercedes on the drive from my home down by the harbour. While I was reasonably confident that he would be there, I did not expect to see the top of the range racing green Freelander that stood beside the Merc. English registered, it was not a car I recognised and it had not been there earlier.
            Not wanting to state my business in front of a third party or to be publicly made little of, I stepped back into the shade of the evergreen tunnel, figuring my options.
            Before I had a chance to figure anything the front door opened and out stepped a thin old man in a grey suit. Bald on top, a horseshoe of grey around the sides and back, standing upright, he looked to be about seventy. Although the distance was too great to make out details, there was something familiar about him, although for the life of me I couldn’t say what.
            The man turned and spoke back into the house, and a moment later he was followed out by Michael Brandon. Wearing blue jeans and sweatshirt, Brandon was broad, tall and solid, his curly hair black as ever. The two men chatted for a while, seemingly comfortable in each other’s company. Only indecipherable wisps of conversation made it my way. They walked to the Freelander, stopping by the driver’s door, their conversation tailing. Then with a nod they separated. The older guy got into the car, fired it up and drove off.
            Brandon stood watching as the car negotiated the circle. I stepped back into the greenery as the jeep went by. Through the foliage I managed to get a glimpse of the driver’s face. Again, something about him was familiar, from somewhere in the past, but I couldn’t quite place it.
            Well, having walked this far I wasn’t going to waste my journey. I waited a few minutes to allow Brandon to go inside and to preclude any suspicion he might have of me eavesdropping. Then I walked out onto the turning circle and followed a paved pathway across the lawn in the centre and up to the front door. Like everything else here the door spoke of quality; heavy panelled oak and almost certainly handmade. There was no sound from within as I pressed the bell.
            Nothing happened for a few moments. Then the door opened and for the first time in many years I found myself face to face with Michael Brandon.............

  • Excerpt from Shattered - an old friend calls and Kevin learns something worrying.

    ……...“Don’t talk to me about kids; you’re never out of trouble with them.”
    “You’ve heard about Conor then.”
    “It is a small town, Kevin, word gets around.”
    “What do you think, then?”
    “I’ll be honest with you; he could have chosen someone better to cross.”
    Nothing like direct. My heart sank. “That’s what I hear. No one seems to have a good word for Michael Brandon.”
    “There’s something not right about that man; something nasty.”
    “Is that personal experience?” I asked.
    “No, thank God. But Penny was my friend and she was never right after marrying him.”
    Something stirred inside me. “What exactly happened?”
    “I don’t know, exactly. She wouldn’t say, but believe me, she changed. Penny was a lovely girl. She was happy. Saw the good in everyone. She was innocent in a way. I never thought he was good enough for her. He was creepy.”
    “I never noticed that.”
    “You wouldn’t. Like most men, your attention was elsewhere.”
    “Thanks for that revelation Martha. What about Penny?”
    “Well, I was there when they got married. That girl was over the moon. She was radiant. She adored Michael Brandon. They went off to Spain for their honeymoon. I don’t know what happened there, but when they got back she was different. She wasn’t the same girl at all.”
    “How was she different?”
    “I don’t know. It was as if that lovely spark of life in her had been extinguished, as if the heart had been sucked out of her. She just wasn’t there anymore.”
    “And she wouldn’t say what happened?”
    “No, and it wasn’t in her nature to complain.”
    What, I wondered, what could have caused that? “Maybe something innocent happened over there; an accident or something?”
    “Could have been, but I don’t think so. An accident she would have talked about. No, I reckon it was him, something happened with him. And it wasn’t nice. And she wouldn’t talk about it, despite my best attempts to get her to. She just said everything was fine.”
    “Do you think he raped her or something?”
    “It could be. Things being as they were back then, in all likelihood she was a virgin when they married. First time sex isn’t all its hyped up to be, but she wasn’t so innocent that she wouldn’t have known what to expect. So I don’t think it could have been anything innocent.”
    What, I began to wonder, is going on here? “What happened then?”
    “Well then,” Martha looked pained, “then they moved off to the UK and I never saw hide or hair of her for five years. But when she did come back, I couldn’t believe the change in her.”
    I raised an eyebrow, “Really?”
    “She was haggard, stupefied. Her lovely blonde hair was lank and dead looking. Her words were slurred. Even her eyes looked dead.”
    Medication, was my first thought. I had noticed such symptoms in more than one highly medicated client. “Did you ask her what happened?”
    “You bet, but all I could get was a sigh, and she kept saying “We’ll be all right, yeah, we’ll be all right.”
    “God; what happened after that?”
    “After that I never really saw her again. I rang a few times, but all I got were put offs from that big titted secretary that Brandon keeps up the hill. A year or two passed. Then I heard Penny had had a breakdown and was in Nairnbeg. I tried to visit her there, but couldn’t get past reception. By then I was out of options, and with two kids up and running and one on the way, I had more than enough of my own problems to occupy me. I let it go. And I have to say I don’t feel good about it.”
    “So she’s still in Nairnbeg, and her old friends can’t visit her?”
    “Well, unless something has changed since then, and if it has I haven’t heard about it, then yes, she’s still there and not available to visitors.”
    “Do you know anybody who works there?” I asked.
    “Not very well, but there are a few people from town have jobs in the place.”
    “Have they had anything to say about her?”
    “Not to me, but then as I said, I don’t know them very well.”
    You know there are times in life when you get a sense about something, and without exactly knowing why, you know that things are going to get worse. The fact that Michael Brandon had a grip on my son sent my anxiety levels soaring way beyond their normal elevated levels. But, despite the anxiety, or maybe because of it I was now seriously beginning to wonder if something more than just the obvious was going on.
    “Martha, can you put me in contact with someone who works in Nairnbeg?”
    “Why? What are you going to do?”...........

