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Average: 3 (1 vote)

2labz's picture
Written on Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Cons: the main character seems overly obsessive

Macon, Georgia, was hoppin’ the other night, Lena Adams was, as usual, in the middle of it all. Jared, Lena’s husband, Jared, was shot in the back. Adams offed one of the attackers and was about to kill a second with a claw hammer when Will Trent stopped the action.

Jared underwent hours of surgery, even died a couple of times, while Trent headed home to Atlanta. Once there, he and Sara Linton, MD, pawed each other for a while; he dodged her questions about the undercover job of the moment: then he headed back to Macon. Before long Linton was in Macon, too: Jared was the illegitimate son of her twice-ex-husband Jeffery, the man she saw murdered before her eyes. Of course, Sara blamed his death entirely on her stepson’s wife: the reunion at the hospital was certain to be less than cuddly…

Adams was caught up in a mess, and had pulled Trent into the hunt for Macon’s newly-crowned redneck king of Oxycontin, a shadowy character who styled himself “Big Whitey.” With Linton in town, Lena couldn’t be sure who was the greater danger:  the doc or the druglord. That was even before everything became complicated…

Sometime over the past few installments, Georgia author Karin Slaughter merged her Grant County and Will Trent series into one. By the time readers reach Unseen, Grant County must have emptied out: Linton’s twice- husband Jeffery is dead, Lena’s  split for Macon, and Linton has gone back to Atlanta to hospital where she’d once been raped and left for dead. Some people got no luck…

No matter how tough she may be, Linton possesses a near-irrational detestation for Adams, a woman who isn’t exactly a paragon of rationality. Perhaps the only rational woman in the novel is Trent’s partner Faith Mitchell. You might expect all this feminine irrationality from a typical redneck male writer, but Slaughter’s not male (according to the her website, anyway). For unknown reasons, Linton seems unhinged about Trent’s failure to share details of his undercover job. He won’t even tell her where he’s working (though she soon learns on her own).

As is her habit, Slaughter uses numerous flashbacks to juggle the time, looking back to a recent drug raid that seriously shook Adams (for reasons left unstated through most of the book). In present day, Slaughter drops subtle hints about the drug kingpin’s identity, which turns out to be a surprise – although the book’s other “surprise” is no more unexpected than your average jack-in-the-box playing “Pop Goes the Weasel.” As mysteries go, Unseen is above average, peppered by obligatory plot twists and double-crosses; but the plot is weakened by a combination of Linton’s pique about Trent’s reticence and that all-consuming hatred for Adams. She really needs to give this vendetta a rest; or perhaps Slaughter can quit throwing them together so often.

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2labz recommends Unseen. Karin Slaughter

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Category: Books
Author: Karin Slaughter
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