Book Review: Broken by Karin Slaughter

Posted March 20, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Broken by Karin Slaughter

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Broken by Karin Slaughter
Genres: Thriller
Published by Dell Publishing on June 22, 2010
Pages: 514
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Kisscut, Indelible, A Faint Cold Fear, Triptych , Faithless, Beyond Reach, Blindsighted , Triptych, Fractured, Undone, "Snatched", Criminal, "Busted", Unseen, "Cleaning the Gold", The Silent Wife

Fourth in the Will Trent thriller series set in Atlanta, Georgia, and revolving around Special Agent Will Trent with Dr Sara Linton from Slaughter’s Grant County series.

My Take

It’s too funny. Now that those destructive “children” are gone, Cathy and Eddie have revamped the house: a pool and hot tub, a much improved kitchen, and more.

That’s all that’s improved, though. The police department Jeffrey was cleaning up has returned to its corrupt ways. Police who are everything Will Trent despises. I don’t understand manipulating arrests. To close a case for the sake of it instead of hunting for the truth? Why would anyone want to let the real bad guy continue to commit crimes?

It all comes through third person global subjective point-of-view, which allows the reader to see from the perspective of a number of characters and not just the primary protagonists. And, phew…

I cannot blame Sara for hating Lena. That woman was sick! And clueless. How could Lena not see that Tommy’s confession can’t possibly be right?? How can she ignore Tommy’s history?

We hear a great deal about Jeffrey’s funeral as part of the back story on Sara’s grief, painting a picture of the man she loved. And…ouch…Sara does come to a number of conclusions in Broken, including her own actions using Allison’s death and a different perspective on Jeffrey’s death that she gets from Jared. He does make some excellent points about Jeffrey.

I do feel sorry for Jason…that mother of his!! As for his predicament, well, Slaughter did an excellent tease about the problems Jason and Allison are having. I certainly never saw it. It’s too bad they didn’t think past their own reactions. Somehow, Tommy is involved as well, and they each have such plans for their futures. It makes me want to cry.

WHAT is the deal with Amanda? Why does she do these things to Will? And why is Will still with Angie? He’s a smart guy… I mean, you can’t help but adore Will. He restored his Porsche, doing everything he could from welding to body work. He bought a broken down house and has fixed it up himself. He tries to only do right in spite of his upbringing…

I love Lionel Harris’ laughter about “Colored Town” and that he now lives on a street with a bunch of professors…hee-hee-hee…

Ah, geez, that greed for money that doomed so many. Children experimented on. Lives ruined. Staff who have no clue about paying attention (or caring) about medical side effects.

Hey, it’s a small town, which means restaurants and hotels are scarce, so it does make sense that Sara invites Will to stay in her parents’ in-law apartment over the garage and to eat with them. She just forgot that Will’s Porsche will stand out to the townspeople. I must confess I had expected Slaughter to take greater advantage of this. As it is, it’s pro forma.

Oh, there’s a teeny bit of foreshadowing here about Will’s blood family.

It’s a horrifying tale of cover-ups and murder. Lives destroyed and deep betrayals through character-driven action.

The Story

Special Agent Will Trent has been called in off his vacation, his first when he’s asked for an entire week. Instead, a prisoner is dead, there’s a suspect confession, and Will has been sent to investigate the Grant County police department.

At the request of Dr Sara Linton, frothing at the mouth for vengeance against Detective Lena Adams.

The Characters

Dr Sara Linton is an ER doctor at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, having fled her hometown and its memories of her beloved husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, the deceased police chief of Grant County. Billy and Bob are Sara’s greyhounds. Eddie Linton is a plumber, disappointed that his two daughters chose not to go into the business. He’s also bereft at the loss of Jeffrey. Cathy is their mother. Tessa is Sara’s very pregnant younger sister now married to a missionary, Lemuel, both working in South Africa. Dr Hareton Earnshaw is Sara and Tessa’s gay and annoying cousin. Hare’s dad, Al Earnshaw, is Cathy’s brother and owns a garage.

