UNSEEN

Written by Karin Slaughter

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/


UNSEEN
Random House
RRP: £18.99
Released: 7th July 2013
Hbk
Unseen is the seventh book in the Will Trent series, and the lives of the characters are intertwined in such a complex way that it is hard to follow if you’ve not read all the books in sequence.  Sara Linton’s husband was Jeffrey Tolliver, a cop killed on a job.  His partner at the time was Lena Adams.  Sara still blames Lena for Jeffrey’s death.  Lena is now married to Jeffrey’s son Jared.  Confused?  I was, but I have not read any of the earlier books.

The feud between Sara and Lena seemed to be the main focus of the story, and to be honest I thought Sara was being unnecessarily hard on Lena.  We keep being told that Lena is a thoroughly unlikeable person, and her incompetence at her job is what got Jeffrey killed, but to be honest I didn’t see that.  Lena came across in this book as being quite sympathetic.  She fears her marriage is breaking down, and has gone through a recent miscarriage.  When her husband is shot and left fighting for his life, Lena realises how empty her life would be without him and I did feel rather sorry for her.  When she confides her fears of this to Sara, Sara’s response of “good; now you know how it feels” seemed extraordinarily bitchy.  But I came to this novel without the back story of the feud from the previous novels, and I think I lost something because of this.

The main plot of this novel – when you can dig it out from beneath the Sara/Lena feud – involves who attacked Lena and Jared in their home, and it ties in to the case that Will is working undercover on (taking on the persona of a particularly nefarious criminal, in order to get close to a drugs baron).  It is thrilling and engrossing, with a surprising twist at the end, but too much time is spent on the character plot and not enough on the thriller plot.

My advice to anyone wanting to read this book would be to start with the first Karin Slaughter book and read them in order.  An emotional investment in the characters seems to be assumed when going into this novel, and that will only be achieved by understanding the complete back story.

 

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