Broken by Karin Slaughter

Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

Broken by Karin SlaughterHaving read Karin slaughter’s books before and thoroughly enjoying them, “Broken” was even better! Allison Spooner stayed at college during the holidays. She was having a rough time from a room that barely heated, a car that smoked, a boyfriend that she felt had left her, and to top it all off the weather in south Georgia was cold, so she disgustedly took a walk around Lake Grant near the college. She really didn’t think of anything else but her “crappy” life as she plodded through the mud, tripped over the tree roots and fallen branches, sometimes falling down. One time when she fell she was pushed into the water and held down as she was brought back to reality. Someone was trying to kill her and they succeeded.

At 3:00 in the morning Lena Adams phone awake her. She knew it couldn’t be anything good at that hour. It wasn’t! She traveled in the rainy, misty, foggy weather to the site where the lake was being searched for a body. When she arrived all the various agencies were there to assist in all the work created by a missing, then found, body chained to two concrete blocks in the lake. What they thought was a suicide now was a murder. The small town inexperienced police force led by interim chief Frank Wallace had been fractured with the death of their police chief, Jeffrey Tolliver, several years previous and seemed to work against each other instead of cooperating. Everything Jeffrey had set up and had running smooth became a Keystone Cops force. Lena got along fairly well with Frank.

Sara Linton now lived in the Atlanta area. She and Jeffrey had been as one and she had been lost without him. She had taken a job in Grant County as a part time coroner while buying out the local clinic. When she lost Jeffery, she left the area with a bad taste in her mouth towards the entire area, especially officer Lena Adams, who she blamed for Jeffery’s death. Now Sara had come back to Grant County to visit her family for four days. It was hard seeing all her connections with Jeffrey.

Allison Spooner’s boyfriend, Tommy, had been arrested for her murder, having confessed he had killed her while under the tough interrogation he was put through. Then when this slow-thinking, mild acting, boyfriend was found dead from suicide in his cell, the entire police force looked as though they didn’t know where to turn. Sara called the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Special Agent Will Trent came to get to the root of the problems in Grant County.

With Will and Sara, Sara unofficially, working on the case, the local police balked at almost every move. Will worked through most of the walls that were set up to keep him out of the case but Will was too smart for them. Despite Lena trying to stay away from Will and his investigation, he forced her to work with him. Will and Sara were feeling a bit of something for each other but they didn’t want the case to be swayed by their personal lives so they didn’t show too much affection around others. Sara also was perturbed that Will was working with and feeling that Lena was not such a bad cop after all even though Sara had blamed her for Jeffrey’s death.

The case proceeded with friends and family members being questioned, school records searched, hand writing compared, blood checked, DNA checked, college professors questioned, and eventually the truth was slowly coming out. There are lots of good plots and sub-plots in “Broken” and it is a book you won’t want to put down. It is very well written and plotted. The characters seem so real; the actions will have you right beside the good and the bad characters in the book. I highly recommend this book for any mystery lovers that love a great plot.

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