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164 Reviews (Including 5 Editorial Reviews)
Goodreads 3.82 Star rating
(445 ratings - 42 reviews)
Ratings Details:

Amazon 3.6 Star rating
(205 customer ratings)

Editorial Reviews are listed first.
Reader reviews follow in chronological order, beginning with the most recent.
Reviews are also listed by star rating.


Editorial Reviews:

Shattered Triangle: A Consequential Murder
April 27, 2021 by Manasi Patil
Creative Sparks

A Consequential Murder is the first book in the series, Shattered Triangle.
This novel speaks from the POV of Lt. Tom Moran, and progresses with introduction of the protagonists of the series, twin brothers Giovanni and Giuseppe Lozano, and Tom himself. The beginning chapters, though lengthy, are an integral part of the successful series, to know the characters and how their actions stem from their childhood adolescence. The conversations provide an insight on how the characters develop and grow their personalities, which later affects each one of them, with a consequence.

William Messenger's dexterity with words begins the adventure, or rather, paths, towards a murder trilogy, one without any reliable evidence, and eerily, without any motive.

The book blurb of
Shattered Triangle: A Consequential Murder, itself was enough to hook me right into the book. I was certainly expecting a lot from this read, and am glad to say that I had a fulfilling time, and the end left me speechless. It was very unexpected, and made me want to read the whole book again, just to understand how and why the pot twisted in such a manner.

A Consequential Murder is an uncommon and unique book with complex characters and plots. After detailed introductions of the three protagonists, the plot turns sinister, when Giuseppe Lozano's wife and three children are killed without any mercy. Giuseppe is dazed, Giovanni is devastated and Tom is stunned.

Tom Moran is determined to punish the cruel murderer, and takes up the charge of solving the tough case. There is, but one evidence, which may not be so reliable in finding the murderer, but is a step forward nonetheless. The words make readers to keep going and try to figure out the horrific murder tragedy.

Lt. Tom Moran in the very start of the story, is a rogue cope, but is a determined person, and with a brilliant outlook.
Fr. Giovanni Lozano is a Catholic priest, whose faith never wavers, and who has an insightful set of principles that he follows.
Giuseppe Lozano, a successful businessman, is a candidate for U.S. Senate, is driven by ambition and is one of the people who always thinks of the 'big picture.'

Giovanni and Giuseppe Lozano are identical twin brothers, but have very different personalities, as is reflected in the story. Tom Moran is their childhood friend, and they are inseparable as children.

The characters are engaging, and I especially like that the situation depicted, and the characters as well, are true to the present circumstances of the world.

A Consequential Murder takes place in Los Angeles, California. The book deals with a lot of the history of the city, and is quite informative about it. I, personally, am intrigued about the city, due to the descriptive words about Los Angeles. Tom Moran was a local resident of the city, while Giovanni and Giuseppe Lozano moved into he neighborhood in 1960. The setting contributed a lot to the story, and speaks of the beginning of the friendship of a triangle, its vertices being Tom, Giovanni and Giuseppe.

The question is: will the triangle remain intact? Or will it "shatter?" And to know the reason for my queer question, reading the book is the key!

"In the end, it was only a friendship. Except it wasn't."

5/5 stars


Shattered Triangle
by William P. Messenger
September 19, 2018 by Jake Bishop
Hollywood Book Review
Genre: Crime / Thriller

This novel starts and ends with a murder case. However, in between it examines the friendship and lives of three distinctly different individuals who make up the triangle referred to in the author's title. Giovanni and Giuseppe are twins. Tom is their friend. They grow up together in Southern California, begin to grow apart as each finds his own way in the world, and yet remain connected in ways that will have devastating effects on each of them.

