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Genesis - Karin Slaughter

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Genre: Fiction / Author: Karin Slaughter / Edition: First Edition / Hardcover / 448 Pages / Book is published 2009-07-02 by Century

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    7 Reviews
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      18.05.2013 08:51
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      Absorbing and gruesome crime thriller from Karin Slaughter

      'Forensic terror thriller' is probably the best way to describe this novel. It's the first time I've read one of Karin Slaughter's books, and she certainly makes the best efforts for her surname to have some sort of relevance in the book. Apparently, this book is a bridge between the first series of books she wrote featuring one set of characters, and then those she introduces here.

      The common thread is former coroner and medical examiner Sara Linton, and it's at this point I should announce potential spoilers for those of you reading the books in order and not having reached this point yet. Linton is clearly a damaged character, and in this she fits in very well with the detective pair focused on in the novel. The pairing of Will Trent and Faith Mitchell is well executed, the two detectives comfortable for Slaughter in their own narrative elements, and the author does a good job of flitting between them inter-chapter and intra-chapter. Cleverly done.

      The characters develop through a series of gruesome discoveries. The book starts off with a horrendously damaged woman who is accidentally run over by an elderly couple on a remote road. When Trent's searches reveal a torture cave dug into the nearby ground along with another victim, it's not long before they realise there is a sick and twisted sadistic killer out there; and when similar profiled women go missing, the serial killer looks like he has his next intended victims.

      The race is on for Trent and Mitchell, and the story progresses rapidly along with the plot's development. Slaughter intersperses personal aspects for the characters, and is remarkable astute at doing so. Trent's dyslexia is acutely covered throughout, from displaying how it manifests to exploring the detective's agony and embarrassment associated with it. Then there's Mitchell's simultaneous pregnancy and type 2 diabetes, which is explored in equal merits of self-consciousness as Trent's dyslexia. Both of them are damaged characters, and Trent's orphan status and ex-wife who pushes the right (or wrong) buttons all links in very well. A few threads here aren't explored very much, and you can't help feeling that this is because the book runs in a series and these other characters and plot developments will come to the fore a bit more in other books. However, it does lessen their impact in this as a stand alone novel which many will want to read it as.

      The book has to be whole in its own sum, rather than relying on previous or subsequent works. It does hold its own due to the sheer medical descriptors and clear finality to the case involved. Slaughter is occasionally very graphic in her descriptions of what has been done to the women in this case, and the violence and torturous elements can only be described as medical horror as we're seeing them out and about, or forensic horror as we see the clinical evaluation of them. This is partly where Sara Linton comes into the fray. Definitely a back seat character in the book, Slaughter is however quick to establish a brand new start and enables Linton to forge bonds with our two detectives through the revelation of the tragedies she has suffered that have brought her to her current abode and professional situation. Working in the ER but tending mainly to cuts and bruises, it's a far cry from the world of an ME or coroner, and the emotional element and attraction between her and Trent only sharpens the sadness of her newly single status.

      Relationships play a huge part in the book. Damaged bonds between Faith and her love life, Trent's bullying ex-wife and Linton's murdered husband all display a negative aspect of love, and turns to the part of us that is selfish and lonesome. The victims all have certain characteristics which support this further, career women who are dominant partners where this is relevant, damaged pasts and with money along with the power. There is strength displayed for all of the women in the book, with one or two subtle exceptions. Mostly, this is a display of the power that women hold over men. Perhaps the eventual perpetrator's thought process had something to do with this? Naturally, if I type further about this then something will be given away, and I don't want that, so make of it what you will.

      The title was the only thing that sort of flumoxed me, until I'd thought about it some more. You'd think there would be a religious connotation for it to be the title (as opposed to Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel's music!) and although this does come into play a bit towards the end, the religious element really isn't explored in any depth whatsoever. I thought about this and considered whether it was chosen equally because of the new start for the character - Linton's new start in terms of the book series, Faith's pregnancy, and also a negative element to Trent that comes into play halfway through the book. It's about origins, and with the religious element perhaps Genesis is just subtle enough to be clever and not obtuse.

