Fallen (Georgia series #3) by Karin Slaughter
Publisher: Random House/June 2011
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 in order 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.
First of all, if you love crime fiction and mystery, and haven’t discovered Karin Slaughter’s books, that’s ok, you don’t have to start at the “beginning”. You could pick up Fallen and, well, fall into the addictive stories that she creates. Fallen is the author’s 10th novel and easily one of the best (they’re all excellent if that tells you anything.) Fallen is Faith and Will’s book (although Sara Linton gets a big part in this one too), and begins with Faith going to her mother’s house (ex vice cop Evelyn) to pick up her baby daughter, and finding a house of horrors, starting with a bloody handprint on the door. One young man is dead, another is being held hostage, and her mother is missing. What follows is one of the most suspenseful, twisting crime stories out there.
Will Trent and Faith Mitchell are partners in the Georgia Bureau of investigation. Of course, with this being Faith’s mother that’s been kidnapped, it’s a little bit of a conflict of interest that Faith investigate, so it falls to Will and his ballbuster of boss Amanda Wagner (who is very close with Faith’s mother). Long suspected of corruption before her retirement, it seems that the likely reason that Evelyn Mitchell was kidnapped was for a pile of money, thought to be in her possession. It’s not that simple though, and it doesn’t help that the young men involved in the kidnapping are members of some very dangerous gangs. The focus of the book is on Evelyn’s kidnapping, but we also (finally) get a little forward momentum going with the undeniable attraction between Will Trent and Sara Linton. Will Trent’s got some roadblocks though, the biggest one in the form of his cruel and abusive wife, Angie Trent, who disappears regularly, sometimes years at a time. She’s horrid, and I was keen to see Will stand up to her after so long. There’s a long, winding, heartbreaking story behind their relationship, and it’s not a happy one, but you’ll (sort of) understand more about Will, and like him even more. Like I said, you don’t have to have read previous novels to start here, but I would recommend starting with Blindsighted and working your way through. You will absolutely fall in love with these characters and their stories, and Karin Slaughter is, hands down, one of the best crime novelists out there right now. I can barely put her books down for a minute (seriously, things like laundry, etc, get abandoned as soon as I pick up one of her books), and she’s a master at creating suspense so palpable, you’ll feel your own heart speed up along with that of her characters. Fallen is superb, and absolutely not to be missed!