Karin Slaughter’s “Broken”

I’m down in Florida for a week, taking a course for work, so I’m at loose ends a lot in the evenings. I bought a book the other day — I’ll admit I was snared by the cover — to read during my downtime.

It’s Karin Slaughter’s novel, Broken. And I have to say, I’m just not feeling this one. It’s apparently part of a series, and it’s intensely boring from the prologue through the first hundred pages. Frankly, if I’d had anything else to do in the evenings, I would have chucked this book already. But when I’m by myself, a book is most often my dinner and evening companion. Occasionally dinner companions can be boring. But I probably don’t invite them back out again.

I don’t know what it is — the existence of an unnecessary prologue? The insertion of so much freakin’ backstory so early in the book? I get why the backstory is there, but all through the first hundred pages or so, a voice in my head is just screaming “WILL YOU GET ON WITH THE STORY ALREADY?!”

I want to like Karin Slaughter. I really do. She’s from the south. She writes about archetypes I know and enjoy. I visited her website, and I like her ideas about fiction and the purpose of violence in it. But there’s just something off in this book. Maybe part of it was her tromping on the reputation of Elba, Alabama, a place I’ve been to many times. I’m not sure Karin Slaughter’s ever been to Elba. The place she describes (insults, really) has no connection with the place I know.

But thankfully now, I’m about 130 pages in, and the action is finally picking up. Still, it’s not something I’d recommend to someone who actually enjoyed reading.

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