      I really enjoyed reading this. It's my first experience of reading Slaughter's books, and although a crime thriller is always going to have a multitude of similarities with others in the genre, this had something clearly distinct about it. I'll definitely read more of her work at some point. I have a plethora of books waiting for me on a shelf, so they'll have to wait - it's not like this is so brilliant as to make me want to search for more from her - but I'll certainly catch some more Slaughter at some point. Recommended.

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      10.09.2012 23:51
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      If you like Crime books then this is great for you!

      Karen Slaughter has been an author that i've been made aware of in the past but I had never gotten round to reading any of her books. Usually I stuck to the Kay Scarpetta stories by Patricial Cornwell, however I felt like reading something new and that's when I decided to purchase 'Genesis'.

      Normally when I start reading a book by a different author I like to start from their first book and work my way through but I didn't with this book and it didn't really matter either. The story features Detective Will Trent, his partner Faith Mitchell and medical examinor Sara Linton which has moved to the area after the tragic death of her husband. The story starts with Faith Mitchell being rushed into hospital after mysteriously collapsing whilst on duty, Will Trent brings her in and whilst they are there a woman is near death after being found on the roadside by an old couple tortured and abandoned. The woman is barely conscious and is blinded. This leads with Will and Faith on the hunt for whoever is responsible for this. The same night Will finds a second victim who again has been tortured and beaten to death.

      With one victim dead and another close to death, Will and Faith can only assume that more victimes will follow, Will and Faith must try and find whoever did these sickening acts and catch the killer before it is too late.

      I was very impressed with the story behind this book. It's a great whodunnit and although I guessed the killer pretty early on it was still interesting to read with many twists and turns along the way. You can easily identify with the lead characters too, Will has dyslexia which makes it hard for him to read, whilst Faith is secretly pregnant and diabetic which is is trying to hide from her boss Amanda. I've just bought another Slaughter book 'Fallen' so it'll report back once i've read that one too.
      I

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        25.09.2011 18:27
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        Keep the lights on!

        Karin Slaughter is the best-selling author of over 11 best-selling books. Born in a small Georgia town she started writing at a young age and is one of the top US and UK writers of thrillers. The critics normally express her genre as 'of the school of writers specializing in forensic medicine and terror,' but at her best I'd say she couldn't be classified in this way since she is constantly changing and adapting her writing and her main characters.

        In her first series of books set in Georgia she brought to life the characters of Sara Linton, a pediatrician and the county's coroner, her detective husband, Jeffrey Tolliver and the rookie cop, Lena Adams. After six bestsellers she turned to a new set of characters introducing Will Trent and his partner Faith Mitchell and a new start for Sara Linton in Atlanta. Genesis brings the three of these characters together for the first time in an explosive novel that shows her versatility as a crime writer.

        The Plot.

        An elderly couple are driving home along a country road when a white shape that looks like an animal is caught in the car's headlights, but after the impact the shaken couple realize the victim is a woman, naked and bloodied, obviously not just hit by the car but damaged in some terrible way. Barely living, the woman is taken to Grady hospital where she is seen by Sara Linton, whose move to Atlanta three years before was to escape the tragedy of losing her husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver.

        Sara had just finished examining and treating a woman patient, Faith Mitchell a thirty-three-year old woman who passed out prior to admission and brought in by her partner, special agent William Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. When Sara hurries to help the victim, Trent sees that she has been raped and tortured and after managing to find out little about her, except for the possibility of her name, Anna, he dashes off to the scene of the accident and antagonizes the local police who are not pleased to have him investigating their case.

        When Will discovers the cave where the woman was held and tortured he also finds evidence of another victim who has escaped but probably in the same condition as the first victim, blinded and bleeding it's a race against time to see if she can be rescued.
        Ultimately, though, yet another victim is taken and both Will and Faith struggle to gain control of the investigation before another woman dies. But the local police won't help more than they can and soon Sara has to get involved as well, leading her back to painful memories of when she assisted in police matters.

        Chasing suspects.

