Fractured (Will Trent Series #2)

Fractured (Will Trent Series #2)

by Karin Slaughter

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440244479
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/23/2009
Series: Will Trent Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 528
Product dimensions: 4.22(w) x 6.92(h) x 1.13(d)

About the Author

Karin Slaughter is the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including Beyond Reach and A Faint Cold Fear, which was named an International Book of the Month selection; she contributed and edited Like a Charm. She is a native of Georgia, where she currently lives and is working on her next novel, to be published in 2010.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Will Trent stared out the window of the car as he listened to his boss yell into her cell phone. Not that Amanda Wagner ever really raised her voice, but she had a certain edge to her tone that had caused more than one of her agents to burst into tears and walk off an active investigation—no mean feat considering the majority of her subordinates at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were men.

“We’re at”—she craned her neck, squinting at the street sign—“the Prado and Seventeenth.” Amanda paused. “Perhaps you could look up the information on your computer?” She shook her head, obviously not liking what she was hearing.

Will tried, “Maybe we should keep driving around? We might find—”

Amanda covered her eyes with her hand. She whispered into the phone, “How long until the server is back up?” The answer caused her to breathe out a heavy, pronounced sigh.

Will indicated the screen dominating the middle of the wood-lined dashboard. The Lexus had more bells and whistles than a clown’s hat. “Don’t you have GPS?”

She dropped her hand, considering his question, then began fiddling with some knobs on the dashboard. The screen didn’t change, but the air-conditioning whirred higher. Will chuckled, and she cut him off with a nasty look, suggesting, “Maybe while we’re waiting for Caroline to find a street map, you can get the owner’s manual out of the glove box and read the directions for me.”

Will tried the latch, but it was locked. He thought this pretty much summed up his relationship with Amanda Wagner. She often sent him the way of locked doors and expected him to find his way around them. Will liked a good puzzle as much as the next man, but just once, it would have been nice to have Amanda hand him the key.

Or maybe not. Will had never been good at asking for help—especially from someone like Amanda, who seemed to keep a running list in her head of people who owed her favors.

He looked out the window as she berated her secretary for not keeping a street map on her person at all times. Will had been born and raised in Atlanta, but didn’t often find himself in Ansley Park. He knew that it was one of the city’s oldest and wealthiest neighborhoods, where over a century ago, lawyers, doctors and bankers had built their enviable estates so that future lawyers, doctors and bankers could live as they did—safely cloistered in the middle of one of the most violent metropolitan cities this side of the Mason-Dixon. The only thing that had changed over the years was that the black women pushing white babies in strollers were better compensated these days.

With its twisting turns and roundabouts, Ansley seemed designed to confuse, if not discourage, visitors. Most of the streets were tree-lined, broad avenues with the houses tucked up on hills to better look down on the world. Densely forested parks with walking trails and swing sets were everywhere. Some of the walkways were still the original cobblestone. Though all the homes were architecturally different, there was a certain uniformity to their crisply painted exteriors and professionally landscaped lawns. Will guessed this was because even a fixer-upper started at the one million mark. Unlike his own Poncey-Highland neighborhood, which was less than six miles from here, there were no rainbow-colored houses or methadone clinics in Ansley.

On the street, Will watched a jogger stop to stretch and surreptitiously check out Amanda’s Lexus. According to the news this morning, there was a code-red smog alert in effect, advising people not to breathe the outside air unless they absolutely had to. No one seemed to be taking that to heart, even as the temperature inched past the one hundred mark. Will had seen at least five joggers since they’d entered Ansley Park. All were women and all so far had fit the stereotype of the perky, perfect soccer mom with their Pilates-toned bodies and bouncy ponytails.

The Lexus was parked at the bottom of what seemed to be a popular hill, the street behind them lined with tall oaks that cast the pavement into shadow. All of the runners had slowed to look at the car. This wasn’t the type of neighborhood where a man and a woman could sit in a parked vehicle for very long without someone calling the police. Of course, this wasn’t the kind of neighborhood where teenage girls were brutally raped and murdered in their own homes, either.

He glanced back at Amanda, who was holding the phone to her ear so tightly it looked as if she might snap the plastic in two. She was an attractive woman if you never heard her speak or had to work for her or sat in a car with her for any length of time. She had to be in her early sixties by now. When Will had first started at the GBI over ten years ago, Amanda’s hair had been more pepper than salt, but that had changed drastically over the last few months. He didn’t know if this was because of something in her personal life or an inability to get an appointment with her hairdresser, but she had lately begun showing her years.

