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Fallen: A Novel (Will Trent) by Karin Slaughter

Reviewed by Allen Hott

FallenThis is a slightly older book (2011) but somehow I missed it. And now that I have read it I would like others to take the opportunity. Karin Slaughter can write and she really does in Fallen. It is quite a story about Faith Mitchell and her partner Will Trent. Slaughter has written several books about these two Georgia Bureau of Investigation police officers but this one really gets deep into their private lives. In doing so the reader gets to see how being a cop can often get a person’s private life mixed in with their daily jobs. Very interesting tale that keeps a reader’s interest all the way to the end even though there many, many, characters and many, many happenings.

The beginning pulls the reader in immediately. Faith has been trying to reach her mother to tell her that she will be running late to pick up her daughter. Evelyn, the mother and grandmother, is a retired police officer of very high ranking and now being at home she enjoys some time watching her granddaughter. However, for one reason or another, Faith cannot get Evelyn on the phone nor does she return her message. As soon as possible Faith speeds to Evelyn’s home and there she finds nothing but trouble. First off she sees blood and handprints smeared on the front door. She can’t get in so immediately she calls 911 and then heads to the shed to see if she can find another key.

But in the shed she finds Emily, her daughter sitting tightly wrapped in a seat that is hidden to the rear of the shed. Finding her daughter safe she heads back to the house and kicks open the door, shouting “police” as she enters.

What she quickly finds is a real mess. There is one man dead and another holding a third man on the floor with a gun pointed to his head. Because she has been trained well she quickly maneuvers a play whereby she shoots the hostage taker. However when the 911 responders bust in the front door she turns and the hostage heads out into the back yard. She manages to shoot him and then runs to him to find out where her mother is. As he is dying he says the Spanish word, Almeja, and then dies. The cops take over and get Faith out of there but they are still also unsure as to what is going on. All anyone knows is that three men are dead and Evelyn is nowhere to be found. All things point to a kidnapping but no one knows why. Almeja does appear however to stir up some interest with many of the cops.

From that beginning Fallen gets even more involved as Will Trent appears to be enamored with a lady doctor, who works with the police and in the morgue. Will is especially enamored since he and his wife are pretty much separated. That part of the story is more than can be told about in a review but suffice it to say that it is a big part of the whole book and the reader will enjoy that part also.

But along the lines of Faith and her missing mother it appears that Faith’s supervisor, Amanda Wagner, and Evelyn were very close when they both were working on the force at the same time. So now Amanda not only wants Faith involved in looking for and hopefully saving Evelyn she also jumps right into the action and begins pushing Faith and Will into various directions to get clues and evidence.

As the story goes along both Faith and Will realize that there is some hidden happening that Amanda knows about that concerns Evelyn’s past and is perhaps the cause of her kidnapping. It all appears to come down to some cops who worked under Evelyn who had been busted and jailed for drugs and other things that Faith cannot believe her mother was ever involved in.

The story builds and builds to a tremendous and completely unexpected ending for Faith, Will ,many of the participants and definitely the reader. One of the best books that I have read even if I did so a bit late. Don’t delay. Get Fallen and be ready for one your best reads ever!!

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