Review: Triptych – Karin Slaughter

triptych

Will Trent / Atlanta #1

SYNOPSIS: In the city of Atlanta, women are dying—at the hands of a killer who signs his work with a single, chilling act of mutilation. Leaving behind enough evidence to fuel a frenzied police hunt, this cunning madman is bringing together dozens of lives, crossing the boundaries of wealth and race. And the people who are chasing him must cross those boundaries too. Among them is Michael Ormewood, a veteran detective whose marriage is hanging by a thread—and whose arrogance and explosive temper are threatening his career. And Angie Polaski, a beautiful vice cop who was once Michael’s lover before she became his enemy.

But another player has entered the game: a loser ex-con who has stumbled upon the killer’s trail in the most coincidental of ways—someone who may be the key to breaking the case wide open…  – via IMDB

Karin Slaughter has again proved how she is a phenomenal writer, and not just good for the Grant County series. We have met a whole new array of characters, some that tie into the Grant County series (such as Amanda Wagner that was the negotiator in Indelible) and others that are brand spanking new and fresh. It stands testament to Slaughter’s writing that she could bring in a whole new angle and story and still be good, and not be too caught up in her previous work – this stands alone really well.

The writing style is again tight and very well laid out, and the story skips between present, a few months prior to that, as well as the past from a couple of decades ago (yeah, this book is really aptly named). The story weaves together effortlessly and has you hooked from the beginning. It takes some time to get a read on certain characters (intentionally), and it just ratchets up the tension, too.

You get to learn about a new cast of characters, and they are fresh, new, and totally different from Grant County books. Will and Angie have such a heartbreaking past, and it is really difficult to read about. Their relationship is so dysfunctional, and it makes you pity them a bit more. Will Trent is a character you cannot help but adore the more you read about him, I am definitely a fan! Angie, on the other hand, is a right piece of work, but there is some part of her, so inextricably tied up with Will, and the relationship between them is so complex.

The story told in Triptych is a solid one, one that draws you in and delivers all the goods you could possibly hope for. The pacing is just right, the storytelling does not leave the reader lost and wondering what is going on, and you get pretty invested in the outcome as well as what is going on. I also quite enjoyed reading about the interactions between Will and Amanda, as that is something that is fascinating.

This is definitely a brilliant way to start a fresh story, independent from the comfort zone that she is used to, and she pulls it off so well! Man, Slaughter is totally my cup of tea. Flawed characters, loads of development, horrendous gore and a solid thriller? She never fails to impress me!

Review: Indelible – Karin Slaughter

indelible cover

Grant County #4

SYNOPSIS: An officer is shot point-blank in the Grant County police station and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver is wounded, setting off a terrifying hostage situation with medical examiner Sara Linton at the center. Working outside the station, Lena Adams, newly reinstated to the force, and Frank Wallace, Jeffrey’s second in command, must try to piece together who the shooter is and how to rescue their friends before Jeffrey dies. For the sins of the past have caught up with Sara and Jeffrey – with a vengeance … – via IMDB

GRADE 8Man, I feel that this book is super rewarding, especially for those of us who truly enjoy the relationship between Sara and Jeffrey. Every book gives us a piece here and there to keep us going, but not really an awful lot to chew on. Indelible kicks it up with telling a modern crime deeply embroiled in the past, and it all ties together really well.

I was glad to not have to read all about Lena and her crap in this one (trust me, it cropped up, but it didn’t dominate as much as usual). I was far more hooked on reading about the early stages between Sara and Jeffrey, to see how well things started, to know how they went sour, and to see how they are struggling to bring things together. That being said, the struggling is totally because Sara is being selfish. Just saying. It is so interesting to read more about where Jeffrey is from. We know a lot more about Sara, but not an awful lot about Jeffrey, and to see where he came from and what has done with himself is great.

Jumping between the past and the present didn’t frustrate me one little bit in this book, as it just works. Again, the consistency Slaughter writes with is amazing. The little characteristics, idiosyncrasies, phrases, etc. of the characters she sprinkles throughout the book that look like throwaway things that actually aren’t are so cool. I like it. The characters that Slaughter has built are like real people to me, which is a rarity for an author to legitimately achieve. They do not come across as forced, and I like it. You cheer for them, hurt for them, stress with them, commisserate with them, understand them as well as get angry with them.

Indelible is another solid offering from Karin Slaughter. The writing style breezes along and the story is engaging from the off, dragging you in completely and rewarding you with new characters, incidents, and a juicy chunk of the past shared by Sara and Jeffrey. Recommended.