  • Marjorie makes a move on Kevin

    …...“Maybe some parent knowing his child wasn’t going to get justice in court threatened him and he had to leave.”
    “That’s a real possibility, but I honestly can’t tell you.”
    By now the pints were going in sweetly and I was beginning to get a little beyond merry. Johnnie excused himself to go to the loo and I gave up trying to make sense of Baldy Bill. I knew that with this much beer in me my imagination would run riot and fantastical possibilities would start to seem reasonable.
    Then my thoughts were interrupted by the placing of an unordered pint in front of me. The hand placing it there was female. I turned to look at the donor. Marjorie Dundon. Shit, I thought. She’s making a move on me.
    “And you had me thinking you had a new woman,” Said Marjorie. Given the crush, she was right up close to my face.
    “Hi Marge,” I said.
    “Then when I saw that lump joining you I wondered if you hadn’t gone gay?”
    Maybe I should have, I thought. “No Marge, just looking for a quiet life.”
    “You weren’t always like that.” She said, referring to our long ago fling.
    “Actually Marge I was. You were the good time girl.”
    “Is that what you think of me- a good time girl?” Marjorie acting upset. “And I thought you loved me.”
    “No Marge, I was in love with your boobs, and other assets. I was young.”
    “Jesus, you’re full of compliments. What do I have to do to get a smile?”
    Go away, I thought. “Smiling isn’t my forte just now. I’ve got too many worries.” Jesus, I thought, this is getting surreal.
    I spotted Johnnie’s head bobbing above the crowd as he returned from the jacks. Phew, I thought; salvation at last! But salvation was denied.
    “I’ll leave you two love birds alone.” He said lifting his drink and eyeing me gleefully. You fucker I mentally said to the back of his head as he went to join someone down the bar.
    “Don’t look so panicked, I won’t eat you.” Said Marjorie
    Thank God for that I thought.
    “And I do need a drink,” She continued sweetly, having just knocked back the contents of her glass.
    Go easy on her I thought. She’s all right. My voice was slurring as I called for her drink.
    The chit chat continued. A sing song started. I kept drinking. So did Marjorie. Before long the act of standing up was proving difficult. Then everything seemed a bit wobbly.
    There were vague but animated impressions of noise and music. I was staggering through the bar. A familiar face looming large– James fucking Murphy, the asshole man – I must have staggered into his blessed table. Then somehow I’m outside in the cold and dark being pushed into a taxi, followed by sweet oblivion. What a night!.....