Heartsdale, Georgia, is…
…Sara’s hometown. Myrna is busy on the phone. Julie Smith is panicking. Buddy Conford is a good lawyer. Dr Elliot Felteau bought Sara’s pediatric practice and is not keeping things up. Mann’s Hardware. Lionel Harris, an African-American, now owns the diner that he bought from Old Pete. Thomas Ross runs the newspaper. Dan Brock is a contemporary of Sara’s and runs the funeral home. Audra is Dan’s mother. Delia Stephens is Brad’s worried mother. Sonny is Brad’s uncle who sells insurance. Hank is Lena’s uncle and now living in Florida. Ronny Porter is a wifebeater. Burgess runs the dry cleaners.

Tommy Braham is a sweet kid, if a bit slow, who works at the bowling alley. He’s well-respected in town and does a lot of odd jobs. A good kid. Pippy is his sick dog. Gordon is Tommy’s dad, and he works for the power company. Gordon is dating Jill June, who’s been busy on the phone.

The Brahams’ neighbors include Greta Barnes, Darla Jackson who is a nurse-companion to Mrs Barnes on the night shift, Vanessa Livingston was waiting on her contractor, and Scott Shepherd who’s a professional gambler.

Grant County PD
New Detective Brad Stephens had been one of Sara’s first patients. Detective Salena “Lena” Marie Adams had been Jeffrey’s star, and Sara believes she got him murdered (by Lena’s lover). Interim Police Chief Frank Wallace is drinking too much; Maxine is one of his exes. Officer Larry Knox is the jerk of a booking officer on duty when Will arrives. Carl Phillips is an honest cop. Marla Simms is the station secretary, and she hates Lena. Ben Carver had been the police chief before Tolliver.

Grant Tech is…
…a college in Heartsdale. Allison Spooner works at the dinner and has a good work ethic. She’s studying hard to get out of Elba, a way-down-on-its-luck small town. Judy Spooner had been her mother. Sheila McGhee is Allison’s aunt working for a construction crew; Boyd had been Judy’s lousy husband. Mr Mayweather had been Allison’s supportive high school science teacher. Jason Howell, a graduate student, is Allison’s now ex-boyfriend.

Marty Harris, Lionel’s grandson, is part of the college security. Demetrius Alder is his boss. Alexandra Coulter and Rex Williams are a couple of Allison’s professors. Jill Rosenburg is a counselor.

Macon PD
Gavin Wayne is the chief of police who has offered Lena a job. Jared Long is a cop in Macon and dating Lena. The parents who raised Jared are still married happily, and his younger sister worships him.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is…
…the state equivalent of the FBI. Dr Amanda Wagner is the deputy director of the Atlanta branch. Nick Shelton is the Grant County agent for the GBI. Charlie Reed is the best forensics guy on Amanda’s team. Doug is part of Charlie’s team.

Special Agent Will Trent is intelligent and intuitive but struggles with his dyslexia — he can “read” a crime scene and people, just not the printed page. Betty is Will’s Chihuahua. Angie Polaski is now Will’s wife, but still never there. Not physically. Not emotionally. Still with that huge chip on her shoulder. To be fair, her mother, Diedre, was a nightmare.

The diabetic Faith Mitchell is Will’s partner but out on maternity leave and close to her due date.

ViCAP is the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, intended to detect similarities in criminal behavior. Lou had been one of Will’s foster mothers; she’d inspired Will to do dishes.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a radial view looking up into the silhouettes of bare-branched trees from a ground perspective with a chilly white sky. At the very top is an info blurb in white. Immediately below it is the author’s name in red and outlined in white. The title is less obvious, spanning the center of the cover in a dimensional deep gray serif font. In case you’re confused, it notes that this is a novel. I would have preferred series information….

The title is the Grant County police department; they are so Broken.

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