Amanda started pressing buttons on the console again, obviously trying to work the GPS. The radio came on and she quickly turned it off again, but not before Will caught the opening notes of a swing band. She muttered something under her breath and pressed another button, which caused Will’s window to slide down. He felt a blast of hot air like someone had opened an oven door. In the side mirror, he saw a jogger at the top of the hill, the leaves on the dogwoods stirring in the breeze.

Amanda gave up on the electronics. “This is ridiculous. We’re the top investigatory arm in the state and we can’t even find the God damn crime scene.”

Will turned around, his seat belt straining against his shoulder as he looked up the hill.

Amanda asked, “What are you doing?”

“That way,” he said, pointing behind them. The limbs of the trees overhead were intertwined, casting the street in a dusklike darkness. There was no breeze this time of year, just relentless heat. What he had seen was not rustling leaves but the blue lights of a police cruiser bouncing off the shadows.

Amanda gave another heavy sigh as she put the car into gear and started a U-turn. Without warning, she slammed on the brakes, her arm shooting out in front of Will as if she could stop him from going through the windshield. A large white van blared its horn as it sped by, the driver shaking his fist, mouthing obscenities.

“Channel Five,” Will said, recognizing the local news station’s logo on the side of the van.

“They’re almost as late as we are,” Amanda commented, following the news van up the hill. She took a right, coming on a lone police cruiser blocking the next left. A smattering of reporters was already at the scene, representing all the local stations as well as CNN, which had their world headquarters a few miles up the road. A woman strangling the man who had killed her daughter would be big news in any part of the world, but the fact that the daughter was white, that the parents were wealthy and the family was one of the city’s most influential gave it an almost giddy, scandalous tinge. Somewhere in New York City, a Lifetime movie executive was drooling into her BlackBerry.

Amanda pulled out her badge and waved it at the cop as she rolled past the blockade. There were more police cruisers up ahead along with a couple of ambulances. The doors were open, the beds empty. Paramedics stood around smoking. The hunter green BMW X5 parked in front of the house seemed out of place among the emergency vehicles, but the gigantic SUV made Will wonder where the coroner’s van was. He wouldn’t be surprised if the medical examiner had gotten lost, too. Ansley was not a neighborhood well known to someone earning a civil servant’s salary.

Amanda put the car into reverse to parallel park between two of the cruisers. The park sensor controls started beeping as she tapped on the gas. “Don’t dawdle in there, Will. We’re not working this case unless we’re taking it over.”

Will had heard some variation on this same theme at least twice since they had left city hall. The dead girl’s grandfather, Hoyt Bentley, was a billionaire developer who had made his share of enemies over the years. Depending on who you talked to, Bentley was either a scion of the city or a crony from way back, the sort of moneyed crook who made things happen behind the scenes without ever getting his hands dirty. Whichever version of the man’s story was true, he had deep enough pockets to buy his share of political friends. Bentley had made one phone call to the governor, who had reached out to the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who had in turn assigned Amanda the task of looking into the murder.

If the killing had any markings of a professional hit or hinted at something deeper than a simple assault and burglary gone wrong, then Amanda would make a phone call and snatch the case away from the Atlanta Police Department faster than a toddler taking back a favorite toy. If this was just a random, everyday tragedy, then she would probably leave the explanations to Will while she toodled back to city hall in her fancy car.

Amanda put the gear into drive and inched forward. The gap between the beeps got furiously short as she edged closer to the police car. “If Bentley’s got someone mad enough to kill his granddaughter, this case goes to a whole new level.”

She sounded almost hopeful at the prospect. Will understood her excitement—breaking this kind of case would be yet another feather in Amanda’s cap—but Will hoped he never got to the point where he saw the death of a teenage girl as a career stepping-stone. Though he wasn’t sure what he should think of the dead man, either. He was a murderer, but he was also a victim. Considering Georgia’s pro–death penalty stance, did it really matter that he had been strangled here in Ansley Park rather than strapped to a gurney and given a lethal injection at Coastal State Prison?

Will opened the door before Amanda put the car into park. The hot air hit him like a punch to the gut, his lungs temporarily straining in his chest. Then the humidity took over, and he wondered if this was what it felt like to have tuberculosis. Still, he put on his suit jacket, covering the paddle holster clipped to the back of his belt. Not for the first time, Will questioned the sanity of wearing a three-piece suit in the middle of August.

Amanda seemed untouched by the heat as she joined Will. A group of uniformed policemen stood clustered at the bottom of the driveway, watching them walk across the street. Recognition dawned in their eyes, and Amanda warned Will, “I don’t have to tell you that you’re not exactly welcome by the Atlanta Police Department right now.”

