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Broken: A Novel (Will Trent) Paperback – March 1, 2016
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"Unspeakable Things" by Jess Lourey
Inspired by a terrifying true story from the author’s hometown, a heart-pounding novel of suspense about a small Minnesota community where nothing is as quiet—or as safe—as it seems. | Learn more
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“This chilling mystery is just begging to be read in one sitting.”—Cosmopolitan
“Move over, Catherine Coulter—Slaughter may be today’s top female suspense writer.”—Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
- Publisher : Dell (March 1, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1101887443
- ISBN-13 : 978-1101887448
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.15 x 1.12 x 7.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #39,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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BROKEN (2010) is Book 4 in the Will Trent Series. Special Agent Trent of the GBI is called in to solve a murder mystery in Grant County, the home of Sara Linton.
BROKEN is a significant installment in Slaughter's new series about the story of Will Trent in that the author is now solidly focused on the new trajectory which brings Will into the same orbit as Sara, this time closer in that the backdrop is Grant County, home and repository of all Sara's memories of her incomparable husband, the indomitable Jeffrey Tolliver.
There is a point in the book where Sara comes face to face with the ruthless villain, and the two of them are accidentally plummeted into the raging river behind the pediatric clinic. She must overcome the clutches of a vicious sociopath while simultaneously fight against the flood which is fiercely carrying her downstream. In my opinion, this scene is the climax of the novel.
I love this passage in the book, which is a reflection of the writer's genius. "...the river had a voice...it was okay to let go...she just wanted to give in...Jeffrey was waiting for her". I do not interpret this sentiment in a religious sense, because Sara clarifies this for us when she identifies it as "...a place...where the thought of him, the memor(ies) of him...did not open like a fresh wound every time she breathed". We know that Sara has previously expressed that Jeffrey had ruined her for any other man. Her obsession for Jeffrey is consuming Sara's whole being. "...she let herself feel the luxury of surrender just one more second before she forced herself back to the surface...she clawed her way up the rough surface of the stone. The water gripped her like a million hands...but she fought with every fiber of her being..." Sara chooses life over an escape in death. This is a powerful narrative that has the reader holding his/her breath along with Sara. She miraculously escapes the jaws of the raging river current but when she puts her hand to her neck it is naked. The necklace with Jeffrey's ring is gone...the talisman that tethered Sara to the netherworld where Jeffrey roamed larger than life.
Sara recognizes her near-death experience in the river as an act orchestrated by Jeffrey's spirit, effectively severing the unbreakable bond that had chained her earthly body and immortal soul to the ghost of the man who had loved her in the mortal plane. The meaning is clear when Sara whispers to Jeffrey "Thank you for letting me go". Sara not only chooses life over an escape in death, but also embraces Jeffrey's unselfish act to set her free to feel love for someone else again.
It is apparent that Sara does not embrace religion nor accept any form of solace that has been offered through this channel. But ...as an unbiased reader of the drama that unfolded and literally encompassed her...we must recognize and acknowledge that her escape from a watery tomb was nothing short of miraculous. In my opinion, this perception of the events is echoed by a shell-shocked Will Trent ["...(he) wouldn't have been surprised to see her walk on water..." (after her survival in the raging river]". There is an image of Sara which is seared into Will's consciousness. "...though he felt the cold sweat come back like a sudden rain. He couldn't get the image out of his mind of Sara standing on top of that rock". This was a surreal experience for Will...a perception of his that seems to almost embody Sara with a supernatural ability.
It is important for the reader to remember that Sara and Will shared this traumatic fork in the road which left Sara victorious over a cold-blooded killer --- and somehow standing on a large rock which parts the raging waters hammering the boulder beneath her feet. She is free of the chains that bind her for the very first time ... and it is a bewildered Will Trent that stands on the shore holding a lifeline.
The title of this book seems to be a reference to the infamous "six-year rule" in children's homes throughout the country. At its very core, it is the assumption that at age six, the child has already been "broken". Will was most assuredly a victim of this "six-year rule" as he explains the reason why that he was never adopted to Sara Linton. Will has already recognized that Sara is kind, unlike any other woman in his life. She recognized that he was dyslexic early on in the novel, but when Will shows up at her door in the middle of the night with Allison's journal he is physically and emotionally fatigued, dejected and feeling vulnerable and useless. He opens up to Sara and lays bare his emotions and his personal demons, including what he perceives to be his personal failure.
I have not reviewed this book from the perspective of the story line or plot per se, but rather what I perceive to be the meat of this riveting, fast-paced page-turner. Slaughter never disappoints. I actually read this book before, when I was traveling extensively and rented audio books by the ton. I understand now that I was (of course) renting what was available and making no effort to read the books in the order they were written/released. I am now correcting that issue and reading the Will Trent Books in order. There is no need to address the mystery-suspense aspect of this sensational installment. Essentially Sara has returned to Grant County for Thanksgiving to see her family. She finds herself unwittingly involved in the murder of a pretty young college student, and the suicide death of the victim's alleged killer housed in a jail cell after his arrest and confession. Lena is suggested to be the primary culprit in the wrongdoings at the police department. Sara quickly clamors loudly for the GBI to get involved, primarily I must say for purely personal reasons.
