For a world-read crime author, it's good to see that Karin Slaughter isn't willing to settle into some bestseller comfort zone. In her 2007 novel, 'Skin Privilege', she killed off one of her most loved creations, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver. In her next book, 'The Recidivists', she will write of a dystopian future, and in her current one, 'Genesis', she brings together the characters from her Grant County and Atlanta series.
Here Special Agents Will Trent and Faith Mitchell (the Atlanta duo) work with former Grant County Medical Examiner (and Jeffrey's widow) Sara Linton when a young woman is found blinded and close to death on a country road after escaping from a torture chamber. Did she know her attacker? Are there other victims? And is the vital clue far closer than they realise?
Newcomers whose telly diet involves 'CSI', 'Without a Trace', 'The Closer' or 'Bones' or all of them should find Slaughter's latest much to their liking. Fans should feel that the merger of two different worlds has worked very successfully and given the characters a new lease of life. And even those who prefer their crime a little more hardboiled will have the appetite to cram in another chapter.
Slaughter can do sharp dialogue and good one liners as well as she does suspense and grisly details - 'Genesis' is at times uncomfortable reading, but it's never hard work. As for those literary snobs who scoff at the badges and bodies genre, the best advice would be to tone down the smugness because Slaughter has the strength to write in whatever genre she pleases, and her future work may throw up more twists and surprises than anything on the page here.