“No,” Will agreed. One of the cops in the circle made a point of spitting on the ground as they passed by. Another one settled on a more subtle raised middle finger. Will plastered a smile on his face and gave the officers a big thumbs-up to let them all know there were no hard feelings.

From her first day in office, Atlanta’s mayor had pledged to weed out the corruption that ran unchecked during her predecessor’s reign. Over the last few years, she had been working closely with the GBI to open cases against the most blatant offenders. Amanda had graciously volunteered Will to go into the lions’ den. Six months ago, he had closed an investigation that had resulted in the firing of six Atlanta police detectives and forced the early retirement of one of the city’s highest-ranking officers. The cases were good—the cops were skimming cash off of narcotics busts—but nobody liked a stranger cleaning their house, and Will had not exactly made friends during the course of his investigation.

Amanda had gotten a promotion out of it. Will had been turned into a pariah.

He ignored the hissed “asshole” aimed at his back, trying to focus on the crime at hand as they walked up the curving driveway. The yard was brimming with all kinds of exotic-looking flowers that Will was hard-pressed to name. The house itself was enormous, stately columns holding up a second floor balcony, a winding set of granite stairs leading to the front doors. Except for the smattering of surly cops marring the scene, it was an impressive estate.

“Trent,” someone called, and he saw Detective Leo Donnelly making his way down the front steps. Leo was a short man, at least a full foot less than Will’s six-three. His gait had taken on an almost Columbo-like shuffle since they’d last worked together. The effect was that of an agitated monkey. “What the fuck are you doing here?”

Will indicated the cameras, offering Leo the most believable explanation. Everybody knew the GBI would throw a baby into the Chattahoochee if it meant getting on the nightly news. He told the detective, “This is my boss, Dr. Wagner.”

“Hey,” Leo said, tossing her a nod before turning back to Will. “How’s Angie doing?”

“We’re engaged.” Will felt Amanda’s scrutiny focus on him with a cold intensity. He tried to deflect, indicating the open doorway with a nod of his head. “What’ve we got here?”

“A shitload of hate for you, my friend.” Leo took out a cigarette and lit it. “You better watch your back.”

Amanda asked, “Is the mother still inside?”

“First door on the left,” Leo answered. “My partner’s in there with her.”

“Gentlemen, if you’ll excuse me.” Amanda dismissed Leo the way she might a servant. The look she gave Will wasn’t that much more pleasant.

Leo exhaled a line of smoke as he watched her go up the stairs. “Puts a chill on things, don’t she? Like fucking dry ice.”

Will defended her automatically, in that sort of way that you defend a useless uncle or slutty sister when someone outside of the family attacks them. “Amanda is one of the best cops I’ve ever worked with.”

