Does This Review Make Me Look Blurby? Review of “Fallen” by Karin Slaughter

I feel so trite, so blurby, but I just have to say: I think this is her best one yet! Could be the successor to Stieg Larsson!

Don’t you hate when you’re following a series and the author and the characters sort of wind down after a while? Not here: Slaughter cranks them up, and delivers a darned good story. This book is intelligent, very well-crafted, with great characterizations (including much more of the appealing Will Trent than in previous books) and has a good, sustained level of tension.

Most of the focus of this book is on Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Will, his partner Faith, and their boss Amanda. The interactions between Faith and her mother, and Faith and her children are so well-done and natural-seeming, you have to pinch yourself to ensure you’re not in a room watching actual people. [Then again, it’s kind of dangerous to be around these people so if you were in the same room you would probably want to get behind a very large reinforced steel barrier of some kind…] And the problems evinced by Will with relationships, which stemmed from the awful experiences of his childhood, in my opinion are drawn to perfection.

Dr. Sara Linton has finally recovered from the murder of her husband four and one-half years previously. She is no longer sniveling and moping around, but is once again the incisive, caring, sexy woman we loved so much in the earlier books.

I realize I’m not telling you anything about the plot. But the spoilers start right away. Suffice it to say it is a police procedural that pays strong attention to the crime but even more so to the character portrayals. If you like Karin Slaughter, you’ll love this latest in her Will Trent/Sara Linton series. And the best news of all? It can be read as a stand alone!

Discussion: Why I like Karin Slaughter’s books so much is a mystery to me, so to speak. Generally, the plots involve things I can’t stand: either very bad violence toward women, or drug gangs and drug wars. Her protagonists are for the most part very good looking, something that usually turns me off [too unrealistic]. But then there are all the appealing aspects: while her author newsletter, to which I subscribe, is funny and charming and full of pet news, in her books, Slaughter is tough as nails. She doesn’t waste any prose by taking breaks from the action, but rather just switches the storylines at intervals. Her women are a terrific combination of rock solid and soft, written in a way that doesn’t exaggerate either element. Her heroes may be good looking, but they are flawed in charming ways that are creatively different than most detective books. And some of her terrific sense of humor does manage to leak into her books, in spite of their serious nature. It makes the dialogue and action seem more realistic.

Evaluation: I love Karin Slaughter as an author, and I liked this book even more than her others!

Rating: 4/5

Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House, June 2011

Notes for the record:

Location: Atlanta, Georgia


Faith Mitchell, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Age 34, diabetic, unmarried mother of 20 year old Jeremy and four-month-old Emma (by different fathers)

Dr. Sara Linton, Pediatric Attending Doctor in Emergency at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital, 39, widowed, 5’,11”, auburn red hair, has two greyhounds and a cat

Will Trent, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Age 34, 6’3”, grown up in a children’s home and never been adopted, dyslexic, married to Angie, has a Chihuahua named Betty

Amanda Wagner, Deputy Director, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, probably in the vicinity of 60

Evelyn Mitchell, Faith’s mother, retired Captain of the narcotics squad at the Atlanta Police Department


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18 Responses to Does This Review Make Me Look Blurby? Review of “Fallen” by Karin Slaughter

  1. Kay says:

    Jill, I agree with absolutely everything you said here. I especially like this statement: “Why I like Karin Slaughter’s books so much is a mystery to me, so to speak.”

    Me too!! We read BLINDSIGHTED and TRIPTYCH in my mystery book group a couple of years ago and I almost lost half my members (figuratively not actually). A couple of people loved the author’s writing as much as me and most were appalled with the violence. Well, I’m still Karin Slaughter’s biggest fan. I loved this book and I fell in love with Will Trent the first time I read TRIPTYCH. Now, if we can just get Slaughter to deal with that hussy Angie. 🙂

    I understand the next book takes us back into Amanda’s past. I’m so there. LOL

  2. kaye says:

    This is the second glowing review of Slaughter’s books. I’ve never read her before but now I know I just have to. Thanks for putting up the chronological list of books; that’s a big help. Have a great weekend and happy reading!

  3. softdrink says:

    I still haven’t forgiven her for killing off Sara Linton’s husband.

  4. Sandy says:

    I just wrote up my review of this one, which I listened to on audio while in Poland. I’ve only read one other book in the series (Undone) but I immediately fell into step again with Will and Sara. I thought that the plot was a wee bit complicated, but was softened just enough by the Will/Sara chemistry and the personal issues everyone was working through. So much of the plot was typical, but I think where Slaughter shines is in her strong female characters. They are incredible.

  5. Barbara says:

    I only recently starting reading Slaughter but I’m anxious to read more. Just read her latest newsletter this morning, about her book tour, and she leaves me in stitches. I ordinarily don’t go for the heavy violence, etc. but Slaughter just ties me up and won’t let go until I get to The End.

  6. Teresa says:

    Well, it certainly sounds like Slaughter is better than she seemed in the standalone audiobook I got at BBC. I’m still trying to remove the memory of a couple of Wayne Knight’s “sexy moaning noises” from my head. (Shudder.) I won’t cross her off my list entirely.

  7. zibilee says:

    Oh, it’s always so gratifying when a favorite author continues to impress book after book, and I can see why you are so excited about this series in particular. If you ask me, an author that does a lot of things you dislike in her books, but can still keep you hooked and keep you coming back for more sounds like something special. Glad to hear that you were impressed by this one!

  8. Staci says:

    I have to make sure I read this one soon. I loved all of her books and find her writing grips me and doesn’t let go until I turn the last page. I’m thrilled to read that you think this is her best yet!

  9. Julie P. says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t have passed this one on to my dad!

  10. celawerd says:

    There is another book titled Fallen I think. I don’t remember who wrote it but it was good. This sounds great as well

  11. Well, since you caught me about 1/2 way through reading all her books in order,you can certainly count me as a fan! I will agree that unlike many authors, her books do not start to peter out. She changes things up, focuses on different characters, keep it fresh. I will also agree about her subject matter…it is sometimes rough stuff, but she presents it in such a way that it remains readable.

    I think I have read 4 of them in the last week…I am reading such great things about the latest, I need to rush!

  12. Jenners says:

    I keep hearing such good things about this author that I think I’m going to try her. So where should I start? What series?

    • Wait, let me understand this correctly. You’re asking a Known, Confessed, Obsessive-Compulsive WHERE to start in a series or series of series?!!! HA HA HA!!!!! One must go to the first date, you see, and start there, NO MATTER WHAT, or, or, well, consequences unclear. But, in order to understand where the characters are coming from, so to speak, obsessive-compulsiveness is best!

  13. Ti says:

    I haven’t read any of her books. Not my style. But, I was curious about what you meant by blurby

  14. Rita K says:

    I haven’t read this yet. Right now I am reading Snowman – but I will get to this. I like Karin Slaughter. I think you got me started with her. But you know I like mysteries and crime procedurals and don’t shy away from violent books – except for creepy ones.

  15. stacybuckeye says:

    Another series that I fully intend to read one day. It will probably be awhile 🙂 The cover is cool.

  16. Pingback: 2011: #44 – Fallen (Karin Slaughter) | Confessions of a Bibliophile

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