Troubled youths are dying one after another, some by drug overdoses, some in car accidents. But there is something that links their deaths: a mysterious four-armed idol that holds a baby in two arms while concealing a knife and a sword behind its back.
Social worker Su Fang-Chi has spent years counseling the troubled youth of her city. Despite their criminal records and obvious psychological wounds, she has always clung to the hope that she can set these young people on the path to a better future. At a work meeting she learns about the unusually high number of teen deaths in recent months, some by drug overdoses, others in car accidents. Although there have been suspicious circumstances in nearly every case, the families of the victims have declined to press for further investigations.
Su Fang-Chi’s questions about the deaths soon attract the attention of police officer Chou Cheng, and the two begin working together. Chou Cheng reopens investigations into the deaths while Su Fang-Chi uses her status as a social worker to visit the homes of each of the victims. She discovers that each of them contains an idol depicting a motherly figure embracing a baby with two arms, while the other two arms are held behind the back, concealing a knife and a sword. It turns out the mothers of the victims are all devout followers of a new religion which they believed would help steer their wayward children back to the path of righteousness.
Thus, Su Fang-Chi decides to infiltrate this religious organization to learn if it is somehow connected to the teens’ deaths, and hopefully prevent any further deaths from occurring. Step by step, Su Fang-Chi works her way into the inner circle of the cult, discovering too late that she has already been ensnared in a trap laid by the cult leader.
Incorporating diverse social issues from juvenile delinquency to cults, Fractures is a spine-tingling horror novel that reveals how the most needy among us are often the most easily betrayed. In the depths of desperation, with no one to turn to, the most frightening thing isn’t a ghost or even a bloodthirsty deity, but our own wishful thinking.