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by Karin Slaughter

Release Date: 7th Jul 2011
Publisher: Century
ISBN: 978 1 8460 5794 6
RRP: £18.99

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Yellow, Brown or Black? Which colour has it in for Evelyn?

If you’ve read the series to this point, you’ll know that Faith’s mother was investigated along with her Narcotics team for taking backhanders. Will Trent was responsible for running that investigation at Amanda Wagner’s insistence and he has always suspected that Evelyn wasn’t as squeaky clean as she was made out to be – Will has always believed that Evelyn was offered a way out: retirement. In Fallen, Evelyn’s past finally comes calling. Someone’s looking for payback and they’re willing to kill indiscriminately to make sure they get it.

Faith is returning from yet another lame seminar and looking forward to spending some quality time with her mother and young baby, Emma. The odd thing is: Evelyn Mitchell isn’t answering her phone. Trying to keep a lid on her growing paranoia, Faith simply has to get home as fast as she can. What greets her is terrifying: a bloody handprint, a blood-splattered kitchen, a dead man in her mother’s laundry room, no sign of her mother or her daughter, Emma – and two men in her mother’s room. One has a gun to the other’s head. It was a scenario that was never going to end well, but the questions it raises for Faith threaten to destroy her and her family.

Dr Sara Linton and Will Trent’s courtship dance continues but with definite signs of advancement. But this love tangle is far from light relief: not with Angie Trent twisting the knife in. The will-they-won’t-they question gets answered: they will! But with Will’s deep-seated insecurity and Sara’s understandable reluctance to interfere with a married man; the relationship looks headed for disaster before it’s really begun… right up until the final pages. You give a sigh of relief as Sara’s EQ (that’s Emotional Quotient) finally kicks into gear, and it dawns on her that Will might just need someone to fight for him – the big, loveable lug!

I love these characters; I love their flaws, vulnerability and fierce loyalty to one another. But Fallen isn’t the gripping read I was hoping for. The twist is neat enough: you certainly won’t see that coming. However, I reached the end and couldn’t help wondering what a lot of nonsense it all was. I’m no expert, but logic dictates that children are given up for adoption all the time, in the cases where they find loving homes, the likelihood of them turning into ultra-aggressive psychopaths hell-bent on murdering their biological mother is practically nil. Young gangbangers who show that level of unfettered violence would be put down by their bigger and elder selves; not left to their own devices and risk bringing too much unwanted attention to their seniors. Maybe I’m wrong – and all this is how it is in the ‘real’ world… but I doubt it. The need to put a pin in Evelyn’s supposed dirty-dealing as a cop is understandable, I just think there could have been a better way to set that particular question to rest.

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