        This is a very fast-paced book that starts with some shocking and brutal visions and carries on for some time with the plot leading the narrative. But Karin Slaughter still manages to let us get under the skin of her main characters in such a way that they blend seamlessly into the chase for suspects. Readers of her other books will be familiar with the character of Sara Linton, but it's still possible to read this as a standalone book. I'd already read most of her first series but somehow I missed the one where Sara loses her husband and so I was also meeting with Will Trent and Faith Mitchell for the first time. I already knew I was in for a roller-coast ride as Slaughter is both an intelligent writer whose plots are hard to unravel, but also a very good judge of character and uses this to give the reader real human beings to go along with.

        In a very real sense this is what the reader feels like as the narrative is fast and focused for the best part of the book. It does slow slightly towards the middle when the investigation stalls itself and the characters take over with their own foibles, which we need to get to know to appreciate them better. But the author never keeps us out of the picture for long and soon the action speeds up with questions flying around leading to a superbly crafted and suitably gory and suspenseful finish.

        Characters.

        In Sara Linton Slaughter ties the first series to the second but it's not necessary to have read previous books, although you would enjoy the story all the more. Using Linton as the link is clever but since the main characters are still Will and Faith it's never exploited as it could have become since the character of Linton is both a strong one and an exceptionally well portrayed woman as well as a medical practioner. Since she's not tied to the investigation we see the softer side of the character, which is poignant given the demise of her husband.

        Will Trent is a big man, over six feet, blonde and scarred both physically and mentally but is still very gentle and approachable. It makes a change to see this type of cop when the hard-bitten ones are usually more readable, if not likable. He has some secrets that come out in the book and adds a lot to the story, linking the unknown torturer with a man who despises torture of any kind.
        It could be said that Faith is another flawed female character in the vein of Lena Adams (from the first series). But Faith is a tough woman who just happens to have life giving her a raw deal just when she's recovering from older scars.
        The pairing of these two and their own absent life partners allows for some interesting interplay especially when it seems that Will is attracted to Sara. I expect to see some great plot development in Slaughter's next book.

        Of course it wouldn't be a good book without a real villain and this one is particularly nasty. Expect a lot of terror to freeze the blood because this is about one person's very ugly personality displaying the worst in terms of torture I've read about for a long time. Unlike such masterpieces of horror as Hannibal Lector fame, this is a fallible human, someone we can sensibly hate for the violence he inflicts on his (or maybe her?) victims.

        There are some lovely minor characters and some that will become more developed with further books (as I'm sure there is). It would be a plot spoiler to mention too many so I'll just say that Karin Slaughter uses her minor characters to great effect when plumbing the depths of her main characters.

        Other Thoughts.

        One thing I couldn't work out was the title and the plot development around a slight amount of biblical reference that spluttered out into nothing much at the end. It has some relevance but I think it's either a undeveloped plotline or a red herring. That's my only disappointment and certainly not enough to knock off a star. I mention it as some reader might wonder about it.

        This book should carry a health warning, 'liable to keep you awake,' or 'devilishly cunning.' (My own words). Others have written 'criminally spectacular' 'Brilliantly chilling' 'A superior, deeply satisfying thriller.' I like this one, 'the writing is lean and mean and the climax will blow you away.' I'd add that apart from the violence that is disturbing, the plot is hard to beat and I loved trying to guess 'whodunit.' I loved the characters and the fact that they aren't allowed to go stale or become too familiar, as some writers can make them.
        In the end I want a book to entertain and keep me in suspense. I enjoy knowing the characters but I don't particularly want to know all about their sex-life or what they have for dinner. This entertained me and kept me turning the pages as well as airing my brain. That can't be a bad thing, now?

        Highly Recommended.

        Prices vary from £5.92 and 2nd hand at 01p + packaging and post.

        ©Lisa Fuller. 2011.

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          13.09.2010 21:53
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          A gripping read!

