It’s a Mystery: Fractured, by Karin Slaughter

3.0 out of 5 stars Every parent’s nightmare

Fractured, a story about a murder/kidnapping/sex abuse case, is a police procedural concerned primarily with the relationship between the two detectives assigned to the horrific crime. Will Trent, a loner who was raised in an orphanage with the father of one of the victims. Faith Mitchell, the 30-something mother of a college freshman. Both relationship-challenged, both with significant personal issues, both intensely private about their thoughts and feelings. As they struggle to find the perpetrators, they must also struggle to work out an effective professional partnership.

The plot line is a solid one, but in solving the mystery, more reliance is placed upon coincidence than policing or evidence. It also bogged down in the middle sections, and the heavy repetition of some of the themes (dyslexia and the boorishness of the father, for instance) grew tiresome. But the author is skilled at writing dialogue and creating tension and drama without resorting to histrionics. With Fractured, she has created two new, sympathetic characters who have plenty of room to develop.

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