Joe Leonardi’s “Damaged and Broken” series deals with pain and despair. In this third book of the series (each are separate stories, so you do not have to have read the series in order), we meet a protagonist whose life has been marred by abuse, loss and pain. We follow him through several years, and the sense of cloying claustrophobia is so powerfully palpable that I literally found my own chest constricting. I felt immediate sympathy with the unnamed protagonist, and this is a testament to the author’s writing which while minimalist is bruisingly effective. It’s a heartbreaking read, difficult at times, but I thought that the protagonist’s emotional journey was beautifully captured and the story stayed with me long after I’d read the final sentence. Powerful, and recommended.