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Undone: A Novel

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Karin Slaughter

Starred Review. Bestseller Slaughter brings together characters from her two series for the first time with electrifying results. Dr. Sara Linton, who lost her husband in 2007'sBeyond Reach, has left rural Grant County for a new life in an underfunded … see full wiki

Author: Karin Slaughter
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Dell
1 review about Undone: A Novel

Wow! Can't Wait for the Next One!

  • Aug 14, 2010
Rating:
+5
In Undone, Karin Slaughter brings former Grant County medical examiner Sara Linton to Atlanta and combines her with Special Agent Will Trent of the GBI Special investigation Team. Trying to rebuild her life after her husband's tragic death, Linton is working as an emergency room physician in Atlanta's Grady Hospital when a young woman is brought in. The woman was hit by a car but it is readily apparent that something much worse has happened to her. Trent finds an underground torture chamber at the scene and another woman; only this one did not survive. When two other women are kidnapped, Trent and his partner, Faith Mitchell, are drawn into a race against time as they try to find the new victims before sadistic madman kills them as well.

There are so many things I like about this novel that it's hard to know where to start. First, as always, is the characterization. Slaughter has to be one of the most brilliant authors today at developing complex characters with multiple layers. She really gets inside their skins and allows the reader to see them, warts and all, yet still makes them likable and believable. However, she doesn't just develop her primary characters, but she also gives her supporting characters rich backgrounds and multiple depths. In this book she makes her victims not particularly likable, which adds another element of depth to the story--we still want justice done because of the horror that was done to these women even if the women, themselves, are not particularly nice.

This novel has some excellent interactions between Will and Faith. Their law enforcement partnership is still fairly new, and they don't have complete trust in each other yet. Will is too used to working on his own and sometimes tries to protect Faith too much. Faith sometimes treats Trent with condescension because of his dyslexia and doesn't always trust his instincts. It also has some strong scenes with Amanda, Will and Faith's boss, who is an intimidating and formidable woman and who doesn't put up with any nonsense out of anybody.

Readers should be warned that there is a scene between Trent and his wife, Angie, that involves very rough sex. While the scene helped develop the complexity of the relationship between Angie and Will, it did go on a little too long, and it was not a pleasant scene to read. Also difficult to read was a scene where Trent loses his temper and beats up a witness. At the same time, however, both of these scenes are a testament to Slaughter's bravery in writing--Trent is a likable character and is always so tightly controlled and almost always pleasant that the scenes of him losing his temper and acting out with violence almost seem to be a betrayal. However, his behavior is a logical outgrowth of his violent upbringing and shows that underneath the seemingly placid surface there is a violent core that will erupt when subject to enough provocation.

Slaughter is becoming one of my favorite writers and this book is a strong example of why. With her strong characters, solid storylines, and her willingness to take chances, her books are always fresh and exciting. I can't wait for her to write more in this series!

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