Meanwhile Will is minding his own business back in big city Atlanta, sans wife Angie of course, trying to work on fixing his sewage system without professional help. Will is on his very first vacation ever, but subsequent to a call from his boss Amanda, he is abruptly dropped into the middle of small town Georgia, assigned the task of unraveling the lies and investigating the murder and mayhem threatening to tear the police force apart and menace the population of Grant County.
This book is an outstanding installment in the Will Trent series that simply should not be missed. I loved reading it again after all these years. However, I now realize the critical importance of the interactions between the key characters, and especially the flawed GBI Special Agent Will Trent. I feel myself being pulled in to his story in an incredibly powerful way.
Sara is back in Grant County. She's visiting her family through the holidays. She has not been back in almost four years.
Shortly after her arrival, the body of a young woman is found in the ice. The man suspected of her death, asks for Sara's help. At first, Sara wants nothing to do with it but she believes something is going on with the police department, especially with Detective Lena Adams. She calls the GBI in.
Will who's on vacation is called by his boss, Amanda Wagner. She wants him to go to Grant County and find out the truth about the murder and to look into what the police department is hiding.
Will knows this is personal for Sara. Yet, his gut instinct is telling him that there's something wrong with the police department. It's not the same as when Chief Tolliver was handling it. Frank is the interim chief and he and his detectives are not welcoming or helpful.
Broken was bittersweet. We see Grant County through Sara and Lena's eyes. Losing Jeffrey has brought nothing good to the town. Both women can't wait to leave it.
Lena has stayed behind because the town represents Jeffrey. Lena is in a relationship. A healthy one which is a shock. I guess she finally learned her lesson. Lena is more mature and less inclined to blame others for her mistakes. She still makes them but at least she's able to point the finger at herself. I was surprised to see her being helpful to Will. I mean she still kept things from him but she was not as bad as 4 years ago.
“He was playing chess and she was sucking at checkers.”
Will is amazing in this one too. He's able to follow the crumbs to find the truth. Once he realizes something is off, Will is too stubborn to let it go.
It was so tough to see Sara back in her hometown. Her devastation and pain were there for anyone to see. Some of the scenes brought tears to my eyes. I continue to root for Sara and Will. I think they can make a great couple.
I found it refreshing to see Sara's sister Tessa in a happy marriage and starting a family. Tessa had it rough too and she has earned some happiness. I love Sara and Tessa's relationship. They are truly siblings.
“Tessa reached out and took her hand. “Can I tell you something?”
“As long as it’s not advice on chasing after a married man.”
Top reviews from other countries
Linton comes back to Grant County, to find someone's dead, and the suspected killer in custody. Things don't sit well with her, however (it's not how her husband would have done things, darn-it), so she sticks her nose into things, to get things headed down the right path.
Lena Adams is the lead detective till Will Trent is brought in. He's a detective with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (Georgia's equivalent of the FBI). He's unimpressed with the way things are going down, but cruddy, run down, police departments gotta redneck, so there's a battle between Trent, and Adams. I like Trent, he's presented as a good detective, but this book read like the author wanted us to feel sorry for him. He's severely dyslexic. So dyslexic, in fact, that he's portrayed as barely literate. As someone who's dyslexic, I found it insulting (it's hard to believe, but us dyslexics are taught how to manage the situation, even those who went to school years ago), and beggars the question "How did Trent become a senior investigator with the GBI, if he's functionally illiterate?"
The other thing is Adams. It read to me that we weren't supposed to like her either. She's obviously... from the wrong side of the tracks, with a bad upbringing, and a whole heap of bad choices in her past, but she's actually likeable, because she's a sticker. She turns up. She can try hard, when she's encouraged to, and is the most recognisable "flawed hero" in the book. Yes she's a hot mess, but I've not read a book where I've not rooted for her. This said, the book seems to want us to dislike her.
So, in short, we've 3 main characters, one is holier than thou, while the 2 characters I did like I suspect we're supposed to pity maybe? This said, there is a good mystery at the heart of the book, when the detectives are allowed to detect, and that makes it readable.
I like the way the writer paces out the plot. Even putting quite a portion of the book to build up the characters, to let readers know them better. I appreciate it a lot.
I get to know their feelings toward each other. That makes each character comes alive. Not just reading a book thinking that they are fictional. Each one appears so real.
After this second book by the author, I kinda like Will, the main protagonist. I get to know him better. Being a six footer and dyslexic, although he has not been properly diagnosed, he is intuitively sensitive and exceptionally intelligent.
I’m going to read more of this author’s work. I like it.
However I am glad that I have come back to these books.
Sara Linton left Grant County after her husband was killed on the job. She has always blamed Lena Adams a young cop who according to Sara froze in dicey situations and led Jeffrey to his death.
Now, Sara has come back home for a break, home to her parents house and her sister who is just about to have a baby. On the first evening Frank the new Chief of Police and someone Sara has known all her life asks her to come to the station and look at a young boy, who has been arrested for attempted murder and won't stop crying. Sara goes and finds that the young boy has killed himself, after being charged with the murder of a girl friend, and attempted murder of a policeman whilst avoiding arrest.
However, not is what it seems, and when Sara calls in a favour from the Bureau Will Trent appears - is Lena truly guilty of everything she has been charged with by Sara, or are there other demons lurking in the closets of this small town?