Fallen is Karin Slaughter's latest novel and once again she carries forward the characters she has created in her past novels. Each of her books stands alone but it is an enhancement to the enjoyment of the story when you have read all the books that preceded the latest one. In this new book Karin is at her absolute best as she weaves a story of drama and danger while opening up two of the characters to a new romance.
The plot centers on Faith Mitchell who is a special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Her mother, who lives near her and helps take care of her small daughter Emma, is a retired member of the Atlanta Police Force. One day when Faith goes to collect Emma from her mother's house she finds strange people there and her mother missing. A shootout ensues and Faith has to call on all her special skills to stay alive.
Later Faith's partner Will Trent takes over the investigation of her mother's disappearance. Will also calls upon trauma doctor Sara Linton for assistance. These two along with Will's boss Amanda do everything they can to get Faith's mother back from what now has turned into a hostage situation.
When I read a Slaughter book the plot, no matter how good it is, is always secondary to the characters involved and Slaughter's writing style. Her talent is the equivalent of an Edgar Allan Poe or a Nathaniel Hawthorne. Yes her stories involve gore and horror, but she spins the words in such a way that there is beauty among the rubble. Some of the scenes between Will and Sara are as touching and tender as anything ever written about a blossoming romance.
Atlanta is the backdrop of this story, and the state of Georgia is usually involved in whatever tale she is telling. In Fallen Atlanta is as much of a character as Will, Sara or Faith. You see its underbelly and glimpse its dark areas. In some places it appears to be a locale going to seed, but in other places there is hope and prosperity to be found.
You can't dismiss the growth of Slaughter's talent. She has always been a good writer but of late she has become an exemplary storyteller, weaving her words with skill and intelligence. Fallen is a prime example of her talent.
Sometime in the future, college classes will be devoted to Slaughter's books and her writing skills will be dissected. She will be recognized as one of the great talents of the 21st century and will hold an honored place in the realm of world literature.
In the meantime get a copy of Fallen and have a worthwhile reading experience. Slaughter is one of our best contemporary authors.
Fallen is published by Delacorte Press. It contains 400 pages and sells for $26.00.