Giovanni is a good, honest, pious lad who becomes infatuated with the Catholic Church and its reverence for God. He eventually enters the priesthood. Giuseppe is a smart, clever, often manipulative young man who pursues a career in the world of business. Tom is a sharp, savvy, occasionally idealistic fellow who becomes a cop. Throughout the initial sections of the novel, author William P. Messenger is intent on exploring the behavioral and philosophical differences between the three young men. He does so by recounting each one's history as he shares their development from boys to adolescents to men. Giovanni never really strays from his path. While he practices a more modern form of Catholicism than his elders in the church, he is no less committed to Christianity. Giuseppe, on the other hand, is laser focused on personal success, which he achieves through entrepreneurship and guile (both in equal measure). Tom begins as a uniformed policeman and later becomes a detective, admittedly at the cost of his marriage. In fact, it is through Tom's eyes that the book's narrative unwinds. He tells his story to the reader with a sense of world-weariness, loss an regret—emotions which are not foreign to a Los Angeles police officer.

The murder that bookends the novel is the killing of Giuseppe's family. His wife and children are all assassinated in their home while Giuseppe is away. Tom is tasked with not only finding out who would commit such a horrendous act, but also why—and the latter winds up proving not only more difficult, but more diabolical than the former.

Messenger is a good writer, skilled at dissecting thoughts, feelings, and motivations that lead to character traits which provide insights into each principal player's actions. A tendency toward repetitiveness occasionally slows the pace of his tale but it doesn't blunt the overall emotional impact of both his story and its surprises. This is a thinking man's tale that employs nostalgia, ethics, and morality to take readers through an intellectual labyrinth—with the murderer and the motive only revealed at the vey end of
Shattered Triangle.


Authors Reading on May 30, 2018
Shattered Triangle: A Consequential Murder by William P. Messenger is written in the fashion of a fictional autobiography of Tom Moran a detective in the Robbery Homicide Division of the LA police force. Messenger tells his story by way of the detective Tom Moran. It is a stunning novel, that raises questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together. The main characters Moran reminiscences about in this journal are twin brothers, Giuseppe and Giovanni Lozano, who he meets when he's six years old. The three of them stay close friends through their elementary school years all the way into adulthood. The journey from childhood to adulthood is detailed, and you get to know what makes Tom, Giuseppe, and Giovanni tick. Anyone who lived in the fifties, sixties, and seventies will recognize the authenticity of the life that Messenger meticulously scripts.

One of the twin Lozano brothers, Giovanni, becomes a priest, and the other, Giuseppe, segues from successful businessman to being a politician. Tom Moran maintains his close relationship with Giovanni as he moves up the ranks as an LA police officer even though his belief in the hereafter is virtually the opposite of Fr. Giovanni.

As the story unfolds, Moran fondly reminisces about the adventures, loves and dreams the three of them shared as youths.

All three of them become successful in their endeavors and are living the life that they had dreamed of until something horrible happens that will test their friendship and their beliefs.Detective Tom Moran remembers the call, which he received at 1:20 am that started the nightmare. It was a frantic call about an incident at Giuseppe's family home. He would soon curse that he had been with the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division that evening.

Murder scenes are always difficult, even for seasoned police officers, but when the victims are your friends, that familiarity makes it that much more gut retching. The clues to the gruesome murder of Giuseppe's wife and three children were few; there were a footprint and a missing encrypted file.

Who and why was Giuseppe's family killed? Was it because he was a candidate for the Senate or was it an old business rival or someone he had angered as he fought his way up the political ladder? As Moran uncovers secrets, reveals motives, and finds answers, a chilling question emerges and lingers unanswered. Another mystery for me was if author William Messenger who was once a priest imbued his fictional priest, Giovanni Lozano, with a lot of his own beliefs and history. Regardless of the answer to that question, Messenger has created a very real sounding murder mystery with easy to relate to characters.

Brilliantly conceived and executed, the story builds with layer upon layer. Who are the good guys, who are the bad guys, who and who are the in-betweens? It's a great read for anyone who likes a good murder mystery. "Shattered Triangle: A Consequential Murder," is a story of betrayal, love, intrigue, and how the quest for power can spiral out of control. If you don't pay close attention to the details and subtle hints sprinkled about in this complex murder mystery, the ending will be a complete surprise. Hey, there is also a sequel to "Shattered Triangle: A Consequential Murder."


