Shards: Book Review

Posted: May 21, 2014 in Book Reviews
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MOORE, Allison with Nancy Woodruff. Shards: A Young Vice Cop Investigates Her Darkest Case of Meth Addiction–Her Own. 288p. Touchstone. Apr. 2014. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781451696356. LC 2013026028.

shards 193x300 Two Books That Probe the Darkness BeneathIt’s not often that cops write memoirs about their own descent into corruption: Shards is a terrific book to fill the void. Moore opens with her plan to kill the man she calls “the dealer” and then herself. Living in hell, she was desperate to escape. She describes the personal integrity that led to her rise as a hardworking vice cop in Maui, followed by her brutal descent into meth addiction.  Her memoir details the extreme manipulations of an addict and the painful reality of betraying oneself and others.  In order to leave Maui to score and use drugs, she told the married cop she was having an affair with that her grandmother died, and then her mother. To explain how sick she looked, she deceived her fellow officers and her family into believing she had cancer. Her fellow officers took up the cause, donating sick leave and hosting fundraisers for her “treatment.”  Meanwhile, Moore was living with an abusive drug dealer in Seattle, held prisoner, raped, and tortured, completely in the grips of addiction. Ultimately she escaped and was then faced with 25 felony charges. Tightly written, the narrative is pulse pounding and relentless. Moore comes across as sympathetic primarily because of her truthful account and because she takes responsibility for the trust and relationships she destroyed.  Teens who like gritty biographies, particularly fans of  Nikki Sixx’s The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star (MTV Books, 2008), will enjoy this one.—Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, Juvenile Hall, CA

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