Karin Slaughter on Broken
For me, every novel begins with character rather than plot. I know something bad is going to happen, but the central question to every story I write is "how will my characters respond?" Over the years, I’ve certainly thrown some hard times at my Grant County characters. Jeffrey, Sara and Lena have changed a lot since Blindsighted, my first novel. They’ve seen hardship and adversity, grown together and grown apart. They have helped me explore the way crime can change not just people, but entire communities.
When I started writing about Will Trent in my Atlanta series, I wanted to take that exploration a step farther. As a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Will is generally called in when the local police either can’t handle or don’t want to deal with a case. Not only does he have to find the bad guy, he has to juggle the various egos already involved. This is certainly the situation in Broken, when Will is called into Grant County to investigate a possible suicide in police custody. He butts heads with Lena Adams and Frank Wallace, and uncovers a truth that most in the town do not want to see.
Bringing Will Trent into Sara Linton’s world was a fun challenge for me. With Undone, it was in many ways easy to put Sara in Atlanta. I live in the city, and the landscape is already painted for me. As a writer, I need only draw in the fine lines. Dropping Will into Grant County was a different challenge altogether. To work with an existing world that has developed over the course of eight books, to find new and interesting details for long-time readers, was a thrilling challenge to me. Finding a case that was as gripping as it was challenging was also an exciting rollercoaster ride. I hope my readers enjoy solving the crime--and watching the characters change along with it--as much as I did.
(Photo © Alison Rosa)
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Slaughter brings her Grant County and Atlanta characters together for a second time (after Undone) in this superb thriller. When Dr. Sara Linton returns home to Grant County, Ga., for Thanksgiving, she hopes to steer clear of the police, especially Det. Lena Adams, whom she blames for the murder of her husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver. Yet when college student Allison Spooner is found dead in a lake and a local boy, Tommy Braham, is arrested for the murder, Sara reluctantly agrees to consult. The investigation soon spirals out of control after Tommy dies in custody. When Sara calls in Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Will Trent from Atlanta to take over the case, the local police greet Will's arrival with suspicion. Will must weigh Sara's personal vendetta against Detective Adams with the facts of the case, which grow more confusing the deeper he digs into the small county's secrets. Slaughter keeps the emotional tension high throughout.
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