PBR Review
Book club questions-Broken By Karin Slaughter


by Karin Slaughter

From The Jacket: Karin Slaughter’s internationally bestselling novels are as notable for their vivid portraits of lives shadowed by loss and heartbreak as they are for their dramatic criminal investigations. Her latest offering features the return of her most compelling characters and introduces memorable new ones in a tale of corruption, murder, and confrontation that will leave more than one life . . . When Special Agent Will Trent arrives in Grant County, he finds a police department determined to protect its own and far too many unanswered questions about a prisoner’s death. He doesn’t understand why Officer Lena Adams is hiding secrets from him. He doesn’t understand her role in the death of Grant County’s popular police chief. He doesn’t understand why that man’s widow, Dr. Sara Linton, needs him now more than ever to help her crack this case. While the police force investigates the murder of a young woman pulled from a frigid lake, Trent investigates the police force, putting pressure on Adams just when she’s already about to crack. Caught between two complicated and determined women, trying to understand Linton’s passionate distrust of Adams, the facts surrounding Chief Tolliver’s death, and the complexities of this insular town, Trent will unleash a case filled with explosive secrets—and encounter a thin blue line that could be murderous if crossed. Spellbinding and keenly paced, Broken is Karin Slaughter at her best. Here is an unforgettable story of raw emotions, dangerous assumptions, the deadly and layered game of betrayal, and a man’s determination to expose the most painful of human truths—no matter how deeply they’re hidden . . . or how devastating.

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*Author Website: http://www.karinslaughter.com/

*Other Books by Same Author: “Undone” ,”Triptych”,”Fractured”,”Blindsighted”,”Kisscut”, "A Faint Cold Fear” “Indelible” ,“Faithless” ,“Beyond Reach” .

*Discussion Questions

1. Allison’s mother tells her ‘Whatever pleasure men can give you ain’t never worth the pain.’ Which of the females in this story would agree with this statement and why? Do you think this idea speaks to a larger theme throughout the book?

2. It seems to rain throughout this entire book, with most of the characters (Will in particular) being almost permanently soaked in a cold driving rain. How is this incessant rain used as a literary device?

3. Will has had a lifelong struggle with dyslexia and was often made to feel stupid because of this disability. How does Will’s dyslexia predispose his feelings toward the victims in this investigation?

4. In Karin Slaughter’s other Atlanta GBI books, Will and Faith work as partners, playing to each other’s strengths. How does Faith’s absence affect Will’s investigation? What strengths and/or weaknesses do Sara and Lena bring to the case? How do Sara, Lena and Will’s individual processes each affect the investigation?

5. Will’s introduction to Lena comes via a very biased description from Sara. How does Sara’s vendetta against Lena cloud her judgment and initial assessment of the crime? To what extent does Sara’s description of the crime influence Will and his investigation?

6. Will says “I don’t think Lena’s completely devoid of a soul. I think she’s angry, and self-destructive and feeling trapped.” Do you think this is an accurate description of Lena? Did you feel the same way even at the conclusion of the book?

7. When Lena finally confronts Frank regarding the events at Tommy’s house, Frank then turns on her and accuses her of wrongdoing. How does Lena’s accusation change the way you feel about Frank? Does it change the way you feel about Lena? When Frank later meets with Sara and treats her in a very protective, fatherly manner, it is in stark contrast to the above interaction with Lena. Does this further impact your impression of Frank? Did your impression again change at the conclusion of the book?

8. Tessa says that Will ‘eats like the kids at the orphanage’ because he ‘wraps his armaroundhisplatesonoonecanstealhisfood.’ Whatotherbehaviordoes Will exhibit that reveals his state care past? What do you think Will’s reluctance to admit his dyslexia and/or need for glasses says about his personality and history?

9. Will says ‘Cops don’t like to be questioned. They circle their wagons, even if they know it’s wrong.’ What are other stereotypes of the police? To what extent do you think this statement proves true or false in this book?

10. Jason believes that Allison wants for nicer things, which is why he initially became involved in this dangerous situation. To what extent do you think this is true, based on Allison’s early introduction? Does your impression of Allison change after Will examines her room?

11. Lionel suggests that Will ‘get a heat gun and work it just the tiniest bit...to get that kink out. Too much heat, and you’ll burn a hole right through. Not too much heat, son.’ Do you think Lionel knows more than he’s letting on? Is Lionel suggesting anything beyond a simple repair?

12. Will says that he finds silence is often the best way to get answers because people fill in uncomfortable silences with information they would have otherwise withheld. When does Will use this tactic to his advantage? Is anyone in this book immune to this tactic?

13. Sara and Faith are the only ones who know about Will’s dyslexia. How does Sara’s acknowledgement of his disability change their interaction? Do you think it affects Sara’s feelings about Will?

14. Why does Will set himself up in Jeffrey’s old office? How does this establish the dynamic with the other officers? How does this impact the way Lena initially treats him?

15. In Sara’s struggle with Darla, the river carries away Jeffrey’s ring. Sara silently says to Jeffrey, ‘Thank you for letting me go’. What do you think this means for Sara’s growth and ability to move on? How has water played a role otherwise in this book?

16.Jared holds Jeffrey ultimately responsible for his own death. What do you think of this alternative perspective? Does this affect how you feel about any of the other characters?

17. Sara describes the procedure for drug testing as an inherently flawed system, driven largely by money and greed. What do you think of the way in which it works and how could it be improved?

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