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Broken    by Karin Slaughter order for
by Karin Slaughter
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Karin Slaughter's Broken once again (after Undone) brings together leads from her Grant County and Atlanta thrillers - in particular Dr. Sara Linton (still grieving for her husband Chief Tolliver) and Special Agent Will Trent (scarred physically and mentally from childhood abuse). But, true to form, she remains just as tough on her resilient characters as ever - it amazes me that so many are still with us.

This time Sara and Will work together back in Grant County, rather than in Atlanta. Sara returns for a family Thanksgiving, her first time back since her husband's death. Broken begins with a murder, that of hard-working college student Allison Spooner, who tries to help her boyfriend Jason and ends up dead. Demon-ridden Officer Lena Adams is on the scene when Allison's body is pulled out of Lake Grant, as is her boss, corrupt interim police chief Frank Wallace.

When they head to the victim's residence, they find a masked man holding what appears to be a knife. They arrest Tommy Braham, but not before a young police officer is badly injured. Tommy confesses, but Frank asks Sara to see him as he's in bad shape. She finds him dead and recalls him as one of her pediatric patients, who was always slow (with a low IQ). When Sara learns that Lena (whom she still blames for Jeffrey's death) was the arresting officer, she assumes coercion and calls in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. They send Will.

Sara soon realizes that Will is dyslexic, something he wants to keep private. As Will investigates he finds plenty that is suspicious. Lena could help him, but is being blackmailed by Wallace to keep certain things to herself. After another death, Sara's holiday turns into a working one when she's called in for the autopsy. Meanwhile Lena's continued investigation leads her straight to the killer and to yet another close brush with death.

Sara too confronts the killer and finally finds her way to letting Jeffrey go. She is also shocked to find out who Lena's been dating, something fans are sure to learn more about in future episodes of this harrowing series.

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