Broken is the second book in the Georgia series and is the twenty sixth book in my fifty book challenge.
Dr Sara Linton returns to Grant County for the first time since her husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver’s, death and her move to Atlanta. Upon arrival, things fall apart rapidly. Sara is drowning in memories of Jeffrey, and in a great deal of emotional pain. Detective Brad Stephens was stabbed while investigating a “suicide” of Allison Spooner and alcoholic interim police chief Frank Wallace was cut, too. Detective Lena Adams was there when the whole debacle went down, and Sara is furious that Lena seems to be permanently getting away with things that get other people hurt. After a few mysterious calls from a Julie Smith to go and see murder suspect Tommy Braham in prison, Sara finally relents and goes. However, when she gets there she finds that the mentally challenged nineteen-year-old man has committed suicide in jail after confessing his involvement with Lena.
In a fury, Sara calls Amanda Wagner at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who sends out Will Trent to investigate the accusations that are running rampant. Sara’s mother, Cathy Linton, gets strongly involved with finding out more about the married Mr Trent and what he is doing around her daughter. Will and Sara dance around each other, and Sara discovers Will’s dyslexic secret, which seems to make him angrier than anything. Before long, Will is sure that he is dealing with another dead college student, crooked cops and muddled, falsified stories. He is intent on getting to the bottom of it, no matter what Sara’s opinion is on Lena, and no matter what Lena’s story is. Frank Wallace seems guilty of something, but nobody seems to be talking, and the police force is being less than forthcoming with Will.
Will Will be able to figure out what is going on, and why there are dead students? Is it likely to be able to prove what happened to the deceased suspect in custody of Frank Wallace? How will Sara be able to deal with knowing that the police force is no longer the one that her husband ran? Will she be able to cope with her agonizing Thanksgiving return and Lena’s involvement with Jeffrey’s murder? Will Jeffrey and Angie Trent always be in the way of Will realizing his happiness and Sara’s moving on?
This book was so painful to read. It was always a sore point to see how Sara is struggling to move on from Jeffrey’s passing, but it is never really concentrated on so much. However, Broken kicks a mean punch, and Sara’s journey to letting go is a damn excruciating one, which we share with her. Jeffrey truly became a part of our lives, too, and it is a raw thing to go back and read about him, knowing that that is over. The uneasy flirtation between her and Will is sweet, though that, too, at times is a little difficult to read – both because it is uneasy as well as Jeffrey’s memory has not yet moved on, and there is always the issue of Angie Trent. The story itself was interesting, and I am still not a fan of Lena Adams – not since Blindsighted, no matter what. She is still lying, cheating and victimizing after all these years. Sara’s strained return to the family was tangible, and I liked how the book dealt partly with Sara and her experiences as well as Will and his experiences. Karin Slaughter impresses yet again.