Book #44 was Fractured, the second Will Trent book by Karin Slaughter.Â The back of the book reads:
Karin Slaughter dazzled readers and critics alike with Triptych, her New York Times bestselling suspense novel set in metropolitan Atlanta. Now the #1 internationally bestselling author returns to the damaged landscape she knows so well in a bold new novelâ€”at once a powder keg of suspense, a gritty portrait of a copâ€™s life, and a searing exploration of a shocking crime and its aftermath…
With its gracious homes and tree-lined streets, Ansley Park is one of Atlantaâ€™s most desirable neighborhoods. But in one gleaming mansion, in a teenagerâ€™s lavish bedroom, a girl has been savagely murdered. And in the hallway, her horrified mother stands amid shattered glass, having killed her daughterâ€™s attacker with her bare hands.
Detective Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is here only to do a political favor; the murder site belongs to the Atlanta police. But Trent soon sees something that the cops are missing, something in the trail of blood, in a matrix of forensic evidence, and in the eyes of the shell-shocked mother. Within minutes, Trent is taking over the caseâ€”and adding another one to it. He is sure that another teenage girl is missing, and that a killer is on the loose.
Armed with only fleeting clues, teamed with a female cop who has her own personal reasons for hating him, Trent has enemies all around himâ€”and a gnawing feeling that this case, which started in the best of homes, is cutting quick and deep through the ruins of perfect lives broken wide-open: where human demons emerge with a vengeance.
I really loved Triptych when I read it, but it took me some time to warm up to Fractured. Will Trent is a very unconventional main character — after all, heâ€™s a GBI investigator that canâ€™t read. Heâ€™s awkward, socially inept, and at times, easily flustered. I tend to waffle back and forth in my belief of the scenario but by the time I get to the end, I have to admit that I feel for him.Â Slaughter takes his illiteracy and really makes it matter, as his dyslexia leads to him discovering some key facts later than he should. Iâ€™m glad sheâ€™s decided to give him a partner and really test his comfort zone.Â I think it makes him more of a fully flushed-out character, and thatâ€™s why I root for him in the end.
But enough about Will! The real mystery here, What Has Happened to Emma?, is a good one.Â Not only is this the story of a brutal kidnapping (or murder? or both?), but much like in Triptych, youâ€™re never completely sure who are the good guys and who are the bad.Â Also, Slaughter does a good job of telling a story about the foster care system, and how shared upbringings can have very different results.Â There is not yet a third book in this series, but I hope there will be.
Audiobook length: 12hrs 50min | Approximate word count: 120,000