Review: The Last Widow – Karin Slaughter

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Will Trent #9

I received this in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS: A mysterious kidnapping

On a hot summer night, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is grabbed by unknown assailants in a shopping center parking lot. Vanished into thin air, the authorities are desperate to save the doctor.

A devastating explosion

One month later, the serenity of a sunny Sunday afternoon is shattered by the boom of a ground-shaking blast—followed by another seconds later. One of Atlanta’s busiest and most important neighborhood’s has been bombed—the location of Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC.

A diabolical enemy

Medical examiner Sara Linton and her partner Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, rush to the scene—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. When the assailants abduct Sara, Will goes undercover to save her and prevent a massacre—putting his own life on the line for the woman and the country he loves. – via Goodreads

YES! YES! I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of this, you all know I am a ridiculously huge Karin Slaughter fan. I started this pretty much the second I got my hands on it, and I had no regrets. As with all Slaughter’s work (bar Pieces of Her), you will get sucked in almost immediately, and the story barrels along super fast.

The Last Widow flips between characters, telling the story simultaneously from differing perspectives, and it works so well. I absolutely love reading about Sara and Will, I think they are great together. It is a testament of Slaughter’s writing that she managed to merge two series so successfully, and especially how she brings Sara and Will together, and there is no resentment (because come on, Jeffrey man). The side characters don’t get as much focus in this one, making them more bit characters than usual, but that is alright.

I thought the story for The Last Widow was engrossing and interesting. The book  has it all – romance, action, drama, the works. Sara’s family makes an appearance again, and some truly hurtful things are said in that section, but it definitely contributes to all that goes on.The Last Widow is without a doubt a whirlwind read. The events take place really quickly, so the book is essentially a snapshot of time with characters we have grown to love over the years. I absolutely cannot wait for more in this series!

Review: Triptych – Karin Slaughter

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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: The Kept Woman – Karin Slaughter

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the kept woman cover

Will Trent #8

SYNOPSIS: A body is discovered in an empty Atlanta warehouse. It’s the body of an ex-cop, and from the moment Special Agent Will Trent walks in he knows this could be the most devastating case of his career. Bloody footprints leading away from the scene reveal that another victim – a woman – has left the scene and vanished into thin air. And, worst of all, the warehouse belongs to the city’s biggest, most politically-connected, most high-profile athlete – a local hero protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers. A local hero Will has spent the last six months investigating on a brutal rape charge.

But for Will – and also for Dr Sara Linton, the GBI’s newest medical examiner – the case is about to get even worse. Because an unexpected discovery at the scene reveals a personal link to Will’s troubled past. The consequences will wreak havoc on his life and the lives of those he loves, those he works with, and those he pursues.

But Sara’s scene-of-the-crime diagnosis is that they only have a few hours to find the missing woman before she bleeds out . . . – via Goodreads

Ah man, it was like Christmas when I saw that there was finally another Will Trent novel! The man is just phenomenal, and I am always itching to read about him. This book? No exception! I have to say, I really wish the characters in this series (and I am not talking about that bitch Angie) would stop telling Will that Sara is too good for him. I mean come on! They are both human, and he is not a person who is “not good enough” for anyone, or not allowed to have someone to love him. Pfffffff.

I am also not pleased with how Sara treats Will – really. The man has had it rough in life, and he loves the heck out of her and will do anything for her, and she is trying to make him jump Jeffrey hoops, and carry on as though he has never had an issue in life, and it is not fair. Anyway. Coming back on Will and his crazy past, that also brought that nasty piece of work, Angie, back. I was not pleased when I saw how large a part of the book she got, especially when the story flipped to a telling from her side. I swear, I like her about as much as I like Lena Adams. In fact, I like her less, and that is not an easy jump to make. While Angie took up way too large a part of the book (for me), I was glad to see that she had finally pushed Will far enough, and that he finally saw her as others see her – a horrible person, terrible, cruel, and nasty. Dangerous.

