Book Review: Fallen by Karin Slaughter

Posted March 23, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Fallen 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.

Fallen Genres: Thriller
Published by Delacorte Press on June 21, 2011
Pages: 482
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Fifth in the Will Trent thriller series and revolving around Special Agent Will Trent. The focus is on Faith Mitchell and her family with a side helping of Will Trent’s past and Dr Sara Linton’s insights.

In 2011, Fallen was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Aware for Mystery & Thriller.

My Take

Omigod! Omigod! You have got to read Fallen. There is so much back history in here! So much that Slaughter s-l-o-w-l-y reveals, explaining so much. Sure, the story switches back and forth in time, but it’s easy to follow. with the earlier time period covering Amanda and Evelyn meeting for the first time and their progress from token girl cops to actually being cops and all the crap they had to go through. We finally get an explanation of that $60,000 bank account Evelyn maintains. Jeez. There’s also a midpoint in “history” which reveals quite a bit about Evelyn and the corruption scandal that took her down.

There’s insight into Amanda and some of what makes her tick. ONLY some, dang it. Lol, Slaughter does a very nice tie-in of that network Amanda has. How it developed — very, very slick — and how it’s working today. Ya just gotta love it. Even if I really hate her for how she treats Will.

When I say crap, it’s an exposé of how women and Blacks were viewed and treated back in the early 1970s. How judgmental people were. I get why Bill blames Evelyn for Faith’s “lapse”, but Bill and Ev each had full-time jobs. What I want to know is where was Bill in all this? Yeahh, this is part of that women’s “job” perspective that too many still have. Being a parent is role for a mom AND a dad. Equal billing, equal responsibility.

Oh, man, that was a bit of foreshadowing I completely missed: “…eating junk food that made them fat…”

“Sara didn’t know what kind of medicine Dr Dale was practicing, but she tended to use her hands every day.”

I love that Sara sees how intelligent Will is and doesn’t judge him for his dyslexia. Her curiosity also introduces us to what perfect victims orphans are when she discovers how Will was experimented upon as a child.

Slaughter does include an interesting tie-in to orphans and how many turn into serial killers…eeek! Which only points up Will’s successes.

I understand why Faith doesn’t want anyone to know about her diabetes, but it sure does make for some complications. That Zeke is another complication. What a jerk! I understand why he was so angry back when Faith first got pregnant, but he needs to grow up. And then I read about some of the crap Faith did to him…oh, boy. Talk about dysfunctional.

Now, when Faith looks back to that first pregnancy, everything becomes so clear to her. And I have to wonder how that aspect affected Zeke.

Sara’s got her own learning curve…continuing…learning patience. Discovering how similar Will is to Jeffrey and why it attracts her.

LOL, trust the IRS. “Most inmates got their notice from the IRS within the first week of their prison sentence” about their stolen money still being taxable income.

Jeez, for all that Slaughter finally gives us so much back history, she was quite impressive on how much she stretched some of it out. Of course, some of it was about Will and his relationship with Angie. Today and then. Never been on a date. Their marriage the result of a bet. The way Angie treats him, pushing to see how far she can go before he treats her the way everyone else has ever treated her? She’s a smart woman. Change. Become a different person. A better person.

We do learn how Will got that nasty scar on his arm. Angie. Again.

It’s tense, dramatic, filled with red herrings, and an absolute revelation.

The Story

It’s a Code 30. Officer needs assistance.

The Characters

The diabetic Special Agent Faith Mitchell is a mother again, after almost two decades! Emma is the baby daughter. Jeremy “Jaybird” is her college student son who still doesn’t like his uncle Zeke — a discerning child! Kimberly is Jeremy’s, was, his girlfriend. Horner is Jeremy’s dorm mate.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is…
…the state equivalent of the FBI. The dyslexic Special Agent Dr Wilbur “Will” Trent is Faith’s partner. Betty is Will’s Chihuahua. Angie Trent, a former Atlanta detective, is Will’s awful wife, never there for him.

Dr Amanda “Mandy” Wagner, a.k.a., Wag, is Will’s boss, the deputy director of the Atlanta regional office. Special Agent Charlie Reed is head of the crime scene unit.

Bev is with the Secret Service.

