Fallen (Will Trent Series #5)

Fallen (Will Trent Series #5)

by Karin Slaughter

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“A complex, gripping and deadly serious novel that reflects anew Slaughter's abundant talent.”—The Washington Post
“An amazing effort . . . This is [Karin] Slaughter’s best book to date, and readers unfamiliar with her work will find this one a perfect place to begin.”—Associated Press
There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain above the knob. Everything Faith learned in the academy goes out the window when she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room, a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her mother. When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions. She’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and trauma doctor Sara Linton to get some answers. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore, she’s a witness—and a suspect. To find her mother, Faith will have to cross the thin blue line and bring the truth to light—or bury it forever.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Karin Slaughter's Unseen.
“An absolute master . . . Slaughter creates some wonderfully complex and mature female characters, a distinctive achievement in the world of thrillers.”—Chicago Tribune
“Slaughter has always known how to pace the suspense in her stellar crime novels, but she really outdoes herself here. . . . [She] reveals the heart and soul of her characters within a highly choreographed, unrelentingly suspenseful plot.”—Booklist (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345528223
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/21/2011
Series: Will Trent Series , #5
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 3,879
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Karin Slaughter is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of numerous thrillers, including Cop Town, Unseen, Criminal, Fallen, Broken, Undone, Fractured, Beyond Reach, Triptych, Faithless, and the e-original short stories “Snatched” and “Busted.” She is a native of Georgia.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt



            Faith Mitchell dumped the contents of her purse onto the passenger seat of her Mini, trying to find something to eat.  Except for a furry piece of gum and a peanut of dubious origin, there was nothing remotely edible.  She thought about the box of nutrition bars in her kitchen pantry, and her stomach made a noise that sounded like a rusty hinge groaning open.
The computer seminar she’d attended this morning was supposed to last three hours, but that had stretched into four and a half thanks to the jackass ion the front row who kept asking pointless questions.  The Georgia Bureau of Investigation trained its agents more often than any other agency in the region.  Statistics and data on criminal activities were constantly being drummed into their heads.  They had to be up -to -date on all of the latest technology.  They had to qualify at the range twice a year.  They ran mock raids and active shooter simulations that were so intense that for weeks after, Faith couldn’t go to the bathroom in the middle of the night without checking shadows in doorways. Usually, she appreciated the agency’s thoroughness.  Today, all she could think about was her four-month- old baby, and the promise Faith had made to her mother that she would be back no later than noon.

            The clock on the dash read ten after one o’clock when she started the car.  Faith mumbled a curse as she pulled out of the parking lot in front of the Panthersville Road headquarters.  She used Bluetooth to dial her mother’s number.  The car speakers gave back a static-y silence.  Faith hung up and dialed again.  This time, she got a busy signal.  
Faith tapped her finger on the steering wheel as she listened to the bleating.  Her mother had voicemail.  Everybody had voicemail.  Faith couldn’t remember the last time she’d heard a busy signal on the telephone.  She had almost forgotten the sound.  There was probably a crossed wire somewhere at the phone company.  She hung up and tried the number a third time.  
Still busy.

            Faith steered with one hand as she checked her Blackberry for an email from her mother.  Before Evelyn Mitchell retired, she had been a cop for just shy of four decades.  You could say a lot about the Atlanta force, but you couldn’t claim they were behind the times.  Evelyn had carried a cell phone back when they were more like purses you strapped around your shoulder.  She’d learned how to use email before her daughter had.  She’d carried a Blackberry BlackBerry  for almost fifteen years.

But, she hadn’t sent a message today.  

Faith checked her cell phone voicemail.  She had a saved message from her dentist’s office about making an appointment to get her teeth cleaned, but there was nothing new.  She tried her phone at home, thinking maybe her mother had gone there to pick up something for the baby.  Faith’s house was just down the road from Evelyn’s.  Maybe Emma had run out of diapers.  Maybe she’d needed another bottle.  Faith listened to the phone ring at her house, then heard her own voice answer, telling callers to leave a message.

            She ended the call.  Without thinking, she glanced into the back seat.  Emma’s empty car seat was there.  She could see the pink liner sticking out over the top of the plastic.  
            “Idiot,” Faith whispered to herself.  She dialed her mother’s cell phone number.  She held her breath as she counted through three rings.  Evelyn’s voicemail picked up.

