A Broken Clock Never Boils by C.J. Weiss


Date of publication: September 26th, 2022

Genre: Horror

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Indigo | Kobo | Author Website

Goodreads Synopsis:


Psychiatrist Claire Rossi seeks cases nobody else can treat—cases like her mother’s, whose misdiagnosis of schizophrenia and subsequent death inspired Claire’s career. Initially infatuated with an influx of seemingly schizophrenic patients, interest turns to terror as their ailments infect her too. She sees and hears a man who grows more violent with every encounter. The analysis and training she’s relied on her whole career fail to explain his presence, leaving only one conclusion: that what haunts her isn’t in her head at all. But maybe that’s just what she wants to believe.

As her symptoms escalate, she’s left with two unsettling clues. Her mother speaks to her in twisted idioms, and a mysterious letter taunts her with a single line:

Enjoy your gifts.

First Line:

Depression and loneliness fed off one another, a snake eating its tail in an endless loop of misery.

A Broken Clock Never Boils by C.J. Weiss

I have mentioned this in other reviews, but I enjoy reading horror books around Halloween. There is nothing like reading a creepy book on a night when the wind is blowing, and you can hear the trees creaking and moaning. That is one of the reasons why I accepted the invitation from the author. I wanted to be scared, and guess what? I was. This book was very creepy to read and kept me wondering if I should beware of weird notes sent to me through the mail.

A Broken Clock Never Boils had a creepy and interesting storyline. Claire is a psychiatrist. She notices a weird coincidence when several new patients start having schizophrenic episodes that are the same. They all involve a tall, pale man who only they can see, and all of their episodes are getting progressively worse. Things take a turn for the worse when Claire starts having her episodes soon after receiving a letter that says, “Enjoy your gifts.”. Fearing for her sanity, Claire starts investigating her patients and herself, looking for something that links them all together. Will Claire figure everything out before someone dies? Or will she become another victim?

A Broken Clock Never Boils is a fast-paced book. It started off running and didn’t slow down until the end. There was some lag in the middle of the book, but the author got the book back on track.

This book took place entirely in Denver, Colorado. The author did get into some background of the city, but he kept it mainly to Claire’s house, Claire’s office, and another location. I wish there were more background, but I was content with what was given because of the storyline.

What I liked about A Broken Clock Never Boils:

  1. I enjoyed the horror element of the book. The author did a great job of keeping me wondering if Claire was going insane or if it was something else.
  2. I liked seeing that Claire had such strong relationships with her friends. Her friends were her backbone for the entire last half of the book.
  3. I liked that the occult was used during the last half of the book. It made for a more creepy and interesting read.

What I disliked about A Broken Clock Never Boils:

  1. Claire for 90% of the book. She rubbed me the wrong way. She was condescending, snarky, and wasn’t very nice to her neighbor (or her son).
  2. I wouldn’t say I liked Claire’s boss, either. He didn’t take her seriously about anything until the last half of the book. It was almost like he was looking to discredit her initially and then had a change of heart.
  3. The demonologist. I couldn’t stand him. Every time Claire talked to him, he was a jerk, and getting information out of him was like pulling teeth.

Claire was an interesting character for me to read. I did have trouble connecting to her in the beginning because, to be blunt, I didn’t like her. But my dislike aside, she was an interesting character to read. Even I began to wonder if it was all in her head. She also made a decent detective and followed the clues to the bad guy.

The villain was also an interesting character to read. I am not going to go much into his character, but I will say that he was a frightening person. His obsession with his mother was scary and disgusting at the same time. I also was in awe over what he could do and how he could do it.

Several notable secondary characters gave A Broken Clock Never Boils some added depth. They are Dr. Eric (Claire’s boss), Amy and Bradley (her next-door neighbors), Robert and Jessica (her best friends), and her patients (old and new).

A Broken Clock Never Boils is a combination of psychological horror and supernatural. There was a bit more psychological horror angle than the supernatural. Combined, they both made this book a good read.

Three reasons why you should read A Broken Clock Never Boils:

  1. It is an engaging read.
  2. The characters are well-written and well-fleshed out.
  3. It is the perfect book to read around Halloween.

Three reasons why you shouldn’t read A Broken Clock Never Boils:

  1. The book rambled in parts. I could have done without knowing every single thought in Claire’s head.
  2. It does get a little violent in parts of the book. Claire is beaten several times throughout the book.
  3. If you are triggered by anything mental health-wise. The bad guy is severely mentally ill, and the author doesn’t hold back with him at all.

The end of A Broken Clock Never Boils was good. The author was able to wrap everything up in a way that satisfied me as a reader. I wonder if the author will write another book in this universe because of how the book ended. I guess we’ll see.

I would recommend A Broken Clock Never Boils to anyone over 21. There is language; there is implied sexual contact, and there is moderate to severe violence.

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