* Prices may differ from that shown
Another crime thriller review from me, apologies! I've read & reviewed a couple of Slaughter novels previously and was looking forward to this one when I came across it in the library. Fortunately, it didn't disappoint.
The cover tells us that this novel is from the 'No.1 Bestselling Author', along with a picture of a note saying 'she belongs to me!!'. A tagline reads: 'A broken window. A bloody footprint. A murder hunt begins.' Okay, so it may not sound like anything earthshattering, but it was enough to interest me as I was already familiar with the author's name.
Fractured introduces us to Abigail Campano, a wealthy housewife in a posh area of Atlanta. Upon arriving home, she finds a man at the top of the stairs leaning over a body on the floor, her daughter, with a bloody knife. Mothers instinct kicks in at this point, but we quickly learn that the body wasn't in fact her daughter, but her friend, Kayla. Her daughter Emma is nowhere to be seen.
Intro Special Agent Will Trent and detective Faith Mitchell onto the crime scene. I won't say anything else about the plot because I don't want to give details away, but as the novel progresses the web of people and lies grows. It seems that what you think you know, you probably don't. Those you think are trustworthy probably aren't. It's a game of deception and unanswered questions, but can Trent and Mitchell figure out who the man was, why he was in the Campino house, and where Emma disappeared to before any more tragedy ensues?
What I liked whilst reading this was the build up of the characters, making them more three dimensional and interesting, more humanlike. For instance, we learn of Mitchell's history with her mother, her relationship with Will, about her son, Jeremy. I like these touches of normalcy, because it grounds the book whilst giving you characters you come to warm to, to feel closer to and can empathise with.
I found the plot intriguing and intelligent without being too overcrowded with characters and twists. It kept me guessing and wanting to learn more, and Slaughter has a way of writing that makes it effortless to read; you fall in to it and want to keep turning the pages.
Further praise can be found on the cover of the book, including : 'Brilliantly chilling' - Head. 'The writing is lean and mean, and the climax will blow you away' - Independent. 'Confirms her at the summit of the school of writers specialising in forensic medicine and terror' - The Times.
I'd agree with these comments; she gives a detailed account of events and characters enough to bring them to life and make them vivid. She also specialises in forensics, but provides that information without it being overwhelming or too over the top just for the sake of sounding technical. I found it just added to the atmosphere, sculpting the plot into something gripping, dark, intelligent and intense. The only thing I'm not too keen on are chapters that feel a little too long. I like chapters with depth and purpose in forming a chunk of a novel, but I don't want them to drag out; it's good to be able to say I'll just read one chapter and not be there for hours trying to finish it. These chapters aren't ginormous but they're fairly lengthy. This isn't really a criticism per se, more of an observation I guess and an insight into my lack of being able to maintain my attention for too long!
All in all, I would recommend this, especially for crime thriller fans. Previous reading of Slaughter's novels isn't necessary, and neither is a degree in forensics. This is one you can get your teeth into, settle down with and enjoy for its colourful characters and style of writing.
495 Pages (plus an epilogue) 22 chapters (which are each quite long)
I started reading Crime novels about a year ago, finding that I enjoyed these out of all the genres. I finished Fractured by Karin Slaughter about 2 weeks ago and found it hard to put down, forcing myself to sleep at night instead of staying up reading.
The story focuses around the lives of Special Agent Will Trent who has been unwillingly paired with Detective Faith Mitchell, both are working together on finding the killer of a young girl who has been brutally raped and murdered. They don't start off on the best foot, with each disliking the other under wrong impressions but as soon as they get to know each other over the course of the case, they realise that they don't actually hate each other that much.
Karin Slaughter does it again, I now realise why she is renowned as one of the best crime writers. With suspenseful plots and believable stories and characters, Fracture drags you in and will not let you put the book down. Every single page I was hooked on, literally forcing myself to stop.
The one critisiscm I would have however would be the book layout, I find it hard to put the book down mid-way between a chapter and the chapters in this book were quite large, some being over 40 pages, this meant that if I was nearly falling asleep from tiredness, I couldn't finish unless I wanted to loose where I was. I think the one thing this book could benefit with is smaller chapters, making it much easier to read on a short break.
I've read a couple of Karin Slaughter books and although some people say she's a bit near the knuckle I don't really find this. Fractured starts with rich housewife Abigail Campano returning home to find the door open, signs of a scuffle in the hallway and her teenage daughter dead, in a bloody heap on the landing with a man holding a knife standing over her. Things are not quite as they seem though, this is not just a murder scene it is also the scene of an abduction and the responding officers miss vital clues that put a young girl's life in danger.
The leading investigating officer on the case is Will Trent who is universally disliked by the local police department. He is paired with Faith Mitchell who has even more personal reasons to hate him and the two of them must get past these issues to try and solve the case.
Will Trent is quite a needy character and very reserved so it's difficult to like him at first but when you realise the reason for this and get a glimpse of his brilliance in reading crime scenes he becomes a much more likeable character. He immediately spots the clues the other officers have missed and realises the scene is not what they first thought.
Faith Mitchell isn't as large as life as Will and it's hard to either like or dislike her really, she's just there throughout this book. I don't know if she will feature in subsequent novels by Slaughter but during this one she doesn't make much of an impact.
Abigail's husband Paul is someone from Will's past and their reaction to each other is as you would expect under the circumstances. Paul also knows a secret about Will that Will has kept hidden his entire adult life but not for much longer.
The crime itself becomes very complicated and takes the reader on a journey of twists and turns that involve a whole host of people who potentially could be involved. Some of these twists I guessed the answer to and some surprised me.
There are several sub-plots running through this book too between various characters. One of the sub-plots seems to dominate the storyline so much I got a bit fed up of hearing about it, it's hard to explain without giving away part of the plot but when I reached the end I realised why the author had pressed this issue so much.
As a crime novel this has all the elements you would expect; a dysfunctional team working the case, a myriad of suspects, a bit of forensics, a race against time and a partially unexpected conclusion.
I rather like Karin Slaughter books, they move along rapidly and don't feel like the author filled them with unnecessary padding. Although the descriptions are quite vivid I think this is an essential part of the story and the author manages to describe these things without going too far or skimping on detail. As I read the book there were times I was willing Will and Faith to notice a detail I'd noticed and act on it and other times when I was completely in the dark about what had happened and how.
Overall if you like crime novels this should appeal. I would have liked a bit more forensic detail but I have to be fair and say that's just something I'm very interested in and it's not that the story was lacking because of it. Karin Slaughter's style is easy to follow, fast and full of twists and turns.
I bought my paperback copy from Tesco as part of their two books for £7 deal.
I am a big fan of crime novels and i spotted several advertisements for this book around London underground.
When reading the reviews at the beginning, i was slightly put off by comments stating that Karin Slaughter is a disturbing writer but i still thought id give the book a chance.
The book is set in a rich estate, and begins as a woman, Abigail, comes home to find her daughter dead covered in blood with the man who killed her standing over her... or so it seems.
The plot of this book makes it such an excellent read. Not as disturbing as it made out to be, but still very much thrilling and a hard to put down book.
The lead character, Will, is a great lead. A dyslexic police man who struggles with relationships, and his past. Will becomes a loveable character and is a great detective to follow, i sincerely hope Karin Slaughter uses Will in more books, becoming an Alex Cross type character.
This book would be perfect for film, almost alike James Pattersons Along Came a Spider, but a more mature and twisted read.
Definately give the book a chance, its exciting and gripping and you wouldnt expect the outcome.