            Faith had to clear her throat before she could speak.  She was aware of a tremor in her tone.  “Mom, I’m on my way home.  I guess you took Em for a walk …”  . . .”  Faith looked up at the sky as she merged onto the interstate.  She was about twenty minutes outside of Atlanta and could see fluffy white clouds draped like scarves around the skinny necks of skyscrapers.  “Just call me,” Faith said, worry needling the edge of her brain.

            Grocery store.  Gas station.  Pharmacy.  Her mother had a car seat identical to the one in the back of Faith’s car.  She was probably out running errands.  Faith was over an hour late.  Evelyn would’ve taken the baby and …  . . .  Left Faith a message that she was going to be out.  The woman had been on call for the majority of her adult life.  She didn’t go to the toilet without letting someone know.  Faith and her older brother, Zeke, had joked about it when they were kids.  They always knew where their mother was, even when they didn’t want to.  Especially when they didn’t want to.

            Faith stared at the phone in her hand as if it could tell her what was going on.  She was aware that she might be letting herself get worked up over nothing.  The landline could be out.  Her mother wouldn’t know this unless she tried to make a call.   Her cell phone could be switched off or charging or both.   Her Blackberry BlackBerry could be in her car or her purse or somewhere she couldn’t hear the tell-telltale vibration.  Faith glanced back and forth between the road and her Blackberry BlackBerry as she typed an email to her mother.  She spoke the words aloud as she typed—
            “On-my-way.  Sorry-I’m-late.  Call-me.”

She sent the email, then tossed the phone onto the seat along with the spilled items from her purse.  After a moment’s hesitation, Faith popped the gum into her mouth.  She chewed as she drove, ignoring the purse lint clinging to her tongue.  She turned on the radio, then snapped it back off.  The traffic thinned as she got closer to the city.  The clouds moved apart, sending down bright rays of sunshine.  The inside of the car began to bake. 

Ten minutes out, Faith’s nerves were still one edge, and she was sweating from the heat in the car.  She cracked the sunroof to let in some air.  This was probably a simple case of separation anxiety.  She’d been back at work for a little over two months, but still, every morning when Faith left Emma at her mother’s, she felt something akin to a seizure take hold.  Her vision blurred.  Her heart shook in her chest.  Her head buzzed as if a million bees had flown into her ears.  She was more irritable than usual at work, especially with her partner, Will Trent, who either had the patience of Job or was setting up a believable alibi for when he finally snapped and strangled her.

Faith couldn’t recall if she had felt this same anxiety with Jeremy, her son, who was now a freshman in college.  Faith had been eighteen when she entered the police academy.  Jeremy was three years old by then.  She had grabbed onto the idea of joining the force as if it was the only life preserver left on the Titanic.  Thanks to two minutes of poor judgment in the back of a movie theater and what foreshadowed a lifetime of breathtakingly bad taste in men, Faith had gone straight from puberty to motherhood without any of the usual stops in between.  At eighteen, she had relished the idea of earning a steady paycheck so that she could move out of her parents’ house and raise Jeremy the way that she wanted.  Going to work every day had been a step toward independence.  Leaving him during the day had seemed like a small price to pay.

Now that Faith was thirty-four, with a mortgage, a car payment, and another baby to raise on her own, she wanted nothing more than to move back into her mother’s house so that Evelyn could take care of everything.  She wanted to open the refrigerator and see food that she didn’t have to buy.  She wanted to turn on the air conditioner in the summer without worrying about having to pay the bill.  She wanted to sleep until noon, and then watch TV all day.  Hell, while she was at it, she might as well resurrect her father, who’d died eleven years ago, so that he could make her pancakes at breakfast and tell her how pretty she was.

No chance of that now.  Evelyn seemed happy to play the role of nanny in her retirement, but Faith was under no illusion that her life was going to get any easier.  Her own retirement was almost twenty years away.  The Mini had another three years of payments and would be out of warranty well before that.  Emma would expect food and clothing for at least the next eighteen years, if not more.  And it wasn’t like when Jeremy was a baby and Faith could dress him in mismatched socks and yard sale hand-me-downs.  Babies today had to coordinate.  They needed BPA-free bottles and certified organic applesauce from kindly Amish farmers.  If Jeremy got into the architectural program at Georgia Tech, Faith was looking at six more years of buying books and doing his laundry.  Most worryingly, her son had found a serious girlfriend.  An older girlfriend with curvy hips and a ticking biological clock.  Faith could be a grandmother before she turned thirty-five.

