OK, despite my great love for thrillers and mysteries of all kinds I will admit that like any genre fiction, eventually they become pretty predictable. There's a bad guy or two, some kind of police officer/private detective/innocent bystander who is investigating and/or gets sucked into some kind of crime, or has a stalker, or is on the run from an abusive ex, or the mob...Enjoyable, but not earth shattering.
Karin Slaughter's book, Undone, is a thriller. In fact, it's a serial-killer thriller, which should be a sub-genre if it isn't already. But it's a thriller with a difference. The story opens on an elderly couple driving through the woods when they run into a naked woman running out of the trees. The woman is rushed to the ER in Dr. Sara Linton's hospital. Sarah is still mourning the death of her husband, a police officer, in the line of duty. For three years she has cared about very little other than trying to make it through the day, but this woman catches her interest. The woman has been tortured, and is unable to speak. Also at the hospital is Special Agent Faith Mitchell of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations being treated for a fainting spell. Once she senses that a big case is brewing, she send her partner out to investigate. Once at the scene of the accident, Special Agent Will Trent, Faith's partner, uncovers a hole where the woman was kept-and she was not the only one. What starts as a bizarre car accident quickly becomes something much more sinister.
What makes this novel different from the many others with similar themes is, like in all of Slaughter's books, the characters. We've met Sarah, Faith, and Will before-though in different series. In this novel Slaughter merges her Grant County series with her Will Trent series to create the Georgia series. Despite this, reading these characters in their new configuration made them feel fresh to me. I was especially intrigued by Will Trent in this book. Slaughter did a great job making his pain, confusion, and despair real. Faith's medical struggles and Sarah's continued grief were relate-able and well-written, but it was Will's character that made me feel like this story was more than just a formula thriller. If you are a Karin Slaughter fan, you should enjoy this latest installment. If not, I'd suggest going back to read her earlier works, since they give you some background, though it is not strictly necessary for you to read the other series to get into this one.