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Things Come Together in Karin Slaughter's Undone


Author Karin Slaughter is an acquired taste. Many readers find her plots too violently graphic, while others think she takes too many risks with her characters. Others, like me, find her writing fascinating and eagerly await each new book from her talented mind. Her latest novel, Undone, will once again prove to be too much for some readers but will be eagerly embraced by her devoted fans.

In the past Slaughter has used pediatrician/coroner Sara Walsh as the focus of her stories. In other books she has focused on Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Up to this point they have never appeared in the same book, but that changes with Undone.

As the story begins Sara has moved to Atlanta and is working at a hospital there. She is on duty when a woman is brought in who has been brutally attacked. Will also arrives as he is working the case. He is accompanied by his partner Faith Mitchell. Faith has some personal problems of her own that might need treatment but all that comes out later in the story.

Each of the main characters in Undone has gone through personal and emotional problems. Will Trent is dyslexic and can barely read, a fact he somehow manages to keep hidden. His partner Faith had a baby while still in her early teens and is only now pulling her life together and pursuing her dreams. Sara has gone through a death in her family and is still facing the confusion of her loss.

All of Slaughter's novels are written to stand alone, but there is a continuation of characters that enhances the readings. If you have read all of her books then your enjoyment quotient is above that of the casual reader who may read one, skip one, etc. In that way the cumulative impact is missed.

Having read all of them I now see a pattern and plan to the stories I did not see in the past. Slaughter is in total control of her plots and has a focus that is unwavering. This comes clear as the plot of Undone unfolds.

Undone is a story of pure evil, and of the effort made by heroic persons to contain it. It is violent and it is graphic to some extent, but it is also fascinating reading from beginning to end. Karin Slaughter is a major talent writing today and her novels get better and better as each new plot unfolds.

If you have not read this author in the past, take a chance and open up Undone. It is a book unlike any other you might read and it will give you hours of reading pleasure and mind challenges. This is a book you will remember long after you have closed its pages.

Undone is published by Delacorte Press. It contains 438 pages and sells for $26.00.