Broken is the title of Karin Slaughter’s latest novel, and that word can also describe the personal lives of the two main characters or even the corrupt police force in the small South Georgia town where the story takes place. Sadly, “broken” also describes the connection here between Slaughter’s talent for spinning a tale and the act of putting words on paper.
Broken teams two sleuths who have marital issues, so to speak. The GBI agent is estranged from his wife; the doctor has just become a widow. Through a mutual acquaintance - and a bit of coincidence - they team up to figure out who killed a local college student and why the main suspect appears to have committed suicide under the watch of a questionable police officer.
The story line moves along nicely and the plot contains the typical twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The key word in the previous sentence is ‘typical.’ There is nothing very remarkable about Broken. Karin Slaughter has written memorable novels before (try Triptych), but this is not one of them.
Except for fans of Slaughter’s Grant County series, most readers will find the formulaic plot and flat characters a losing combination.
Pros: Well-paced plot; a few scenes with excellent dialog.
Cons: Plot seems familiar or formulaic; characters are rather two-dimensional and, quite frankly, unlikeable.
Bottom line: Slaughter is having an off day. NOT RECOMMENDED.