Tuesday, June 21, 2011

FALLEN - Karin Slaughter

First line: "Faith Mitchell dumped the contents of her purse onto the passenger seat of her Mini."

GBI Agent Faith Mitchell returned home late from a training seminar to find her four-month-old daughter locked in a shed, her mother missing, and a man being held at gun-point in her mother's house. Forced into a life-threatening situation, Faith shot and killed both men, the only people who could tell her where her mother was. As Faith, Amanda Wagner and Will Trent begin to uncover clues in an attempt to rescue Faither's mother, Evelyn, the evidence points them back to Evelyn's tainted career in the NARC squad of the Atlanta Police Department.

FALLEN is the third book in the "Georgia" series that combined the characters from Slaughter's "Grant County" and "Atlanta" series. In addition to combining the series, Slaughter has combined all the best elements of her writing to create a captivating, exciting crime novel.

I've always been a fan of Sara Linton. While she's a smart, beautiful woman, she's also awkward and quirky. She can't cook and she loves dogs. There are so many details about her character that draw the dimensions of a real person. Likewise, Will Trent, with his extremely unmasculine chihuahua, dysfunctional marriage and dyslexia, breaks all the stereotypes of the law enforcement hero. These are the kind of characters that make a story rich, that entice readers to engage with that story.

Second only to her characters is Slaughter's ability to tell a good story. The plot is action-packed with strong twists that add to the layers of complexity and keep the reader turning pages - or in my case they kept me listening to the audio. Bad things happen in Karin Slaughter's books; that's no secret, but her novels also drive the reader to seek justice for the characters.

The final element that is a definite stand-out in FALLEN, as all of Slaughter's novels before this, is the author's humor. She incorporates a dark, kind of dry humor that catches the reader off guard at times. It works to create Slaughter's signature style and adds to the enjoyment of the novels.

I listened to FALLEN on audio as part of AudioGo's blog tour for the novel. I was excited to be asked to participate because I've enjoyed Karin Slaughter's work for years now. But the greatest surprise was the narrator of this audiobook, Shannon Cochran. This is my first experience hearing Cochran narrate and I have to say I may have found a new favorite female narrator. She does an exceptional job with both genders, with the tone of the novel, the humor. She understands what Slaughter is trying to accomplish. Her reading helped me to lose myself in the story as I was driving, working out, working in the yard. I would look forward to listening and find reasons to extend whatever task allowed me to listen. The other effect I discovered was my tendency to start elongating my vowel sounds after I would listen to a section of the audio. Cochran's dialect is authentic and consistent. This is definitely an audiobook experience I recommend to crime fiction fans.

I'm very excited that I was able to kick off this blog tour. I'm not always able to give rave reviews on a blog tour because I commit to being honest about my reactions to a book. But with FALLEN, I highly recommend not only the book but the audio experience as well. It's dark and gritty with fantastic characters and an action-packed plot.

FALLEN is available starting today from Delacorte Press in print (ISBN: 978-0345528209), and the audio is available from AudioGo (ISBN: 978-1609982645).

I'm very excited because I have an AMAZING giveaway sponsored by the generous people at AudioGo. In an effort to keep this post readable, I'm going to have a second post a little later today with the details for that giveaway as well as short chat with Karin Slaughter. So, check back for that. In the meantime, the remainder of this audiobook tour is:

6/23/2011 -- Book Addict Reviews
6/28/2011 -- Dew on the Kudzu
6/30/2011 -- Beth Fish Reads
7/06/2011 -- Girls in the Stacks


Kay June 21, 2011 at 8:38 AM  

I'm listening to audio of this book too and may I say I love it! Karin Slaughter is a definite favorite of mine and so I would be reading this one anyway. I'll be back soon to give my thoughts on the book and audio. They will be positive I know.

Coffee and a Book Chick June 21, 2011 at 9:55 PM  

I loved sitting in the audience for the Audio Tea at BEA last month since Karin Slaughter was one of the speakers. She is so dang cool, and I drooled over the idea of rushing back and picking up one of her books. This is a good reminder to listen to this audio since I picked up a copy at BEA!

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