Fallen (Georgia, Book 3) – Karin Slaughter

On an ordinary spring day, Special Agent Faith Mitchell of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation returns home to a nightmare. Expecting to find her mother minding her new baby daughter Emma, Faith is horrified to discover Emma locked in the shed, her mother's safe open, her gun missing and a trail of blood to the front door. 

Without waiting for back-up, Faith enters the house to a scene of carnage. It has been torn apart and a man lies dead in a pool of blood. She stumbles across two more intruders, and within minutes they are too shot dead. And when the Atlanta police force turns up, Faith has some difficult questions to answer. But she has some desperate questions of her own. What were the killers searching for? Ex-Atlanta police chief Evelyn Mitchell was once under investigation by Faith's partner Will Trent. Is her mother directly involved this time, and where is she now?

With Faith suspended from duty, Will, together with the help of Dr Sara Linton, must piece together the fragments of a brutal and complicated case – and catch a deeply troubled and vicious murderer with only one thing on his mind. To keep killing until the truth is finally revealed.

Genre: Fiction, Crime
Publisher: Random House
Year: 2011
Rating: 5/5

I have been reading Karin Slaughter for many years now. She is one of my favourite crime writers and each year in June, I look forward to her newest release. 

I began reading Slaughter with her first novel, Blindsighted. It was a fluke really. I was at the library and it looked interesting, I had no idea it was the first in a series. I liked it enough to pick up the second book, Kisscut, and from then, I was hooked. 

The Grant County series was fantastic. Dr Sara Linton, pediatrician and small town coroner, is one of the most interesting, endearing and real female leads I have come across. She is intelligent, ambitious, kind, caring and thoughtful. She is stubborn and sometimes, doesn't think before she acts. She has suffered her own share of heartbreak. She has reached breaking point and nearly didn't make it. She is human.

That is what I love most about these books. Slaughter is dealing with some gruesome, horrible crimes. She is delving into the absolute depths of human depravity, but she balances that with good people, who are dealing with their own real life problems. People who are trying to make the world a better place and learn to live their own lives.

I was disappointed when the Grant County series came to what seemed like an end. I was angry with Slaughter. How could she do what she did? What about her loyal fans? What about Sara?

I didn't like the Will Trent books. Purely because I wanted to read about Sara, Jeffrey and their lives! Not some cop with enough baggage to fill a commercial jet! 

Then Slaughter did the unthinkable, she combined the two. She moved Sara out of her comfort zone in the most unforgettable and shocking way, and created a new series. The Georgia series.

At first, I was wary. It just wasn't the same. I had a whole new cast of characters to get to know, and I felt like a sulky little kid. I didn't want to!

Boy, I am glad I did! This new series is shaping up to be pretty darn good. Sure, Sara's story has changed dramatically and she is going places I never imagined, but that is life. Things change. People change. 

The last few books there has been a bit of "will they or won't they" between Sara and Will. I must say, I am satisfied with where this story is going. I am interested to see what Slaughter has in store for Sara in the next few novels. Not just in her romantic life, but her professional life as well. 

Although I didn't like Will at first, he has grown on me. He is smart, attractive and a brilliant cop. But oh so damaged. Will grew up in an orphanage and has many physical and emotional scars from his abusive, and screwed up childhood. I am looking forward to learning more about him, finding out more about his past and discovering what his future may be.

In these books we have also been introduced to Angie. Mean, cold-hearted, controlling Angie. Man, I hate that woman! She is the opposite of EVERYTHING Sara is, yet she has her claws sunk into Will. I don't condone violence against woman but someone needs to give that chick a good beating! I swear, she is evil.

This particular novel focuses on mainly on Faith (Will's partner), and her past. We learn more about her teen pregnancy, the shame it brought on her family, her struggle to deal with her past and shape her future. A future her son can be proud of. She is one tough lady! 

We also learn more about her mother, Evelyn Mitchell. The once decorated detective who was forced into retirement when her squad was busted stealing money. Was she on the take too? Or is Faith right about her innocence? Who is after her now, and why? This novel certainly answers these questions with a dramatic and violence filled showdown!

Lastly, the other thing I loved about this novel was that Slaughter has included an afterword about how she came up with the characters in these novels, why she had to end the Grant County series and some hints on where she foresees the future of her characters. Apparently, we can look forward to another 10 years of books about Sara! Can we get a high five!? So happy to read this. We should also expect Lena (the troubled cop from Grant County) to make an appearance in her own series, soon.

I'd recommend this series to anyone who loves crime fiction. 

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