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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 youíve read the series to this point, youíll know that Faithís mother was investigated along with her Narcotics team for taking backhanders. Will Trent was responsible for running that investigation at Amanda Wagnerís insistence and he has always suspected that Evelyn wasnít as squeaky clean as she was made out to be Ė Will has always believed that Evelyn was offered a way out: retirement. In Fallen, Evelynís past finally comes calling. Someoneís looking for payback and theyíre 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 isnít 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 motherís laundry room, no sign of her mother or her daughter, Emma Ė and two men in her motherís room. One has a gun to the otherís 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 Trentís 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-wonít-they question gets answered: they will! But with Willís deep-seated insecurity and Saraís understandable reluctance to interfere with a married man; the relationship looks headed for disaster before itís really begunÖ right up until the final pages. You give a sigh of relief as Saraís EQ (thatís Emotional Quotient) finally kicks into gear, and it dawns on her that Will might just need someone to fight for him Ė the big, loveable lug!

I love these characters; I love their flaws, vulnerability and fierce loyalty to one another. But Fallen isnít the gripping read I was hoping for. The twist is neat enough: you certainly wonít see that coming. However, I reached the end and couldnít help wondering what a lot of nonsense it all was. Iím 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 Iím wrong Ė and all this is how it is in the Ďrealí worldÖ but I doubt it. The need to put a pin in Evelynís 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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