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Fallen 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 339 reviews.
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
This is my third book that I have read by Karin Slaughter and like with the others could not put it down.
Perry_Mason More than 1 year ago
Without revealing the plot let me say that this book is an excellent read that will keep you from wanting to put it down. Each page is filled with enough to hold your interest. The dialogue is believable and the plot first rate. And there is a nice romantic thread that develops throughout. Karin Slaughter has really grown as an author and I look forward to reading each new release.
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
I was a big fan of Karin Slaughter's early work. While she remains a great writer, for me, her last few novels have fallen a bit short. Fallen has tremendous potential with gripping suspense and characters that stand out. But the cast of characters in this one is quite large and sometimes hard to keep track of. Slaughter's attempt to keep the suspense rendered an often frustratingly vague plot that didn't tie together until the very end. I found the conclusion too convenient in some aspects and a little unbelievable in others. This book is part of an ongoing series. Slaughter fills in plenty of details about her characters' pasts, so I don't think it would be a problem for a reader new to her work to follow along
JamesterCK More than 1 year ago
Wow, where do I even begin with this series? Like I've said before, Karin Slaughter is probably my #1 favorite author and any true fan of the Grant County series can tell you these characters are seriously amazing. They feel like old friends now, so every time I read a new installment in the series it's like reuniting with them all over again. In this book, Faith's mother, Evelyn, is kidnapped and everyone is at a loss as to why. The crime scene is bloody and everyone knows if Evelyn isn't already dead she will be soon. Faith is shocked and terrified for her mother and she has to rely on her partner Will and Dr. Sara Linton to help her find Evelyn before it's too late. The characters in this series are absolutely amazing. I guess before I go too much further, this review might have some spoilers. There is a MAJOR event that takes place in Beyond Reach that changes everything, so if you haven't read that one yet and plan to in the future, I suggest you don't read this whole review. I guess you take that risk with any sequel to a book though. We see Faith sort of fall apart in this one and not without good reason. She's worried about her mother, but she's also worried about something happening to her kids. She's still a very strong, smart woman though and does anything and everything she can to figure out where her mother is. I'll admit, when both Faith and Will arrived on the scene several books ago, I wasn't too pleased. Not that they weren't well written, just that when I'm used to certain characters, change can be difficult. Now I really love them though. Will is very instrumental in trying to solve this case, since Faith is mostly at home protecting her kids. I love how successful he is despite his battle with dyslexia; he's developed ways of organizing his notes and things so that he's very efficient. He still seems to be embarrassed by his handicap, but not as much so as in previous books (probably because pretty much everyone knows about it now). Amanda Wagner (Will and Faith's supervisor, Faith's sort-of Aunt, and one of Evelyn's closest friends) takes charge of most of the investigation, with Will at her side. I wanted to slap her quite a few times in this book, and I know Will did too, for not being forthcoming with information pertinent to the case. She was trying to protect Evelyn and her secrets, but it seemed like every time Will would find out an important piece of information, Amanda already knew about it and so it wasted a lot of time. Even though she's extremely tough, and even that may be an understatement, we see a much softer side of Amanda in this book. Sara gets dragged into the investigation as well, examining the dead bodies that pop up and giving her two cents on the situation. I love Sara and I hate seeing her working in the hospital environment where I'm pretty sure she's unhappy; she needs to go back to having her own practice. Basically I just want to see her happy again. It's been almost 5 years since the "event that shall not be named" and she's still trying to find some normalcy in her life. I loved the twists and turns that are present in all of Karin Slaughter's books. Towards the end I had things figured out, but the ending was still explosive and amazing. Unlike some books, I think this one ended on a very good note so maybe I can rest easy until the next one comes out.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Faith Mitchell, a GBI agent checks on her mother who is watching her child. No answer, and when she goes to investigate, a shoot out occurs, leaving one dead, the mother missing and the baby okay in the shed. Karin Slaughter has created a suspenseful novel filled with fascinating characters that keep this novel moving forward. It is possible her mother who is a retired police officer was a dirty cop and involved with some unsavory people. You won't believe how quickly you will read through this novel. A perfect companion for the beach this summer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting, but I had to downgrade it because of the astonishing stupidity of all the characters, especially Faith and Evelyn. And of course it is purely ridiculous that Will Trent would have the job he has with his handicap and emotional instability. He could never have passed either the psych or written test.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been reading this series of books and this one did not disappoint me. Good characters;good plot.
