Skip to main content

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.

The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?

Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for the return of Detective Lena Adams, while in the wake of Chief Jeffrey Tolliver's death the Grant County police department is clearly long been in a downward spiral into corruption.

Broken is Karin Slaughter's follow up to Undone. Sara's hometown, rife with memories of her life with Jeffrey, is still a painful place for her to be even four years after his death. It's her first time back, and Sara is still devastated and emotional in regards to both her husband's death and Lena Adams, the woman she deems responsible for it. Sadly Sara's grief and physical distance from her parents have also translated into an ever encroaching emotional distance. Meanwhile, Lena is trying her darnedest to get herself out of law enforcement and into crime scene investigation, while also getting herself out of Grant County and the moral mire into which the police department has sunk before she, too, is dragged down with it.

Late one rainy night the body of a pretty young college girl is fished out of the local lake; initially pegged as a suicide, Lena immediately realizes the girl was first murdered and then dumped in the lake. Upon arriving at the girl's last known address Lena and interim chief Frank Wallace confront a masked intruder holding a knife. Things immediately fly out of control, culminating with one officer flown to the hospital fighting for his life while Frank and Lena arrest Tommy Brahm, a former patient of Sara's, whose low IQ renders him incapable of the cunning and planning required for the college girl's murder. But appearances being what they are, Lena and Frank and the entire local police force are convinced of Tommy's guilt, bolstered by his confession and subsequent brutally gruesome suicide in his holding cell.

On hand for the discovery of Tommy's body, Sara immediately realizes he was incapable of the murder and jumps to the conclusion that it was Lena's negligence that allowed Tommy the means to kill himself while in police custody. Hellbent on ensuring Lena pays this time for her screw ups, Sara instigates a witch hunt by calling in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Agent Will Trent is sent to investigate both suicide and the homicide; meanwhile his investigation is frustrated, obstructed and stonewalled at every turn and opportunity by Frank, Lena and the local cops. As the investigation proceeds and more information turns up it becomes apparent that both Tommy and the girl were involved in something shady enough to get them killed. It also becomes clear that more than one party was complicit in these deaths.

With Will sent to investigate the police force's culpability in Tommy's suicide, Lena is at first determined to do the right thing and divulge the truth, including all the mistakes made by both her and Frank that led to their fellow officer's injury. Instead Frank gets to her first, threatens to pin everything on her and destroy her both professionally and personally in the process unless she assists him in the cover up and obstruction of Will's investigation. Lena's behavior is outrageous as always, and Frank is scum of the earth awful--together Frank and Lena's scenes are infuriating.

Slaughter's suspenseful plot is balanced with much character development for Will, Sara and Lena, especially for Sara. It is as much the finely crafted complex mysteries as future developments in the lives of these characters that keeps drawing readers back to this series. I highly recommend both this book and this series for crime mystery readers or anyone else looking for a good book to read.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


Lana Dupont said…
What about faith? Is she not mentioned again in this book?
Lana Dupont said…
What about faith? Does it not mention her and her baby?
Ms. Angie said…
Hi, Lana, thanks for your question. To be honest, I read this book 3 years ago, so I can't really remember if Faith and her baby were mentioned. This might have been the one where Faith was largely left out of the story b/c Will and Sara and most of the action takes place in Grant Co. not Atlanta and also b/c Faith might have been in the hospital giving birth to the baby. Sorry I couldn't be more help!

Popular posts from this blog

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at does not offer any insi…