I really do enjoy any books that feature Amanda – call her what you will, I think that woman is sassy, badass, and a touch crazy, but I thoroughly enjoy her. It was really nice to see a return of characters we all know and love. The pacing and story for this are both good, and they keep you hooked and engaged the whole way though, and the novel barrels along. I was pleased to read a little about Jeffrey Tolliver again – I know it was nothing in depth, but that he finally breached into Sara and Will’s relationship was a relief. He is an issue that has always been skirted. I wish Sara would stop being a bitch and just come out and tell Will how she really feels about him, and about how special he is. Nobody has ever done that for him, so why can’t she?

Anyway, The Kept Woman was another solid entry to the Will Trent series, and definitely worth checking out.

Review: Snatched – Karin Slaughter

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snatched karin slaughter cover

Will Trent / Atlanta #3

Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Will Trent is in the dog box with his boss, Amanda Wagner. He is on duty in the airport toilets to arrest men who are looking for a little illegal fun. Instead, while on the job, a man comes in with a young girl who does not seem to want to be anywhere near him. Will’s instincts kick into overdrive, and he is immediately suspicious. However, with no cause, there is really nothing that he can do. Following the man out of the airport bathroom, he follows him, and the girl remains so fragile looking and afraid.

Upon the decision to take action, Will loses the man and the little girl, and comes to when he sees the man in a whole new outfit, though without the child. Panic stricken, Will calls in all sorts of favours, and almost instantaneously Amanda Wagner and his partner, Faith Mitchell, rush to his aid. Time is running out and there is no news on the little girl, and their suspect refuses to say anything. What will they do to find the little girl? The knowledge that the child has been trafficked is there, yet there is no proof. Their suspect is incredibly egotistical, cocky and arrogant, sure that he cannot be caught, and sure that he will not talk.

The team that has been assembled in the airport and with all the different jurisdictions that come into play are all working together tirelessly to find a small child who seems to have been spirited away. Will they recover the girl? Will they discover the identity of their client and be able to crack him?

It was by no stretch a weak story, and it was not too long or too short for a short story. It conveys what it needs to, and it is concise. No long, on-going ramblings and all that, though there is also no real character growth or revelation, but it is a nice “filler” to read, so to speak. Will remains a wonderful character, Amanda Wagner ever the short and snappy woman in power. Faith’s role is very minimal in here, though I expected a slight bit more. Not a bad way to tie a short story in to a whole array of novels, though Karin Slaughter is most definitely more mind-blowing in a more lengthy novel where she gets to take you through the glory that is the world she built and the wealth of characters she has, and the emotions that she attaches to them.

A few excellent authors

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Authors… you get excellent ones, and you get disappointing ones, and you get mediocre ones. Here are some authors that I enjoyed reading, and will not turn down the opportunity to read.

Karin Slaughter… wow. That is all I can say. And so few people here where I am actually knows who she is, so I don’t really have anyone to discuss the books with. I accidentally found Blindsighted in the back of a closet, gearing up to be chucked out. The book was old and tatty, but its sequel, Kisscut, was also there, and I had nothing else to read. It was crime thriller fiction something or other, that is all I recall thinking when I picked it up and read that she was compared to Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell, both who write decently, although not too consistently, for my taste.

So I bagged them, saving them from certainly being thrown out with the dusty stacks of newspapers piled everywhere. The books could not go, they are not in the same category as the shabby newspapers were. I had no other books to occupy me, and I started with Karin Slaughter’s debut novel. I have one word for her writing style: respect. By the end of the Grant County series I had forgotten they were fictitious characters, and lived on a steady diet of chocolate when I had finished with Skin Privilege.

I have been inexorably drawn to her work since Blindsighted, experienced a spectrum f emotions throughout Kisscut, and that was only the beginning for me. After that there was the Atlanta series, and the two merged together for the Georgia series. I was skeptical about how she would bring two totally different story lines together, yet she does so effortlessly. She is one of my top favourite writers, hands down.