          As an elderly couple are driving home at night a young woman runs into the road and is hit by their car. The young woman, Anna, is seriously injured and she is taken to Grant County Hospital where medical examiner Sarah Linton works. However it soon becomes clear that her injuries are not consistent with simply being knocked down and appear to have been inflicted by someone with an incredibly twisted mind.

          As the investigation commences Special Agent Will Trent of the Criminal Investigation Team discovers a torture chamber hidden deep below ground close to where the young woman was knocked down. Worryingly on inspection of the chamber it seems Anna is not the only victim of torture and they soon discover the body of another young woman nearby. Soon another two women go missing and all leads point to them being kidnapped by the same torturer. It becomes a race against time to find the two women before it's too late and the sadistic torturer strikes again.

          **My Opinion **
          This is not a genre that I normally read but I spotted Genesis in the Quick Picks section of my local library and thought I'd give it a go. The cover looks quite grim, with a bloody handcuff, alluding to the contents of the book. The book is written by Karin Slaughter and the first thing I thought was 'What a fantastic name for someone who writes gory crime novels!' And yes ... I did check - it is her real name!

          I found the story very easy to get into. The action kicked off right away and I was hooked! I think the author has a real gift for painting the scene and the first few chapters were very gory to say the least! In fact, if you're at all squeamish I wouldn't recommend this! I found myself shuddering at the descriptions of the injuries sustained by Anna and the contents of the torture chamber. You know when you're watching something scary on TV and you hide your face behind the pillow but still peep over it to see what's going on? Well that's how I felt when I was reading the first few chapters - I had one eye closed, hand clapped over my mouth in horror, but carried on reading with the other eye! I certainly wouldn't read it after dark if you've got an overactive imagination like I have!

          The main characters in the book are Will Trent, his work partner Faith and Sarah Linton, the medical officer. I initially thought that their characters were not very well developed as the author seemed to gloss over their personal life and issues they were facing, as if she was repeating something we should already know. It soon became clear that this was not the first book written featuring these characters and as they'd been introduced previously the glossing over made sense. I can't say that not having read the previous books detracted from my understanding of the story - it's just that I kept getting the feeling that I'd missed something along the way.

          The story itself was a very good one and one that I was gripped by. The plot was intricate and there were plenty of twists and turns along with an ending I just did not see coming! Several times I was led up the garden path only to have my theories quashed in the next chapter! However I did feel that although the start and ending were excellent the book did lose pace in the middle as Will and Faith piece together the clues. I did find myself losing interest but kept at it, as I wanted to know who the torturer was. The pace resumed about three quarters of the way through and the ending was brilliant, leaving me feeling very satisfied.

          Overall Genesis was a book I certainly enjoyed despite its grim nature. This was my first real venture into the crime genre and it's one that I will be revisiting as I look out for other works by this author. Recommended but with caution - this is not one for the faint hearted!

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            30.07.2010 22:31
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            Will & Sara in a story that is far from uninteresting

            *Introduction*

            It had been a while since I read a Karin Slaughter book, but recently I visited the local book store and found myself a nice 10 Pound offer of this book with the title "Genesis". As I was ready for a new thrilling read I decided to buy this book. Once I started, I couldn't stop! Hope you enjoy my review!

            *Karing Slaughter*

            The author of this book lives in Canada and has been a bestselling author for quite some years now. Karing Slaughter wrote 8 books in total and the first three books all were about Sara Linton (a mortician) and Police-detective Jeffrey Tolliver. Another serie of books was written as well, the so called "Grant County "series, with Will Trent (a police-officer) as the maind character. Slaughter has recently published a new book (not this one), named "Broken". Broken is the sequel of Genesis, so once you've read this book, you might want to order "Broken "as well (up to you, off course...)

