Fallen by Karin Slaughter


This has to be the most jinxed book I ever read. I misplaced the book when I took it to the hospital (to visit my MIL who is doing much better), I misplaced this book in my hand bag, where it lay for 2 days before I found it, and I misplaced it again in the piglet’s crib, where it lay hidden under his blankie, and where I found it in a damp and semi-chewed state. No wonder a book that should have taken only 2 days to complete took more like 2 weeks!

There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her mother.

You know what we’re here for. Hand it over, and we’ll let her go.

When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions, not enough answers. To find her mother, she’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they’ll both need the help of trauma doctor Sara Linton. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore — she’s a witness. She’s also a suspect.

The thin blue line hides police corruption, bribery, even murder. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects the most to find her mother and bring the truth to light—or bury it forever.

Karin Slaughter’s most exhilarating novel yet is a thrilling journey through the heart and soul, where the personal and the criminal collide, and conflicted loyalties threaten to destroy reputations and ruin lives. It is the work of a master of the thriller at the top of her game, and a whirlwind of unrelenting suspense.

~ Synopsis from Good Reads

My Review

This book is positioned bang in the middle of two series books by Karin Slaughter (a new to me thriller author). I really had no business reviewing this book when I have zero back-story on the characters and situations.

But, funnily my lack of knowledge didn’t seem to matter at all.

The book has three major characters – Faith Mitchell and Will Trent are detectives from the Atlanta series, and Sara Linton is a doctor/coroner from the Grant County series.

All the three characters are terrific and so well-drawn that it was easy for a newbie to her books to get sucked right in and invested in the characters. What little references that I could not understand were easily clarified by a quick look at the Karin Slaughter wikipedia page (which you should not look at if you want to avoid spoilers to earlier novels). What I am trying to say is that these characters are so compelling that I wanted to know and find out more about them. And in fact, I am definitely adding the earlier books in these series on my towering TBR list.

So, ok, the characters are great. But, what about the mystery, the thriller aspect? Well, I am glad to say that this book delivered on the thrillometer as well. The book starts off dramatically (a little over the top for my taste), and I don’t really care too much for narcotics based thrillers, but in spite of these two aspects, the thrills deliver and how. I loved how I was never very sure of the motivations of one of the key investigators of the crime. And how Slaughter outlines grey areas of otherwise good people, with some amount of sympathy and understanding.

The book starts on Saturday and winds up less than a week later, but it packs in many twists and turns. It’s a solid thriller that is deepened by the characters’ personal issues. Faith, Will and Sara have a long history together, and the chemistry and understanding between them is really one of the highlights of the book. Will in particular is a standout for me – an abused husband, dyslexic, with significant personal issues, he is a person that I could easily sympathize and root for, and a pleasant change from the usual macho detective types in crime fiction.

In short, read this series, if you love well-drawn out characters and can tolerate a small degree of violence in crime fiction. If you like Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series (the earlier books), then this series might be just for you.

Thanks to Random House for sending me a copy of this book for review, and thereby introducing me to an exciting new thriller series.

6 Responses
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  • Chinoiseries
    October 21, 2012

    Perhaps I should join the masses and start reading Slaughter’s books. She’s really popular here, all her books have been translated to Dutch. Fallen has been checked out every time I visited the library. I’m sure lots of people put a hold on it too.
    For some reason, I’ve tried to stay away from the popular crime novelists, like her, Nicci French and Patricia Cornwell. Time to remedy that (and hey, popular books means they’re a good romp, right? I sure need a few right now!)

  • Carole
    October 20, 2012

    Hi there, the October edition of Books You Loved is live. Here is the link Books You Loved October Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers

  • The Glass Bangle
    October 18, 2012

    I agree with you that Will is a pleasant change from the usual stereotypes. I’ve read her earlier books too and I feel that this is her best yet .

  • Zoë
    October 18, 2012

    She really writes fantastically! If you can get hold of more of her books, it will be well worth your while, they are great series!

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