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Broken: A Novel (Grant County) Hardcover – June 22, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 342 customer reviews
Book 4 of 7 in the Will Trent/Atlanta Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Series: Grant County
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; 1 edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385341970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385341974
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Karin Slaughter is a New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author. She is a native of Georgia.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Karin Slaughter brings together some of her most memorable characters in "Broken," her latest thriller. Twenty-one year old Allison Spooner is at the end of her rope. She is short of money, her boyfriend has disappointed her, and her rusted-out hulk of a car is on its last legs. She is struggling to keep up with her college classes at Georgia's Grant Tech while earning a pittance as a waitress in a diner. Sadly, her dream of escaping her tedious life is shattered when an unknown assailant attacks and kills her.

Lena Adams, the senior detective on call, is summoned to the scene. At first, it appears that Spooner may have killed herself, but new evidence points to murder. Lena's boss, interim chief of police Frank Wallace, is not much help. He has been drinking heavily, and his mind is clearly elsewhere. When Wallace, Adams, and Detective Brad Stephens travel to the address where the victim allegedly lived, they discover a possible suspect. What follows is a series of blunders that lead to disaster both for the person taken into custody and the cops who arrest him.

To make matters more complicated, Dr. Sara Linton, who is a pediatrician, medical examiner, and the widow of the former police chief, Jeffrey Tolliver, is visiting her family for Thanksgiving. Sara despises Lena, whom she blames for her late husband's death, and would prefer never to lay eyes on the detective ever again. She acidly tell someone that Lena is "never held accountable for anything. She always manages to slither back under her rock." When Special Agent Will Trent from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is assigned to look into Allison Spooner's death, he teams up with Sara, whose expertise proves to be invaluable.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dr. Sara Linton is in Heartsdale, Georgia visiting her family for Thanksgiving. Being back home from Atlanta stirs up conflicted emotions. The wound of her dead husband, Heartsdale's former police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, is still fresh. She blames Detective Lena Adams for creating the circumstances that lead to his murder four years earlier.

A homicide ruins Sara's plans to keep a low profile while in town. Someone tried to make the murder of a female college student look like a suicide, but Lena turns up clues that reveal a different story. The evidence leads Sara, interim chief Frank Wallace and rookie officer Brad Stephens to the student's garage apartment, where they surprise Tommy Braham.

A lot of things are broken in Grant County, including the local police department. Wallace is a raging drunk. Tommy's arrest was a catastrophe of epic proportions and the confession Lena obtained was probably coerced. Tommy has a low IQ and is highly suggestible. The case probably won't stand up in court, and that was before someone started tampering with the evidence.

In custody, Tommy plunges into depression and begs to see Sara, who used to be his pediatrician. By the time she gets to the jail, Tommy has killed himself. Rather than going through channels, Sara reaches out directly to GBI agent Will Trent to investigate the circumstances surrounding Tommy's death. Sara sees the situation as a chance to exact her revenge revenge on Lena.

Will knows he won't be welcomed with open arms, and he's right. The local police dig in their heels, hide evidence and generally refuse to cooperate with his investigation. To make matters worse, he ends up staying at Sara's domineering mother's house, leading to rumors that he's sleeping with Sara.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a great feeling it is to discover another great author! This is the first book that I have read by Karin Slaughter, but certainly not my last!

I had a tough time putting this book down. An outstanding story teller, Karin Slaughter knows how to keep a reader spellbound and on the edge of his seat frantically turning pages.

The story begins with Georgia Grant Tech College Student Allison Spooner's surprising murder at a lake in Heartland as she contemplates suicide mourning her breakup with her boyfriend Jason Howell.

Likeable, mentally disabled Tommy Braham is the prime suspect after he runs from what is believed to be the scene of the murder and accidentally stabs police detective Brad Stevens in the stomach with a letter opener. His confession and subsequent suicide seals the deal for arresting officer Senior Detective Lena Adams.

Lena, as policewoman thought to be overzealous, having a problem with following proper police protocol and a propensity of bending the truth is protected by her alcoholic Acting Chief of Police Frank Wallace who has dark secrets and skeletons in his own closet.

Coming home from Alabama for Thanksgiving, former County Coroner and Hartsdale Children's Clinic Director Dr. Sara Linton, wife of Jeffery Tolliver, murdered former Grant County Police Chief blames Lena for his death and becomes involved in the case with an agenda to make Lena pay for her transgressions.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Will Trent is called to investigate the murder following, Acting Chief of Police Frank Wallace and Senior Detective Lena Adam's apparent dubious and obstructive behavior in the case.
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