            *The storyline*

            With this book, Karin Slaughter starts a new series of books, named the "Atlanta"series. Genesis is the first book from this serie and the fun part is, that Will Trent and Sara Linton both are main characters in this book. Sara has fleed from her hometown after something horrible has happened to her (you can find out what this is in the "Beyond reach"book published in 2007). Will Trent is still living his Atlanta life, and is still married to Angie, who seems to not be around at the beginning of the story. As Sara is working as a doctor in the Atlanta hospital and Will is bringing in his fainted colleague Faith, the two meet briefly. Shortly after this brief meeting, a woman is brought in. This women has been abused, starved and in very bad shape. The only thing she says in the first few minutes is her name, which is "Anna". But that's all. She is fighting for her life and Sara immedialty gets involved with the woman because she is her patient. Will Trent is the police - officer who is trying to find out what has happened to the woman that was brought in. It seems something more is going on, because while he is starting to investigate, another woman goes missing.....Sara and Will try to discover the ugly truth around this awful case of missing and abused women.

            *My opinion*

            Wow, I don't knwo why I've waited so long to read another Karin Slaughter book. This one is amazing, exciting, thrilling and a real page-turner! I really like the Trent & Linton combination, and the other characters in the book (Faith and Angie) are interesting as well. In the beginning of the book a lot is focussing on Sara and her past and how she deals with the things that have happened to her. But the detective - part of the book is also clearly described and because of a lot of weird situations that occur while the story develops, this book kept me going !

            A great and exciting book , a real must read!

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              28.05.2010 13:50
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              A must read for any crime thriller fan

              I find Karin Slaughter's books amazing and have yet to be disappointed. This book is certainly one of the best.

              This is the first book that brings together the characters from both of her previous series and is done in such a great way that it isn't corny and is very believable. Sara Linton is back in Atlanta and is working in the A&E department and struggling to come to terms with the death of her husband Jeffrey Toliver. This book really goes into depth about her feelings and the struggle to put her life back together and it makes you feel for Sara and makes her character even more likeable. Will Trent and Faith Mitchell are brought in when a girl is hit by a car and ends up in A&E showing signs of being tortured over a prolonged period of time.

              Karin Slaughter has managed to really develop each of the three main characters in this book, so much so that you are just a interested in what is happening in their personal lives as you are in the main plot involving the kidnapped and tortured women.

              This book is grisly and not for the faint hearted. The harm done to the victims is horrific and Karin doesn't hold back in providing disturbing details about this. It is fast paced and the author was certainly firing on all cylinders when she wrote this. You really won't be able to put this book down once you start and it leaves you desperate to read the next book in the series.

              This book is definitely dark and disturbing and leaves you guessing right until the end with various twists and turns in the plot.

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              08.05.2010 11:52
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              A great read if you can stomach it.

              I find Karin Slaughter's books to be very involving, especially her Grant County series with Sara Linton. What makes her books so interesting is the characters- they're all very individual and the way their stories weave together are so complex and intriguing that you find you are more interested in what is going on in their personal lives than the actual plot of the thriller itself.

              Recently, Karin took a very surprising twist to the end of one of her books. This book follows up on the aftermath and you get to find out how the main character is coping. Another very clever twist is that it actually ties up with two characters from a different series, Will Trent (one of the weirdest but most endearing people I've come across in any form of literature recently) and Faith Mitchell, two GBI agents who investigate murders.

              Sara is working at an A&E department where a girl who has been run over by a car is brought in. Soon it becomes very apparent that being hit by a car is the least of her worries, as she's been horrifically tortured. Now, this is where it gets grizzly- at times I found myself wondering why the heck people are so keen to read about such terrible violence against women. It seems the worse the ordeal, the more copies the book sells. We've seen rape and torture in Karin's books before, but nothing to top this, it's terrible and makes you wonder where she got her ideas from!

              Saying that, I kept reading, so I must be a bit of a pyscho too. I spent two days solid reading this story, unable to put it down save to eat or sleep. The main reason for this was to find out how the characters would end up- there are a few plotlines following each one and it's really interesting to see how the two series react to each other.

              The other fun thing about this was that the victims weren't passive. They were all terrible, self involved people who were out for themselves and would screw over other people to make the best of their situation. There are some other minor characters who you find yourself questioning whether they are good or bad people, and don't quite come up with a definitive answer, something refreshing.

              In a nutshell, not for the faint hearted, but if you like your thrillers gizzly and character based, this is a great read.

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