Book Review: Unseen by Karin Slaughter

Posted April 22, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Unseen 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.

Unseen by Karin Slaughter
Genres: Thriller
Published by Delacorte Press on July 2, 2013
Pages: 401
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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

Seventh in the Will Trent thriller series based in Atlanta, Georgia, and revolving around a dyslexic state agent, Will Trent, and a pediatrician, Sara Linton, who met each other two years ago. This tale is set in Macon.

In 2013, Unseen was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller.

My Take

This starts out so sad. I know, I know, after Beyond Reach, 6, I’ve hated Lena and hated that she “trapped” Jared. Still. Lena and Jared have been together for some time now, and it’s falling apart. Nor is theirs the only relationship in trouble. It’s that third person global subjective point-of-view that allows us an inside view on so many of the characters’ thoughts and emotions!

It doesn’t take long at all before Slaughter, well, slaughters us! Jesus — “Blood sprayed into her mouth.” Well, yeah, that’ll catch my attention! After that I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what happened next!

It’s cute how Slaughter has Jared so like his dad what with all those projects of his. And it does make Sara smile to herself as she realizes how like Jeffrey Will is in his love for projects as well. Pickier than the Long boys maybe.

Slaughter slips in enough side issues to keep things complex what with Sara’s guilt about building herself a new life and having to reminisce yet again about Jeffrey with the Longs. She also gives Sara a chance to give Lena an “I told you so”. And I gotta say I reveled in it. There’s also the silent battle that rages between Nell and Lena, as Nell tries to be a part of her son’s life.

On the other hand, Faith learns how beloved Lena is in the Macon PD. It’s the same as it was with the Grant County police in Broken, 4, two years ago. And I think Lena’s fed up with Sara hating her. She’s lashing out big time at Sara.

It’s a bit confusing, as Slaughter keeps flipping back and forth in time from before the raid to after it. Be sure to read those epigraphs at the chapter starts! There is a bit at the end where Lena’s not touching Jared while he’s in that coma finally makes sense.

Will is in such trouble with Sara. It’s sweet how torn he is about her. How desperately he loves her and tries so hard to balance his career and wanting to be with Sara, to take care of her. And now he’s lyin’ his butt off. And I can’t blame Sara for being so angry.

I gotta laugh when Will bemoans Sara’s dislike of cooking.

Unseen is an excellent example of how law enforcement does not cooperate with each other. Even inside the various departments, individuals are jockeying to get the credit. Not talking to each other. It’s a wonder crime ever gets solved. I do like the sound of Lonnie Gray, especially when Slaughter is comparing him to the kind of cop Jeffrey had been. At the end, though, I did have to re-think my stance.

It’s a shame that something like the Castle Doctrine has to be passed, wherein a citizen has the right to protect his or her home from an intruder. It should be commonsense.

Big Whitey’s business plan sure is practical, but I am confused about the cops who asked for early retirement.

In some ways, Unseen meandered its little heart out, taking forever to get to the end through a combination of action and characters. I don’t know if it seemed this way because I was dying to know what was going on or what.

And it’s all pure luck.

The Story

It’s a million-dollar op that goes awry with near-fatal results for too many cops.

The Characters

Detective Lena Adams is with the Macon PD. The twelve years younger Jared Long is a motorcycle cop with Macon PD, her husband, and had been Jeffrey Tolliver’s son. Hank is Lena’s uncle; Sibyl had been Lena’s twin (Blindsighted, 1). Darnell “Nell” Long is Jared’s mother, and she despises Lena. Jerry “Possum” Long is Nell’s husband and Jeffrey’s boyhood friend. Delia is Jared’s sister, the youngest, and a veteran in the Gulf.

Macon, Georgia, PD
Detective Paul Vickery is Lena’s partner who’s always up for a fight. Part of Lena’s team includes DeShawn Franklin, Mitch Cabello, Eric Haigh, Keith McVale, and Kirk Davis. Officer Raleigh is guarding the hospital room.

Major Denise Branson, the police liaison with the GBI, is not forthcoming. Lonnie Gray is an old-school cop, their new respected chief of police. Chuck had been Lonnie’s son and a cop who recently died of leukemia. Baldy is the judge who keeps saying no. Estefan is a friend of Jared’s who also likes bikes. Brock Patterson is with Internal Affairs.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is…
…the state equivalent of the FBI. Dr Amanda Wagner is the deputy director of the GBI and Will’s boss. Caroline is Amanda’s secretary.

Will Trent is an agent who has gone undercover as Bill “Buddy” Black, a scary ex-con who rides a motorcycle. Raised in very abusive fostercare, Will has managed to turn his life around, despite his dyslexia. Will is appreciating how lucky he was…his own house, his car, his life… Yay, Will has filed for divorce from his nutjob wife, the nasty Angie Polaski Trent, an addict, a thief, and a former Atlanta undercover detective in Vice. She’s disappeared but is still leaving nasty notes on Sara’s windshield.

Faith Mitchell is Will’s partner and a new mom, again. Emma is her ten-month-old daughter. Charlie Reed is in charge of forensics. Agent Nick Shelton is the head of the local field station.

Dr Pete Hanson retired a couple of months ago from being the medical examiner.

Macon General is…
… the hospital where Will is undercover as a janitor. Ray Salemi is Will’s boss. Anthony “Tony” Dell is a wiry little drug dealer. He’s obsessed with Cayla Martin, a pharmacy nurse with an interest in Bill, and Tony’s half-sister. Ruth is a nurse on the ICU floor.

Dr Benedict is Lena’s doctor. Margery is one of his nurses.

Grady Hospital is…
… the only publicly funded hospital in Atlanta. Dr Sara Linton, a pediatrician, works the ER there. She has two greyhounds: Billy and Bob. All that’s left since her husband was murdered in the line of duty over five years ago. Tessa is Sara’s sister. Izzie is Tessa’s baby daughter.

Oliver Gittings is a very clumsy medical student. Dr Felix Connor is Sara’s relief. Dr Dean Thomas is treating a young boy recovered from the shooting gallery. Sheriff’s Deputy Lila is also Branson’s girlfriend. Jasmine and Vivica are paramedics.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)
Gil Gonzalo is one of their agents.

Marie Sorenson was a victim. Benji is Cayla’s sister’s kid. Aaron Winser was part of a custody battle of a family in Newfoundland.

Big Whitey is a big time dealer no one has seen, spreading a pattern of sophistication and influence. Tipsie’s, a strip joint off the highway, works as a criminal HQ. Fred Zachary was muscle for hire. Sam Lawrence, a mid-level thug, was the first assailant. Diego Nuñez is an old-school enforcer. Sid Waller is a truly nasty man. Elian Ramirez is a junkie. Mr Snitch was a junkie Lena and her team had turned. Thomas Holland had gotten hooked on crack in his senior year. Vanhorn and Gresham are a law firm.

Britney and Randall are the kids at the Chick-fil-A.

The Cover and Title

You can glimpse black in three corners of the cover, but primarily it looks like a close-up of a be-dewed red rose petal. The text is all in gray with an info blurb spanning the top and the author’s name immediately beneath it. The title is nicely below center.

The title is what has been Unseen for too long.

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