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Fractured 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 156 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was glad when Karin Slaughter started a new crime series two years ago with Triptych, as I was tiring of her Grant County novels (especially after the way she chose to end the most recent, Beyond Reach.) Fractured is a sequel to Triptych and again features Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Wil Trent. A wealthy Atlanta housewife kills an intruder in her home after discovering the dead body of a girl whom she initially mistakes for her daughter. Her nightmare is just beginning, however, as it soon becomes clear that her teenager has actually been kidnapped. Agents Amanda Wagner and Wil Trent of the GBI are called in to investigate the crime and recover the girl they are assisted by Atlanta State Police detective Faith Mitchell, who has major issues with Trent after he helped end her mother's career on the force. The plot barrels forward inexorably, sometimes focusing on the distraught parents, sometimes on the cops and sometimes on the villains, and the suspense is excruciating. Slaughter also uses the city of Atlanta to great effect, exploring wealthy Ansley Park (where the mystery begins), grimy slums and the university campus. But the conflicts between the flawed investigators really made this book stand out for me, and I can't wait to hear from them again. Also recommended:'A Stranger Lies There' - an exciting, moving crime novel based in the desert around Palm Springs, it won the Malice Domestic Award for best first mystery.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It had alot of twists & turns. I finished it in 1 1/2 days. I hated to see it end. Ms Slaughter took alot of heat on this site for her last book (which I liked)I think she is terrifc & I am looking forward to he rnext book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fractured is simply amazing !!! before i read this i was saying to myself well i wanna read Triptych first but i realized very quickly that it didn't matter, Karin's writing style is so good and her characters are amazing and thought provoking it seemed like a stand alone book to be honest..  
Guest More than 1 year ago
I usually read a variety of books but I've always been a crime suspense thriller girl. Actually this is the first book I've read from this author and I loved it from start to finish. If there is anything I despise its books that start off extremely slow where I lose interest altogether but it was exciting to read and definitely keeps you going until you figure out the next detail.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gosh, I have so enjoyed Karin Slaughter books. This one did not disappoint. I loved it. Is it me, or do her books keep getting better and better? I know this book features a character from Triptych, but I don't think you have to read it first - this book stands on its own.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Affluent attorney Abigail Campano returns to her mansion in Atlanta's upscale Ansley Park section only to see a dead girl lying on the upstairs hallway. Without getting a close look, a stunned Abigail assumes the victim is her teenage daughter Emma. The apparent killer had not yet left the premise and the outraged Abby kills him. Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Will Trent investigates along with Atlanta police Detective Faith Mitchell. The father Paul arrives filled with belligerence and bluster. Paul looks at the body and notices the lack of a birthmark he insists the corpse of the teen is not his daughter he and Abigail feel guilt and relief as Emma's friend Kayla Alexander lies dead on the floor.-------------- Will concludes that besides the obvious murder, someone kidnapped Emma. His fear is that they are too late to save the life of the seventeen year old girl but he and Faith remain determined to try while the case is already confusing with the homicide and the death of the alleged killer by the lioness in her home, neither expected the twists that the investigation takes. Still both cops fear they are too late.------------- Police procedural fans need to set aside time for this one sitting 400-page thriller as the audience will keep on adding one more exciting chapter after another to read. The two cops Will and Faith are a wonderful pairing as both are dedicated, but flawed those personal defects augment a strong thriller. Filled with twists, FRACTURED will leave Karin Slaughter fans clamoring for the next GBI installment (see TRIPTYCH for the previous one).-------------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed this series. Interesting plot and characters. Recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really have enjoyed reading Karin Slaughters books! I am now hooked!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read Karin Slaughter before and have always enjoyed her books. But 'Fractured' was the book that I could not wait to see what happened next. I received the book 2 days ago and I have already finished it. It is outstanding. I recommend this book to anyone that loves a good mystery with twists and turns. T. Lovell
Guest More than 1 year ago
Slaughter's treatment of 'damaged souls' like Will Trent and Lena Adams (Georgia County series) is amazing. The reader is so caught up in the characters that when the twists and turns occur in the plot, it hits you out of nowhere! I could not put this book down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Karin Slaughter¿s latest release, Fractured is completely deserving of the acclaim and high praises it has received. Abigail Campano arrives home to discover her door unlocked and shattered glass around her feet. Her first response is fear for the well being of her daughter, Emma. As she rushes upstairs, she comes face to face with the battered and bloody body of her daughter and a man kneeling over her body with a knife in his hand. Pure adrenaline and rage consumes Abigail and she strangles the man to death. Enter Will Trent, member of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Will struggles with the crime scene and determines that the brutalized body upstairs does not belong to Emma Campano, but to her best friend Kayla, and the murdered man Abigail strangled with her bare hands was actually Emma¿s boyfriend, whose attempt to save Emma and Kayla got him killed. The shift from the murder to the reality of the kidnapping of Emma, forces Will to pair up with Atlanta officer Faith Mitchell. Running against the clock and without any suspects or leads, Will and Faith must work together to find Emma and catch a killer. Fractured is filled with plot twists and heart pounding intensity. Beyond Karin Slaughter¿s ability to provide her readers with an excellent storyline and superb mystery, she is able to delve into the characters emotions and backgrounds so deeply that readers feel they know these men and women. The return of our favorites like Will and his boss Amanda paired with new intriguing characters like Faith, Abigail and the monstrous villains will surly please its audience. Fractured is by far one of Slaughter¿s best works, she gives her readers everything and them some more. Valerie Jones
