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Books 97-99: Genesis/Undone, Broken and Fallen by Karin Slaughter

Book 97: Genesis/Undone (Will Trent #3).
Author: Karin Slaughter, 2009.
Genre: Crime Fiction. Police Procedural.
Other Details: Hardback. 436 pages.

Three years ago former Grant County medical examiner Dr. Sara Linton moved to Atlanta hoping to leave her tragic past behind her. She now works long hours as a trauma doctor at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital. When a severely injured young woman is brought into the emergency room, Sara treats her. The young woman had been hit by a car but her condition indicated that she had run into the road after being held somewhere against her will. When Special Agent Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation visits the accident scene he stumbles upon a torture chamber buried in the earth. It quickly becomes obvious that Sara’s patient is not the only victim. Will, his partner Faith Mitchell and Sara soon find themselves in the middle of a gristly murder case.

It's been a few years since I read the six books of the Grant County series and first two Will Trent books in quite a short space of time. I admit I found the ending of the final Grant County book upsetting and was aware that Slaughter was bringing Sara into the next Will Trent book. So although I had picked up a copy of Genesis some time back, I wasn't quite ready to reconnect with Sara Linton until now. A recent newsletter from Karin Slaughter about the publication of Criminal, the 6th in the Will Trent series, made me realise how far behind if was and this resulted in a mini-marathon this month.

As always with Karin Slaughter I found some elements of the plot fairly disturbing; she does an excellent job of conveying the sights and smells of a crime scene as well as the responses of her characters to what they are encountering. I found this a riveting police procedural, full of suspense and just enough relationship drama between the various protagonists without it dominating the central plot. I was happy to meet Sara again, as she was a favourite character of mine. We are also both on similar journeys in terms of coming to terms with loss and I felt that Karin Slaughter handled this aspect with sensitivity and insight.

Book 98: Broken (Will Trent #4).
Author: Karin Slaughter, 2010.
Genre: Crime Fiction. Police Procedural.
Other Details: Hardback. 402 pages.

A few days before Thanksgiving the body of a young woman is discovered in the icy waters of Lake Grant. A note left nearby points to suicide but as the reader already knows from the opening sequence it was murder. The police also soon realise this and take a likely suspect into custody. Under pressure he quickly confesses. Sara Linton, who has returned to Grant County after a long absence to spend the holiday with her family, is drawn into the case when the suspect, whom she remembers when she was his doctor, asks to see her. I can't say too much about what happens next though this combined with Sara's suspicions about Lena Adams, the detective in charge, leads her to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Special Agent Will Trent is assigned to investigate, though he quickly comes up against a wall of silence in the close-knit community.

With its setting in Grant County, this novel saw the return of Lena Adams, a character with whom I had a real love/hate relationship when I was reading the Grant County series, and also allowed Sara the opportunity for some closure on those traumatic events. Just loved this, finding it a gripping read that was very hard to put down and yet I also didn't want it to end really appreciating the dynamic between Sara Linton and Will Trent.

Book 99: Fallen (Will Trent #5).
Author: Karin Slaughter, 2011.
Genre: Crime Fiction. Police Procedural.
Other Details: Hardback. 387 pages.

When Faith Mitchell arrives at her mother's house, she is already on the alert as her mother hadn't been answering her phone. Then she sees that the front door is open and blood on the doorknob. She charges into house, gun drawn and first sees a dead man in the utility room and then comes across a hostage situation in the bedroom. However, there is no sign of her mother. One of the men says to Faith “You know what we’re here for. Hand it over, and we’ll let her go.” The situation quickly turns deadly. Faith has no idea what the man meant and is left with many questions and no answers. In order to find her mother, who had been a police captain in charge of a drug squad before forced into retirement after corruption was exposed in her department, Faith needs the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they both have to call upon the skills of Dr. Sara Linton.

This was another almost-impossible-to-put-down crime thriller. Along with the central question of who kidnapped Faith's mother and why, I found myself very invested in the characters and how the events of the novel will impact upon them individually and collectively. Now onto Criminal, which I have to wait for as it has only just been published and there is a waiting list.

Karin Slaughter's website - the pages for the individual books contain reading guides, excerpts and other material.
Tags: crime fiction, drugs, police drama, sexual violence
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