  • Excerpt from Shattered - asking a cop for help

    ……..Seamus was unlikely to be found in The Fiddlers, mainly because in his a job as a cop he was on first name terms with many of The Fiddler’s customers and his presence in the bar would cause it to empty.  So when I didn’t find him in his apartment I headed for Flannagans, a more upmarket and happening place whose owner had just spent a fortune making the place look remarkably like The Fiddlers, whose décor had cost it not a penny in sixty years.
        I found him propping up the bar, beer gut spilling over his leather belt, scanning the altogether more with-it clientele which frequented the place.  At eight thirty in the evening business was quiet enough and I reckoned I’d get a few words in private before things livened up.
        “You’re too old for them.”  I said, commenting on the group of teenage women he was eyeing up as I plonked myself on a stool beside him.
        “Yeah, but my eyes still work.”  He nodded to the Polish barmaid behind the counter. “Monika, give this man his poison.”
        I nodded towards Monika “I’ll have a pint.”  Then I turned to Seamus.  “Monika is it?  Do I detect terms of intimacy?”
        “I fuckin wish.  She’s going out with the owner - too rich for me.”
        “Ah well, the best company is your own company.”
        “Speak for yourself.” He said.  “Give me a regular ride and a cooked breakfast and I’m happy as a sand boy.”
        “That, I reckon is your problem.  It doesn’t work that way anymore Seamus, unless it is you making the breakfast.”
        “Yeah, but I live in hope.”
        “I can’t fault you for trying.  Try someone older – maybe an octogenarian.”
        “I’d still end up making breakfast.”
        “Yeah, life’s a bitch.” I said.
        “Now that I think of it, what are you doing here?  Isn’t this place a bit above your normal social milieu?”
        “Jesus, where’d you learn a word like milieu?  Actually I’m aiming for self-improvement.  I reckon that if I associate with respectable people some of it will rub off and I’ll get more respectable clients.  It part of my new business strategy.”
        “Strategy me arse.  Anyone’d want to be out of their head to go near you.”
        “Jesus, you really understand my business.”  
        “What are you doing here anyway?”
        “I’m a seeker of truth.  The kind of truth that only the all-knowing can reveal – i.e. the cops.”
        “You’re not fuckin asking me to reveal privileged Garda information or anything?”
        “I’ll buy you a pint.”
        “What do you want to know?”
        “There was a man lived here in town about forty years ago.  The only name I have is Baldy Bill.  He had red hair and was a bit of a Nob; tweed jacket and all that.  Could have been a doctor and might have been a member of the golf club.  He left town years ago, when I don’t know.  I’m wondering if you could find out anything about him.  He might have come to the attention of your good selves because of an interest in young boys.”
        “Jesus Kevin you’re going back a long way.  There’s no one left in the station from that era. There’s no one’d remember him.”
        “What about records, station logs, that sort of thing?”
        “For a start computers had barely been dreamt of then.  All the records were done by hand.  I’m sure the logs are archived somewhere, but to go through them would be a major job.”  Seamus paused for thought. “And there are two problems with doing it.  Firstly, questions would be asked as to why, and since you’re asking me about it in a pub, you want the why kept quiet.”  He was a smart lad Seamus. He continued.  “Secondly, back then, sensitive little matters like child abuse, when they were dealt with at all were dealt with quietly and very much in the background, usually by means of a cover-up.  The chances of a trawl through the logs coming up with anything are close to nil.”  Seamus gave me a considered look.  “And now that I think of it, why do you want this info?”
        “Do you want the real reason or a plausible reason?”
        “I want the reason that gets me into the least trouble.”
        Good I thought; he’ll help me.  “OK.  Baldy Bill tried and failed to assault me when I was ten or eleven, maybe younger.  I know of at least two more people who had a similar experience.  The memory has been troubling me of late and I feel the need for vindication and to face my demons.”
        “You’re full of shit. This has something to do with Conor and Brandon.”
        He wasn’t a cop for nothing. “Well I’m….”  But Seamus cut me off in mid-sentence.
        “I don’t want to know.  I’m in enough trouble already.  I’ll ask around the station.  If anyone asks I’ll say I heard about Baldy Bill in the pub and was just curious if anyone had heard of him.  No lies there, are there?.....