What’s it all about?:
Will Trent, a dedicated agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for fifteen years, knows that there’s definitely such a thing as a cop’s intuition. Which is why he should have listened to his own.
While in an airport restroom at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, Will overhears a girl’s pleading, plaintive voice: “Please, I wanna go home.” Something isn’t right here, thinks Will. He feels it in his gut. But he waits too long to act, and now the girl and the anxious, angry man she’s with have disappeared into the crowds at the busiest passenger airport in the world.
After a desperate search and with time running out, Will makes a call to his supervisor, Amanda Wagner. Will’s partner, Faith Mitchell, immediately sends out an abducted child alert. The entire airport will soon be grinding to a halt: Almost 100 million passengers a year. Five runways. Seven concourses. Six million square feet of space that sprawled across two counties, three cities, and five jurisdictions. All shut down on a dime because Will has a hunch that he is certain is true: a girl, maybe six or seven years old, has been snatched from God knows where. And he intends to bring her back—no matter what it takes.
What did I think?:
I saw this short story on offer for Kindle and “snatched” it up, being a big fan of Karin Slaughter’s work. I enjoyed the fact that the story itself involves Will Trent, a returning and very intriguing and likeable character in her popular series that began with the novel Triptych. It begins with Will sitting rather miserably in an airport toilet cubicle. He has been assigned toilet duty to apprehend any men meeting up there for (ahem) a good time because he has refused to cut his hair, orders of his boss, Amanda Wagner, a scary woman at the best of times. Instead of randy men however, something quite different walks into the restrooms. It is a man with a small girl wanting to use the bathroom but she is obviously terrified and pleads to go home. Everything about the situation screams that something is wrong to Will, but he is loath to approach the man, in case it is a perfectly innocent situation. Will’s cop senses start tingling further though when he follows the man and realises that he is wearing a disguise, in the form of a very bad wig and sunglasses. Will manages to get a photo of the little girl and sends it to his partner Faith Mitchell, who immediately starts processes to lock down the airport but unfortunately Will waits too long to make his move, manages to catch the perp, but the girl has disappeared. The rest of the story involves the desperate interrogation of the perp, as time is running out to find the little girl and return her to her mother.
This is a great little story that is just the right length with perfect pacing, written in the author’s classic style. Will Trent is probably my favourite character of Slaughter’s and I enjoyed reading about him on a mini-mission, in a story I could easily finish on the journey to work. I also found myself getting characteristically twitchy as I neared the end of the story, in case things weren’t wrapped up properly! However, the author never disappoints, and I was left satisfied (with a little gooey feeling inside!). I’m also now eager to read the next Will Trent novel, Criminal which I was approved for on NetGalley ages ago but haven’t got round to yet, I confess I’m a bit behind. Fans of Karin Slaughter and the Will Trent series will love this story but I also thinks it works well as a stand-alone if you’ve never read any of her work before. My advice, start with her first novel Blindsighted, it’s absolutely fantastic and highly unputdownable. Will Trent doesn’t appear until Triptych, but you’ll be a big fan before then anyway.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):
NEXT SHORT STORY: Malvern Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro from the collection Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall