Unseen in the 7th book in the Will Trent series (which follows on from the Grant County series) and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous books.

Lena had told Jared it was bad luck to paint the nursery so early but losing the baby is only the start of her problems. Will has been working undercover, putting his life in danger and lying to Sara. He knows she will never forgive him for the lies. When Sara must travel to Macon, she finds herself amongst those she would rather avoid and the lives of Lena, Will and Sara are about to collide.

What a shocking start! Having decided to read the short story Busted beforehand, Will’s appearance had a little more context but still, I think my jaw may have dropped; a proper, pulse raising beginning to another fantastic book from Karin Slaughter. I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot as I think it might ruin some of the suspense of the opening chapter.

Sara’s grudge against Lena is starting to grate. In my mind, I never blamed Lena for Jeffrey’s death and although she has made some huge mistakes and got into trouble again and again, she is a character I want to see some forgiveness for. It’s not just Sara either, her irrational placing the blame is spreading to Will, Faith and even, it seems, Amanda. Sara is easier to understand as grief can make people irrational, although she is moving away from the likeable character she once was.

I guess a lot of Unseen is about change and acting out of character though. Both Sara and Lena have changed since they parted ways, and I think maybe Lena fairs better. Will is working undercover which in itself is about pretending to be someone else which runs into a scene where he acts completely out of character. The thing about Karin’s characters is that they are not perfect, they have all made momentous mistakes in their lives; sometimes they have been incredibly stupid. But at the end, it makes them much more real, even if you think you hate them a little bit.

Whilst the previous book, Criminal, would work quite well as a standalone novel, I don’t think Unseen can be read out of context. There are too many back stories driving the motivations behind the characters. Yes, there is a central crime and investigation, but the power of the book is the character interactions and their journeys. I’ll admit to getting a bit weepy near the end as there were some lovely moments and that kind of reaction only comes from getting to know the characters over time. They’re like my dysfunctional, fictional friends I only see once a year.

Unseen is published by Century, an imprint of Random House, and will be available in hardback and ebook edtions from 4th July 2013 in the UK. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via Netgalley.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.