Author: Karin Slaughter
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 4 out of 5
Faith Mitchell is on her way home from some routine State Bureau of Investigation training when she pulls up in front of her house. Her front door is open and there is a bloody handprint on the door. Desperate to know if her mother and daughter are okay, Faith enters the house against advice.
The aftermath of the situation finds Faith under suspicion from those closest to her. It’s up to Will Trent, Faith’s partner, to figure out what happened inside the house and clear Faith’s name, even though he suspects Faith’s mother of being involved with those who kidnapped her.
I am usually adamant about not reading series books in order, so I wasn’t expecting to read Fallen until I’d read the first two books in the Will Trent series. However, I was eager enough about this book that I ended up abandoning that plan and picking Fallen up with no background in the series. Happily, I didn’t feel lost at all - I could tell that many of the characters had been introduced and developed in a previous novel, but Slaughter provided me with plenty of information such that I knew the characters and overall story arches.
Will Trent is a really intriguing character. He was raised by the state, never adopted, so he has a hard edge to his personality because of what he has been through. His wife is his weak point - while he does not love her, they share so much history that he cannot let go of her because he cares about what happens to her. What makes things difficult, though, is that she has a destructive personality. She wants to tear Will down and keep him there, but Will can no longer be that person for her. I found him completely fascinating and would love to continue getting to know him through previous and future books.
The story of Fallen is a little confusing, but well done. There may be some details I missed, having started in the middle of a series, but Slaughter does a great job explaining the background and providing information for those new - so much so, in fact, that this book would work as a standalone. The action starts from the first few pages and doesn’t stop or let up until the last page. Slaughter takes the reader through the worlds of gangs, drugs, and prison and keeps us in the dark as to whom we can trust over the course of the book. The combination makes for a very entertaining read.
Fallen is a thrilling, gripping read, and I can see why so many have said such great things about Karin Slaughter. She draws you into this novel with appealing characters and a tantalizingly confusing situation, and allows everything to unravel at its own pace. While this was my first of her novels, it definitely won’t be my last, as I am eager to go back and read the rest of the Will Trent series.