It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Karin Slaughter’s books. She’s an exceptional storyteller—in addition to being an author who has not let success dampen her appreciation for each of her readers nor her willingness to lend her energy to the most worthy of causes, like saving libraries and encouraging people to read. In each of her series, she has created characters that feel like they could walk right off the page and into your kitchen to make a cup of coffee.
FALLEN is the latest in The Georgia Series, preceded by BROKEN and UNDONE (in Ireland and the UK, this one’s called GENESIS). In addition to a rock-em sock-em, take-no-prisoners story, FALLEN gives us additional insight into the characters we have grown to love, especially Faith Mitchell, Will Trent, and Sara Linton.
FALLEN opens as Faith is headed home from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation computer seminar. Her baby daughter Emma is staying with her mom. The seminar ran late, and Faith, who is diabetic, needs to eat. She arrives at her mom’s house and… I’m tempted here to divert from my no spoilers policy, but I won’t, because I don’t want you to enjoy the story any less for having read this. Suffice to say that all hell breaks loose, and it keeps breaking right through the very last page of FALLEN, leading each of the characters down paths that neither they—nor we—expect.
I certainly didn’t need any more proof that Karin Slaughter is a gifted storyteller and an exceptional writer. But if you do, I offer this:
I mentioned above that Faith needed to eat. As the story progresses, Faith experiences what’s commonly referred to as an insulin reaction—when a diabetic person’s blood sugar gets very low. I’ve had Type I diabetes more than 30 years, and for most of them, I’ve been trying to describe what this feels like. I’ve never been able to do so accurately or adequately. The description in FALLEN is absolutely perfect, so much so that I thought Karin Slaughter must be diabetic herself, or have a close friend or family member who is. I wrote to her to ask, and she’s not, which tells me that her powers of observation, research, and, of course, writing really do put her on a par with any Great Writer you can list.
FALLEN also gives us a detailed back-story about Faith’s mother, Evelyn, and her boss, Amanda. These characters come to life through a plot that is detailed without being in the least melodramatic. I’m not a fan of fictional stories that are obvious about trying to make a political or sociological point, and while Evelyn and Amanda’s story certainly provides plenty of food for thought; it is never for a moment heavy-handed.
And speaking of those female characters…or any of the men or even the pets in the story: They are real without being boring. Interesting without being overwrought. Karin Slaughter doesn’t talk down to her readers, probably because she’s a reader herself. Or just because she’s a damn fine writer.
FALLEN is a complex and beautifully crafted story that will keep you enthralled, populated by characters who will stay in your imagination long after you’ve read the last page.
Blurb: A must-read that shocks at every turn
Author’s Website: karinslaughter.com
Karin Slaughter was good enough to let me interview Will Trent recently, and you can read that Interview with a Character here.