I've been reading crime fiction for almost as long as I've been reading. From a childhood addiction to Enid Blyton's [b:The Secret Seven|17496|The Secret Seven (The Secret Seven, #1)|Enid Blyton|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348701976s/17496.jpg|1389014] series and a similar French series, [b:Les six compagnons de la Croix Rousse|3251951|Les six compagnons de la Croix Rousse|Paul-Jacques Bonzon|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327594344s/3251951.jpg|3287104], I moved on to read my mother's entire collection of [a:Agatha Christie|123715|Agatha Christie|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1321738793p2/123715.jpg] novels when I was a teenager. The love of mysteries survived into adulthood and crime fiction has remained my favourite light reading genre, usually indulged in during the Christmas break, or when a writer whose series I've been following publishes a new book.
Karin Slaughter's one of those writers. I've been reading her for a number of years and I've particularly enjoyed her Will Trent series, which focuses on a detective who, having survived a horrific childhood, works with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Will is a sympathetic hero and the supporting characters are interesting. Slaughter writes good prose and plots well. The narrative contains descriptions of violence, but they are within (albeit at the limit of) my not particularly high tolerance level for such things. In this instalment the narrative structure includes flashbacks which have the potential to be confusing, although they create a number of mini-cliffhangers, which I presume was the reason the technique was used. Unfortunately, I identified the major baddie at about the halfway point. This was through a lucky guess rather than the application of any literary detective skills and consequently a bit disappointing. There were some surprises in there, though, so the novel was still a bit of a page-turner.
All of that said, this is not Slaughter's best offering and a long way from the best crime fiction I've ever read. I have a tendency to get sick of series and give up on them before their authors do. I'm not sick of this series yet and I'll be lining up to read the next instalment when it's published. But unless Slaughter really pulls something out of the bag, I can foresee a time when I'll no longer care about Will Trent and his friends and colleagues. However, crime fiction series are not exactly thin on the ground and I daresay when that happens I'll find another writer to entertain me. Good but not great, this was a 3-1/2 star read for me.