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Shattered Triangle by William P. Messenger
January 19, 2018 by Ron Capshaw
in Fiction, Indie Book Reviews, IR Approved, Mystery/Thriller / by IR Staff

William P. Messenger excels in a story that brings three childhood friends together again in much more than a mere murder mystery. Along the way he provides commentary on “bromances,” how much you really know your friend, God and revenge, and whether the ends justify the means.

William P. Messengers’ three childhood friends, now a cop, a politician and a priest follow the familiar male relationship trajectory of only coming together at a funeral. In this case, it is the murder of the politician’s wife and three children; seemingly from an expert hitman.

All three were damaged long before the murder.  Now however they have become even more conflicted.  The priest, Giovanni already filled with doubts, now battles with the temptation of seeking revenge over forgiving the killer.  The politician, Giuseppe, fears that something in his often corrupt past as a politician might have assured his wife and children’s deaths.  Meanwhile, Tom, the detective, who was mentored by the infamous LA Police Chief Daryl Gates in the art of planting evidence, now must once again juggle ends versus means.

This set-up allows Messenger, who was a priest for 30 years in L.A., to bring the world of politics, religion and police work into the mix; teasing out the contradictions and similarities in all three.  But what is most impressive about the book is how Messenger has mastered the difficult art of the flashback as well as managing a large group of characters and themes.

But Messenger doesn’t cheat the reader on suspense while ruminating on existential questions.   Although at times his pace is off, he does get readers to turn the pages and he gives them a shocking payoff at the end.  The surprise ending will haunt the reader, and make them hungry for an obviously-set sequel.

Every generation it seems critics say a writer has taken the mystery genre as far as it can go.  In the late 1920s, it was Dashiell Hammett, who authenticated crime based on his Pinkerton experience by putting murder into the nihilistic world of the big city.  Raymond Chandler built upon this, creating a sinister atmosphere of conspiracy and upper class sadism.  Then Ross MacDonald contributed an academic take on the genre.  Today, it is James Ellroy, with his scatological, borderline sane and hurtling pace that has been credited with taking the hardboiled mystery as far as it can go.

But Messenger has built upon this tradition, bringing his métier of religion and the crisis of conscience it can impose on even priests into a story that transcends the murder mystery.


Shattered Triangle, a Crime Thriller by William P. Messenger
September 7, 2016 by Bella Wright
in Crime Book Thrillers, New Book Releases, Police Procedural Books,
Thriller Book Reviews, Thriller Reviews

The Bottom Line: An uncommonly well-characterized murder mystery about the friendship between a politician, a priest and a police lieutenant.

When a leading candidate for the U.S. Senate returns to his Los Angeles home, he finds his wife, two teenage daughters and eleven-year old son murdered. To investigating lieutenant and close family friend Tom Moran, it looks like a professional hit. But what could the motive for killing the family of a politician be? Is it revenge for a past political indiscretion? Could it have been done by an election rival in hopes that the grieving candidate will drop out of the race?

Readers looking for a classic police procedural will find much more that they bargained for in
Shattered Triangle. Author William P. Messenger plays with traditional story structure, flashing back and forth in time, revealing telling details of the actual crime itself far before the end. Still, Messenger still manages to deliver a shocker of an ending that sets up the second book in the series nicely.

While the book's pacing is deliberately methodical, much of it dwelling on backstory, Messenger succeeds in writing a compelling post-mortem about how close friends grow apart over a lifetime. The author juggles a huge cast, but the most interesting is undoubtedly Tom, who began his career under infamous LAPD Police Chief Daryl Gates: "We had one objective and one only: to get gang members off the streets by any means. If that meant planting evidence on the suspects we questioned, even guns and drugs, well, so be it."

The narrative features the alternative points of view, but Tom's vantage point is especially rich, particularly as he attends the funeral in the book's opening pages, when his emotional attachment to the family clearly impedes his profession obligations to find the killer. As he gradually gets his teeth into the case, his discoveries reveal much about the family's network of friends and their public and private personas.

Overall, Messenger delivers admirable psychological heft that will no doubt impress readers looking for more than just a murder mystery.


Reader Reviews:



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