Atlanta PD
The forty-eight-year-old Detective Leo Donnelly had been Faith’s partner back in the day. Lazy, he got up enough energy to beat back prostate cancer. Scott Shepherd is with SWAT?? Chief Mike Geary is the zone commander for Ansley and Sherwood Forest. Brad is one of the jerk cops who relents. Dr Ahbidi Mittal is at the crime scene. Derrick Connor is with the APD hostage negotiation task force. He and Detective Taylor are on point at Faith’s. Vanessa Livingston is the commander in Hartsfield; she’d also been friends with Amanda and Evelyn since their beginnings.

Evelyn “Almeja” Mitchell is Faith’s mother and a retired police captain, forced into retirement by Will Trent four years ago. Bill Mitchell had been Faith and Zeke’s father, an insurance broker. And a gambler. A practical gambler. Dr Zeke Mitchell is Faith’s angry, angry older brother; he’s a surgeon in the Air Force — based in Germany. Kenny Mitchell is Bill’s brother and had dated Amanda.

Old Mrs Levy is Evelyn’s neighbor and a crime scene photographer for fifty-eight years. That Roz Levy is somethin’ else — Amanda and Evelyn both have their suspicions about her dead husband, an abusive cop and an alcoholic. Ida Johnson is the neighbor with the dead man in her backyard.

Dr Sara Linton specializes in pediatrics and works the Grady Hospital ER. She’s currently in a relationship with Will Trent. Billy and Bob are her greyhounds. Her beloved husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, the police chief for Grant County, has been dead for four-and-a-half years. Abel Conford, a lawyer, is Sara’s neighbor who has appointed himself the parking lot czar.

Grady Hospital, a.k.a.,
…the Gradys for its past as a segregated hospital, is the only publicly funded hospital left in Atlanta. Dr Dale Dugan is a nice enough guy, but boring and self-absorbed. Nan is one of the student nurses. George is a security guard. Junior is a morgue attendant. Larry is with the Fulton ME’s office. He has an aunt Frieda.

Los Texicanos are…
…Brown, a gang of drug dealers with Ignatio Ortiz its face. Ricardo is his jerk of a son. Hector Ortiz, a Cadillac salesman, is/had been Ignatio’s cousin.

Julia “Ling-Ling” Ling is based in Chambodia. Arnoldo is her Chihuahua. Roger is her jailed brother; Jimmy Kagan is the warden and Enrique is a guard. Benny Choo had been hers, sent to clean up. Juan Castillo, Franklin Heeney, David Herrera, Marcellus Benedict Estevez, and Hironobu Kwon, a brilliant freshman at Georgia State with Miriam Kwon as his schoolteacher mother, are part of Ricardo’s crew.

Neta is a Puerto Rican gang.

Six detectives on Evelyn’s elite Narcotics squad were…
…busted. Two were paroled last year: Chuck “Fish” Finn, “just a follower” who had been working on a PhD in Italian renaissance art, is now in Maryland at Healing Winds, a rehab facility, and Demarcus Alexander, who went to California and is working on his electrician’s license. Boyd “Sledge”Spivey, the former lead detective with a BA in criminal science, is on death row at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison where Warden Peck is in charge. Ben “Hump” Humphrey and Adam “Hop” Hopkins are in Valdosta State Prison.

Spivey’s wife had worked as a secretary at the Dutch consulate; they had three children. The Gang Bible is used by the police to track everything gang-related.

Back in the early 1970s
Sandra Espisito had been a coworker of Amanda and Evelyn’s. Sandra died of leukemia last year; Her husband, Paul, had been shot in the line of duty ten years ago. Their son is Caleb. He’s also been in and out of Healing Winds.

The Cover and Title

The cover is in shades of brown from the beaten linoleum floor to the walls, door, and shadows from our close-to-the-ground perspective looking back at a door filled with light, a light that casts itself across the floor, providing a contrast with the embossed title in its gradient of deep, deep browns to tans set just below centerline. At the very top is an info blurb in a black shadowed white. The author’s name is immediately below this in a toned-down peach, also shadowed in black. Immediately below the n in the title is a tiny bit of white font letting us know this is a novel.

The title is makes me think of the Biblical definition, with so many Fallen from grace.

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