Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bookish Thoughts: Unseen by Karin Slaughter

Unseen by Karin Slaughter
Delacorte Press, 2013
Crime Fiction; 400 pgs

From the Publisher:
Will Trent is a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent whose latest case has him posing as Bill Black, a scary ex-con who rides a motorcycle around Macon, Georgia, and trails an air of violence wherever he goes. The cover has worked and he has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer who thinks he might be a useful ally. But undercover and cut off from the support of the woman he loves, Sara Linton, Will finds his demons catching up with him.
Although she has no idea where Will has gone, or why, Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting: Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife, responsible: Lena, a detective, has been a magnet for trouble all her life, and Jared’s shooting is not the first time someone Sara loved got caught in the crossfire. Furious, Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it, and soon danger is swirling around both of them.

Unseen is the first novel I have read by Karin Slaughter, an author who I have been wanting to try for years.  It is a part of a series; however, the book stands well on its own. I had no trouble jumping right into the lives of the characters and following along on Will Trent's latest investigation.

The novel opens with Lena, a detective who has just undergone an intense Internal Affairs review of a raid gone wrong.  She'd recently suffered a terrible loss in her personal life as well, one that has impacted her relationship with her husband even further.  Suddenly men burst into her home and start shooting; her husband nearly dead.  It was a hell of an opening.  And one that set the tone for the rest of the book.  The intensity and suspense did not let up much in the pages to come.

It appears the Macon police are working on one crime and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations are working on another.  Somehow both seem to be connected.  As Will and his partner set out to untangle the mess in front of them, they uncover quite a few secrets.  

I took to Will right away.  He seems like a good man, hardworking and interested in justice.  I wasn't so sure about his girlfriend, Dr. Sara Linton.  I wanted to like her, and most of the time I did.  There were moments though I felt she passed judgement too quickly and wasn't as understanding as I assumed her character should be.  Lena was another tough nut to crack.  She was smart, but she was tough and too easily pushed people away.  I only have a few minor complaints in terms of character behavior, overall, but nothing to hurt my enjoyment of the book.  I never really fully understood the feud between Lena and Sara.  I thought Sara was being unfair to Lena much of the time.  But then, Lena, had her moment of meanness as well.  I can't help but think this is an area that would have been more clear had I read previous books and known their back stories.

There was quite a bit going on in the novel.  Karin Slaughter juggles several story lines in the air before tying everything together in a somewhat surprising ending.  I definitely will be reading more of Karin Slaughter's work in the future.  

Rating: * (Good +)

You can learn more about Karin Slaughter and her books on the author's website

Source: Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley.


© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

21 comments:

  1. I listened to one of her books and the narrator's accent just ruined it for me. I want to try one of her books in print now.

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    1. Kathy - I can see how that would be a problem. I wonder if that narrator narrates all her books.

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  2. I really enjoy this series, even though I haven't read them all. But in the several I have read, there is definitely history that makes up these personalities, and I guess I've come to expect their eccentricities. I think my favorite one was Criminal.

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    1. Sandy - I thought maybe it would help to know more about the backgrounds of the characters from previous books. I will have to go back and start from the beginning.

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  3. I've read her books before (I remember because of her name). I think I need to try Unseen too ^^

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    1. Eustacia - She's quite popular, I know. I am not sure why it took me so long to give her a try. Too many books and too little time!

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    2. I have the same problem! But it's a nice dilemma to have(;

      ^_^

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  4. I read my first Karin Slaughter just a few months ago. Not impressed with her writing, she couldn't compete with Kathy Reichs to whom I'd seen her compared, unlike yourself I'm not too sure if I'll be reading any more of her books.

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    1. Tracy - I've never read Reichs. I've heard good things about her books though.

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  5. I have read every single one except for when she puts out (.5) in-between novellas. I started with book #4, then backtracked and read them all in order. Used book stores were a good source for this.
    If someone wants to jump into the series mid-way do it when the Atlanta Series with Will Trent took over. It used to be called Grant County for the first half of the series. Not too necessary to read all unless you want background on the few characters that tagged along into this second series. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Rita - Thanks for the tip! One thing about jumping into series is not knowing the best place to start mid-ship. Beginning is always best, but sometimes it's not the most convenient when jumping in so late in the game.

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  6. I've never ready anything by the popular author, but I have a few in my stacks. I really need to give one of them a try! Thanks for the nudge!

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    1. Les - She's an author I'd been meaning to try for years. I'm glad to finally have been able to!

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  7. I've read one of her books but it's been such a long time. I think then I probably wasn't as much into crime fiction - I probably liked cozy mysteries more because the violence was a bit too much for me. I wonder if I would like this series more now. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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    1. Iliana - I didn't think there was a lot of violence in this particular book. Given Tracy's statement about comparisons being made between Reichs and Slaughter though, I can just imagine there may be quite a bit in others.

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  8. I haven't read much crime fiction in recent years; I used to read it a lot and liked it a lot. I really do need to pick one up more often.

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    1. Lisa - I probably read way too many crime fiction novels. It's one of my favorite genres. :-)

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  9. I have the very first one in the series to read, have had for a while on my shelf. I'm not sure why I haven't read it yet, so many people I know enjoy this series. Glad you enjoyed this one, and good to know it is still good some books into it. I'll be interested to see if I have the same reactions to the main characters (especially the females) that you do. Will you read more in the series, do you think, Wendy?

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    1. Susan - I might have the first of the series on my shelf too . . . I'll have to look. I'm so bad.

      I would like to read more in the series at some point.

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  10. I think that I *may* have read one of this author's books before but I'm honestly not for sure. This one sounds really good so if I haven't I will definitely be checking this author out. LOL! Sometimes there are just too many authors/books to keep track of :) Great review!

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    1. Samantha - You are so right, Sam! It's hard to keep track after awhile.

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