Review: Kisscut – Karin Slaughter

kisscut

Grant County #2

SYNOPSIS: Saturday night dates at the skating rink have been a tradition in the small southern town of Heartsdale for as long as anyone can remember, but when a teenage quarrel explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton–the town’s pediatrician and medical examiner–finds herself entangled in a terrible tragedy.

What seemed at first to be a horrific but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications. The autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse, of ritualistic self -mutilation, but when Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, they are frustrated at every turn.

The children surrounding the victim close ranks. The families turn their backs. Then a young girl is abducted, and it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime, one far more shocking than anyone could have imagined. Meanwhile, detective Lena Adams, still recovering from her sister’s death and her own brutal attack, finds herself drawn to a young man who might hold the answers. But unless Lena, Sara, and Jeffrey can uncover the deadly secrets the children hide, it’s going to happen again . . . – via Goodreads

Man, another dark, solid entry into the series. Again, miss Slaughter holds nothing back, and delves into a depth of storytelling that a lot of writers will not touch with a ten foot barge pole. I could feel anger radiating off of me while reading this book, because she manages to write in emotions that you are able to identify with.

Lena is still dealing with losing her sister and the brutality that she went through, and there are some shifts and changes in the relationship between her and Hank, which I liked. Lena is such a bitch, and it does not endear her to me in these novels. Even in the last, I did not see her as a strong woman so much as an irritation, but that is just the character. Jeffrey I felt so bad for in this, as he has a lot on his plate, and executing a child can never be an easy thing, no matter what the circumstances. Sara is quite a complex character, one you fluctuate between liking and disliking. Again, the flaws of these people make them real.

I appreciate that there are things changing between Sara and Jeffrey, as I really think they are good together. Yes, there are issues, but they also bring out good things in each other. I also really love reading about Sara and her family, as it really makes for interesting reading, and I really like Eddie and Cathy Linton. But now that we have moved past those things, it must not be missed that Kisscut is an exceptionally difficult read, and I mean this from the content side, not the writing side (which is, as always, excellent). It will get under your skin, it will peeve you, it will make you think, it will make you angry. Slaughter again proves that she is not scared to get her hands dirty.

Kisscut is a fantastic read, well written and well researched, a great read for any time, chilling to the bone as always, and I highly recommend this series (of course). This is by no means an easy read, but it is gutsy and draws you in. The story flows, and gives you more to look at with the characters, fleshing them out more and more, and then there is the story, the victims, the mystery. Everyone has their own demons, and I appreciate how Slaughter can give you a main story and still weave these people’s lives outside of the story in.

Review: Blindsighted – Karin Slaughter

karin slaughter blindsighted cover

Grant County #1

SYNOPSIS: A small Georgia town erupts in panic when a young college professor is found brutally mutilated in the local diner. But it’s only when town pediatrician and coroner Sara Linton does the autopsy that the full extent of the killer’s twisted work becomes clear. Sara’s ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, leads the investigation — a trail of terror that grows increasingly macabre when another local woman is found crucified a few days later. But he’s got more than a sadistic serial killer on his hands, for the county’s sole female detective, Lena Adams — the first victim’s sister — wants to serve her own justice. But it is Sara who holds the key to finding the killer. A secret from her past could unmask the brilliantly malevolent psychopath .. or mean her death. – via Goodreads

I have been reading Karin Slaughter’s work for years. My love affair with her books and her characters started with this book, something I randomly stumbled upon years ago, totally by accident, and then I was hooked. Just like that, it was all over for me. Blindsighted is one of the best debut novels I have ever read from an author.

Slaughter wastes no time setting up her characters, and before you know it, you are invested in them, their lives, their everything. She has an earnest way of writing, and it makes the characters real, bringing them to life from the pages, and that is not an easy thing to do. The novel also doesn’t suffer from stiff writing, like some debuts do. The story flows, and Slaughter also does not hold back the punches, and is not scared of getting her hands dirty. She does not shy away from heinous details, and they are also not just thrown in to shock. They are there to serve a purpose .

The book is fast paced, bold, brutal, and is written in a way that is flows effortlessly. It makes for an intense, albeit quick, read. Slaughter really is one hell of a storyteller. The tales she weaves and the characters are strong and well presented. The story had the perfect balance that simulates real life intersecting a terrible tragedy. For a debut novel, this truly blew my mind. I also appreciate that the situations were not too far out there like usual for some novels, so strong points for her there as it gives it a feel of the events being viable. Also, she deals with real issues, from romance, relationships, friendships, to issues still riddling the South.

Blindsighted is a fantastic debut novel, and I have been hooked from this very first book. Dark, brutal, violent, with characters that are so real that you get invested in, I cannot recommend Slaughter’s work enough. The Grant County series is a fantastic series, and would definitely say that this is worth the read if you are into gritty, nasty crime thrillers that have darkness and guts.