Broken - Karin Slaughter (Georgia, Book 2)

The Grant County series by Karin Slaughter is my favourite crime fiction series.

Genre: Fiction, Crime
Publisher: Century
Year: 2010
Rating: 4/5

I have read all of her novels in not only this series, but in the Will Trent series. In the last novel, Genesis, we saw Dr Sara Linton team up with Special Agent Will Trent in Atlanta, to solve a crime.

In Broken, Sara has returned to Grant County for the holidays for the first time in four years. This is a painful experience for Sara as her home town is full of memories of her late husband. She soon finds distraction when she is called by the acting police chief Frank Wallace, to come and help a former patient of hers, who they have arrested on suspicion of murder. When Sara arrives at the police station, she finds him dead in his cell. The words, 'Not Me' scrawled on the wall. An apparent suicide. Or is it?

Seeing this as her chance to bring down Lena Adams, the police officer she blames for her husbands murder, Sara calls in a favour from the Atlanta Bureau of Investigation. Soon Special Agent Will Trent arrives and once again he and Sara team up to solve this growing mystery.

This is not as easy as it may sound. Grant County is a close-knit community where locals don't like to talk to outsiders and police officers look out for each other. Even if that means bending the truth and hiding evidence. Can Sara and Will find out what is going on before someone else is killed? 

Like previous Karin Slaughter novels, this book is full of mystery and suspense. I really enjoy the character of Sara Linton and have since I read the first book in this series. Acting as the small town medical examiner, Sara helps out by processing crime scenes and completing autopsies. Highly intelligent with a keen eye for detail, Sara always manages to shed new scientific light on cases that have the officers stumped.

Special Agent Will Trent took a while for me to warm up to. I wasn't a fan of his when I read his first novel, Triptych. I think I was just so used to the characters from Grant County that it took me a while to get used to something new. I am glad I kept reading. Agent Trent is an interesting character. Raised in state care, product of a broken home, stuck in a dead-end abusive relationship, dyslexic and slowly falling in love with Sara Linton.... Agent Trent is very interesting. 

Slaughter has a way with characters. They are all broken in some way. They have all had their fair share of problems and heartbreak. Even her secondary characters are complex beings. Take Lena Adams for example. A tough woman cop with a major chip on her shoulder. Lena seems to be attracted to drama. Nothing ever goes right for her and try as she might to do the right thing, she always ends up hurting everyone around her.

Another thing I love about Slaughter's novels is that she is not afraid to touch on sensitive issues. Whether it be murder, rape, child abuse, domestic abuse, drug use or police corruption, Slaughter explores these issues with honesty and feeling.

I really think this may be the last book in the Grant County series. After reading Genesis and now Broken, I get the impression that Sara Linton and Will Trent will be teaming up together in Atlanta in the new Georgia series of novels permanently. I also think that Slaughter will be creating a new series of books to focus on Lena Adams. At least, it certainly seems that way at the end of Broken.

I think some fans may find this disappointing as the Grant County series was so popular among Slaughter's readers, but I for one, am excited to see where these new series take these characters. I love the 'will they or won't they' relationship between Sara and Will, and Lena is such a strong character in her own right that she deserves her own series. 

This book is a must read for Karin Slaughter fans or anyone who loves a fast-paced crime fiction read. I am very much looking forward to the next book out by Slaughter!
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