debavp on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Again Slaughter has produced another winner. The story could be partly from the average nightly newscast, but she puts in the backstories that make you not want to put this down. She doesn¿t sugar coat it¿the good guys aren¿t saints and the bad guys, well not all are born that way. A very different look at what happens after a trauma, and an interesting tidbit to look forward to in the future.
RavenswoodPublishing on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Karin Slaughter is the absolute best crime/mystery writer I have come across in this day and age. Her novels will simply astound you with their heart-racing moments and intrigue. Every time I pick one of her novels up I cannot stop reading until I'm done and I still find myself begging for more. She's a writer with no fear! She wields her instruments like a knife ready to dig in deep and take you by surprise at every turn!
ladydymondz on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Slaughter knows how to place the reader in the crime scene making the hairs on the back of the neck stand tall....
jillstone on LibraryThing 8 months ago
After the shocking loss at the end of the last Karin Slaughter book I vowed not to read another, yes okay I'm getting too wrapped up in fictional lives aren't I? I initially borrowed this book from my sister but didn't have time to finish and wound up buying my own copy -- it was great! Introduces wonderful new characters while still involving Sara and keeping us involved in her life. Well done!
tulikangaroo on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Another clever and fast-moving crime novel by Karin Slaughter. Interesting characters!
SenoraG163 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Slaughter is one of my fav authors but this book was not her usual. Likable characters but the story just went on and on. I was very disappointed.
spurs4life1979 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is the first one of karin Slaughters novels i have read and I actually brought it by mistake as I thought it was another author that i liked. Absolutely loved it full of twists, a complete page turner and i couldnt put it down. I have since reading this novel read two other of her novels and am taking two more on holiday with me next week
meags222 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I enjoyed this book. It is a murder/kidnapping mystery that has many twists and turns. I like that the book is not totally plot driven. Slaughter gives a lot of character development and I am wondering if this book might be part of a series with the same detective. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5
susanamper on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Karin Slaughter tells a pretty good story, Will Trent is a new kind of detective--he is dyslexic. A teenager is abducted from her home and terrorized. Nicely enough, Slaughter does not share the explicict aspects of the terror--as too many writers do. The story moves along at a nice clip. The only complaint is that the author makes too many of her female characters witchy and bitchy.
suefernandez on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I'd never read this author and I enjoyed it a great deal. It's not gory, but has plenty of suspense. The characters are well done. There is a back story, dealing with Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia, something I think is misunderstood, and that was an added bonus.
julyso on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Fractured is about wealthy housewife, Abigail Campano, who comes home to find the dead body of her daughter, Emma, but it is actually her friend, Kayla. This is just the beginning of the many mysteries that are played out in Fractured. Paired together to solve this mystery are GBI agent Will Trent and Detective Faith Mitchell, an interesting duo, for sure. The conflicts these two have with each other and within themselves are the best part of the story. The story is suspenseful, steady, and keeps you wanting more.Fractured started slow for me, but steadily became more and more suspenseful. The characters are intriguing and I look forward to seeing more of them in future books. I especially enjoyed Will Trent. I didn't see the ending coming, always a sign of a good mystery. I didn't want to see this one end...
hannahbond on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Karin Slaughter creates great characters. The title "Fractured" seems to deal not only with the shattered life of the many victims, but also with the deep wounds that life has dealt the lead investigators as well. Will Trent, the lead investigator, grew up as an orphan "in care," and he struggles to hide his severe disability that makes it difficult to read and pick up on written details. Faith Mitchell was molested by an older boyfriend as a young teenager, and has dealt with the shame and rejection all of her adult life even as she has lovingly raised her son. The crime mystery itself is somewhat lacking in wit and amazement, but it does easily hold your interest. I really cared what happened to WIll and Faith, and was pleased, if not overly surprised, at how things worked out. Overall a very enjoyable novel.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing 8 months ago
When I first started reading this book I thought it was a standalone but quickly realized it was the next book in a series which started with Triptych. The story starts with a woman arriving home and finding her door open and the window glass smashed. She thinks of her daughter and runs up the stairs but at the top of the stairs she sees a girl obviously murdered (presumably her daughter) and a man kneeling next to her with a knife in her hand. She screams and runs down the stairs, she falls down the stairs, the man follows, grabs her legs, she kicks him, gets on top of him and strangles him to death. A very exciting start and things slowly unravel to not be as they first appeared. This was an enjoyable mystery with lots of turns in the plot and a satisfying solution. However, I expected more from a Karin Slaughter book. I'm used to using the word "gruesome" to describe her books and this was nowhere near that calibre which is somewhat a shame since the first book in this new series, Triptych, was an incredibly brutal and intricately woven story. I honestly felt that for some reason Slaughter was purposefully trying to tone down the stomach-turning details of her previous works and that is not what I expected. The book ends on an obvious note that there will be more books in this series. The main characters from this book appear as minor characters in a few of her other Grant Country series books so I would suggest starting from the beginning with Karin Slaughter and read her books either by series or by the order in which they were published.
Elphaba71 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is the first of Karin Slaughters novels I have read, & it won't be the last. This story gripped me from the first page..... Full of twists & turns, keeping you guessig right to the end. The two leading detectives, Will Trent & Faith Mitchell, were absolutely believable and highly readable. I think the story line is really good and again, believable as we follow the effects of the tragedy on the surrounding environments.