Then there is Stephen King. I will not hear a bad word about him! I know that there are so many that dislike his movies (even though it is apparently forgotten that the Green Mile and the Shawshank Redemption are both King creations), and I know that he writes with excruciating detail, and that some might find this to be a bit of a cliché, but Stephen King is a master. I love him!

I cannot remember precisely what my first taste was, but I think it was either Dreamcatcher or Carrie. Either way, I was in love with how this man brought horror and life to the pages of his book. I have read so many of his works and they are rich in detail, description, action, thoughts, everything. You can follow what is happening, the feelings and everything is brought into stark light within the covers of his stories. When you pick up a book by Stephen King, even if the cover was missing, you would know it to be his work!

I started reading his books when I was about eleven years old. I had already whipped through everything in the children’s section and dominated the young adult’s section. The library was nice enough to allow me a card and permission into the adult section. I was stunned. There were gigantic tomes of books with their faraway stories waiting to unfold. I had to know more, and there were horrors, bona fide, true horror books, not the childish ones I had become accustomed to. Naturally, the King shelves dominated the horror section, the closest secondary rival by for space being Dean Koontz. I have started building on my Stephen King collection, but I have a suspicion that it will take a long time to get where I want it to, seeing as it is such a vast compilation.

I spoke of Stieg Larsson in a previous blog that I wrote, and explained my deep seated infatuation with the man and his genius. I maintain that everyone should read his Millennium Trilogy. The story unfurls effortlessly, it keeps you hooked, and nothing can waver your anticipation. You experience the journey as though a part of it. The writing style is smooth and neat, and very well structured. I have been looking for a nice box set, and have as of yet not found anything in my region, which is rather daunting, as I believe these books belong on anyone’s shelf, and I would love to have it as a collected works.

J.K. Rowling is another classic to this list. I wrote a blog on Harry Potter, here, too. But about the author, and how I stumbled upon her books? Wow. Really. I think it one of the best things that I had ever had the fortune of coming across (not that it would have been easy to miss a few years later when it got super popular). I was reading them pretty much since release. My aunt loaned me The Philosopher’s Stone when she heard that I couldn’t get to the library until the weekend. I read the book 4 times before I returned it to her. I was in love. There was this beautiful world, with great people, with crazy adventures, and real lessons. It was amazing.

Obviously, as a child, you read it and you know it is fiction. That did not prevent me from waiting for my very own letter from Hogwarts for years. Alas, it never came, and I was sorely disappointed. I think the Potter series was also great because it gave children something to believe in, to hope for. He had it tough, and he survived it. Things are not always what they seem, and anything can be overcome, and evil does not triumph against those who will fight for the greater good.

I truly enjoy Anne Rice. I loved her Vampire Chronicles, and painstakingly and extremely expensively built that entire collection up from scratch. I love her writing style, but her work is very deep, dark and thought evoking, not light reading to just pass time. The way the characters are introduced and their development is amazing, but I really wish she would have focused a bit more on Armand. He was my favourite character of anyone she had ever written about. He was the strangest one, the most demented, dark and tortured soul ever.

I obviously watched the movies, (Interview With A Vampire and Queen Of The Damned)  but they really are nothing compared to the books. Sad, because if done right the movies could bear so much potential. The first book that I ever read from Anne Rice was The Vampire Armand. I was totally drawn in and besotted with his character. He was perfect… perfectly broken, that is. She really is the Queen of dark, romantic and gothic writing. One thing that she nailed perfectly is realism for vampires, not this twinkly rubbish that we have been submitted to recently. I hope to start on the Lives of the Mayfair Witches soon, as they were rather intriguing to me when they come up in the later novels in the Vampire Chronicles.

This calls for the Distance Book Club again! I would love any author/book suggestions, so throw them along!

Who are some of your favourite authors, and what drew you to them?