bayareagirl More than 1 year ago
first time reading this author -- gripping? not the book I read 12 pages of Faith getting ready to answer some Qs. Old lady who happens to take crime scene photos. NADA! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't say enough praises for this series. Great thriller, fast pace, complex characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by this author and i just couldnt get into it at all. I read halfway through the book and i thought it dragged!
cj-53 More than 1 year ago
This book drags, not to mention doesn't make much sense. Maybe it's because I have not read the other books in the series, but if this is any indication, I won't bother doing that. I hate the way most of the female characters in this story are rude, pushy and obnoxious. The fact that the character Will allows himself to be bullied constantly, to me, is unrealistic. No man I know would sit still for being treated like that.
Joan Klossner More than 1 year ago
It drives me nuts that Amanda only tells Will what she wants him to kmow. Like she's some super cop. Most of Will's time is spent gathering information about the case that his supervisor already knows about and could saved him the time. If Amanda just would have a treamplayer instead of being a crappy supervisor. Amamda has go or change for me ever read these books again.
Kelly Giordano More than 1 year ago
Big dissapointment from a usually good author. Slow moving and underdeveloped. Struggled through and almost gave up at least 3x.
6789-1234_567 More than 1 year ago
Ms. slaughter made the characters more dysfunctional in this book than the previous one. I like Will, but I don't like how she continues to weaken his character making him appear to be dumb,weak, and afraid of all the women in his life and definitely afraid to speak up. Amanda and Faith were too overbearing and just rude! Please don't let this happen with Sara. This was a very hard read to me.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Faith Mitchell calls her mom Evelyn, a retired narcotics police officer, who is not answering her phone. Faith sees her mom's door is open with blood on the knob and notices her baby is safely hidden in a nearby shed. Without regard to protocol or her own safety, Mitchell charges into the house where a hostage scenario turns ugly as one person is dead and another individual has a gun pointed at a third party; but mom is not there. Faith and her partner Will Trent search for the former's apparently kidnapped mom who allegedly was a dirty cop who may have been a cop killer. Both (more so Will) also spend time with widow Dr. Sara Linton who has seen first hand plenty of horror in Grant County as the former coroner and wife of the late police chief (see Broken and Undone). Meanwhile Faith has become the prime suspect in the shootout at her mom's residence while some other police retirees come to the assistance of Mitchell and Trent. The latest Georgia police procedural is the usual gritty, gory and somewhat complicated thriller expected from Karin Slaughter. The story line is action-packed with the underlying theme being family secrets can harm relationships. With a convoluted degree of seemingly no separation between key players, readers will still enjoy Fallen while wondering who's done what to whom. Harriet Klausner
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Anonymous 12 months ago
This book was great!! I will say that it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying and entertaining/gripping though, had I not read Slaughter's entire series of both Grant County & Will Trent; most importantly the Will Trent (this) series. Knowing the back story of all the characters and their pasts, relationships with each other, & just all the complexities of the story lines, this book Sooo much better!! So I would highly recommend reading this series from the very beginning, so this book is just that much more enjoyable for you! Otherwise, as always, Slaughter makes a brilliant, suspenseful, edge of your seat, come on I've got to know NOW!!, novel lol. Would absolutely recommend reading this! & all her books in the series! ???????????????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CloggieDownunder on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fallen is the third in Karin Slaughter¿s Georgia series. The story starts with Faith Mitchell returning to her mother, Evelyn¿s, place after work to collect her 4 month-old daughter Emma. When she arrives, she finds a bloody handprint on the door and Emma locked in the shed. Evelyn¿s gun is missing from the gun safe. Faith arms herself and enters a ransacked house. There¿s a dead body on the laundry floor and lots of blood in the kitchen. Soon, two more men are dead, and Evelyn is missing. Does this have to do with the reason Will Trent was investigating Evelyn when she was head of the drug squad? Will, his boss, Amanda Wagner and Sara Linton are soon trying to piece together the evidence. In this novel, we get to learn a bit more about Faith¿s past and her family; Angie Polaski/Trent proves beyond doubt that she