Broken by Karin Slaughter (Canada) - (USA)
Grant County, Book 7
Pages: 402 pages
Finished: July 8, 2010
First Published: Jun. 22, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: mystery, thriller
Allison Spooner wanted to leave town for the holiday, but there was nowhere to go.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.
Reason for Reading: I read the author's newest book every year.
After an anonymous tip, police find an apparent suicide weighted down in the local lake. It doesn't take long before the suicide is proven to be a murder and when police go back to her house they find a masked man inside who flees, seriously stabbing an officer before he is caught. The man turns out to be a 19-year-old mentally challenged local whom everyone knows to be a gentle soul. Sarah Linton is in town visiting her family for Thanksgiving, the first time back since the death of her husband. She becomes involved when the 19-year-old begs to see her as she used to be his doctor. Special Agent Will Trent is called in to the case and works with Lena Adams, knowing something is going on at the police station that someone is covering up, while Sarah is bound and determined to prove that it is Lena who has screwed up once again and this time she'll make sure she pays for it.
This is not a serial killer mystery, but the number of bodies does pile up a bit and the reason behind the murders is a reveal as much as who the killer is. Slaughter keeps the identity of who the killer is closely guarded, not giving many clues, which could annoy some readers. I was able to figure out the killer's profession but couldn't for the life of me remember having met such a character, so while I didn't completely solve it I wasn't surprised when it was finally revealed but I realized how difficult it would have been to have figured it out before the reveal.
It's a good mystery. I read the book over two days. It was not a page-turner but Karin Slaughter at her worst would still be a good read. The killings were interesting, though not Slaughter's best work. A good story and worth the read.
My problems come in with the characters. Slaughter's books are so character driven. If one has read all her Grant County and Will Trent books to date, one knows there is a whole personal history behind each and every one of the fixed characters. It was obvious in the last book that there is an attraction between Will and Sarah, I'm not impressed with that, and it continues on in this book. I don't particularly like Sarah as a character, never have, right from the beginning I've always preferred Lena Adams. Lena Adams as a character has grown tremendously, especially in this book, and yet it feels like she has been put out to pasture. As it also feels like this is the last Grant County book as there is no one left to write about. I somehow find it doubtful, but I do hope the author considers continuing to write about Lena Adams. Perhaps her move is not an ending but a new beginning. I can only hope, as we see what Slaughter has in store for us readers in the future.