is a nasty piece of work, a manipulative monster; Amanda shows that while she can be a bitch, she has a depth not previously apparent; and we can probably forgive Faith her occasional bad judgement in some measure due to her fluctuating blood sugar levels. Slaughter does not shy away from issues. Police corruption, drug gangs, and prisons all make an appearance. The story is well researched. The plot and dialogue are excellent. Just when you think you know where the story is going, there¿s another surprise. This book has lots of strong women and a strong, but flawed, man. Slaughter uses Will to ease some of the tenser moments by putting him into situations that create humour e.g. locked in a car boot with a rifle. He becomes the source of quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, especially his exchanges with Amanda. This book is a page turner, filled with gripping, edge of the seat crime drama. The dilemma with a book like this is you can¿t stop reading but you¿re enjoying it so much, you don¿t want it to end. I wonder, each time I pick up a new Karin Slaughter book, how she can keep up the standard, but so far, I have not been disappointed. I really enjoyed this book and I am sure Slaughter fans will love it.
adpaton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dyslexia, diabetes, dysfunctional relationships and dirty cops are an unlikely mix but Karin Slaughter puts them together with a sure hand and in Fallen creates an interesting and relentless page-turner. She has developed a well-rounded cast of characters and attracted the attention and regard of the thriller-reading public, making her a best-selling writer ¿ deservedly too since her books are a fine balance of action, intelligent plotting and entertainment.Slaughter¿s fictional world is in Atlanta, Georgia, in which she has set both the Grant County [featuring trauma doctor Sara Linton] and the Atlanta series [with Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents Will Trent and his partner Faith Mitchell]: this book is the third in which she combines the threads, and her 11th full length novel, yet it reads well as a stand alone.Faith Mitchell¿s mother Evelyn [a former member of the Atlanta police department] is kidnapped and mutilated, her house is ransacked and there are dead hoodlums on the property. Faith herself is under suspicion and battling to deal with her diabetes and her new-born daughter, so it¿s up to her partner the dyslexic Will Trent, assisted by Sara Linton, to investigate. Drugs, gang politics, homicidal prisoners, police loyalties, family secrets, the old girl network and dogs, combined with the city of Atlanta and its suburbs, form a potent and exciting mix of elements that guarantee you will stay absorbed.
mahallett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
really dumb. don't understand the rave reviews. she writes well and that does carry you along. her characters will pass inspection even though there's way too much info about them but the plot! the plot is ridiculous!somebody should shoot amanda.
bohemiangirl35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not Karin Slaughter's best. She's one of my favorite authors and I have loved loved loved these characters from the beginning, but they were not themselves in this novel. They did stupid things that they never would have done in previous books, and generally got on my nerves because they were acting like people I didn't recognize even though this is the 11th book for Sarah Linton and 5th for Will Trent. However, Slaughter still told a suspenseful story and I'm ready for the next one. I will probably go back to the beginning and read the others over again.
Jarratt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Based on the high reviews, my thoughts on the book must be an anomaly. I got about 3/4 of the way through the book and didn't give a whit about any of the characters so I quit reading. The characters were either awful people (Amanda and Angie), spineless (Will), or we just didn't know enough about them (Faith, her neighbor). Something would happen to a character, then you'd have to go 100 or more pages before returning back to that character to find out what happened. The pacing was slow with too much exposition.I'm not sure what others see in "Fallen," but it wasn't for me.
Gatorhater on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great thriller about a retired captain in the narcotics department, Evelyn Mitchell, that was forced to retire because of hints corruption and of skimming money of the top on drug busts. Then one day her daughter Faith, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, was trying to get ahold of her mom since she was taking care of her daughter, Emma, but got no answner after repeated calls to her house and on her cell phone, Faith went to her mom's residence. When she arrives at her mom's house, she notices things aren't quit right, spots a blood stain on the entrance door. She immediately calls for backup informing them that a officier needs assistance, she tolded to wait for backup, but she enters before they arrive. She's involved in a shootout killing one of the intruders in the house the other excapes out the back door only too be killed after he takes a shot at the neighbors children, but their is no sign of Evelyn in the house, the arriving officiers find Faith's daughter safely wrapped in a blanket in the laundry room. What ever happened to Evelyn, the intruders were of mixed background, was her past coming back to haunt her?