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Unseen – Karin Slaughter

Published January 31, 2015 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Karin Slaughter’s novels featuring detective Will Trent are utterly riveting and masterfully drawn. Her latest thriller, Unseen, pits detectives, lovers, and enemies against one another in an unforgettable standoff between righteous courage and deepest evil.

Will Trent is a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent whose latest case has him posing as Bill Black, a scary ex-con who rides a motorcycle around Macon, Georgia, and trails an air of violence wherever he goes. The cover has worked and he has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer who thinks he might be a useful ally. But undercover and cut off from the support of the woman he loves, Sara Linton, Will finds his demons catching up with him.

Although she has no idea where Will has gone, or why, Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting: Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife, responsible: Lena, a detective, has been a magnet for trouble all her life, and Jared’s shooting is not the first time someone Sara loved got caught in the crossfire. Furious, Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it, and soon danger is swirling around both of them.

In a novel of fierce intensity, shifting allegiances, and shocking twists, two investigations collide with a conspiracy straddling both sides of the law. Karin Slaughter’s latest is both an electrifying thriller and a piercing study of human nature: what happens when good people face the unseen evils in their lives.

What did I think?:

Hooray, another Karin Slaughter novel! Regular readers of my blog will know I’m a big fan, especially of her Will Trent series and this latest, while not my particular favourite is still a damn good read which I enjoyed more than the previous book in the series, Criminal. A big thanks to Random House and NetGalley for a copy of this novel in return for an honest review. If you’re familiar with the series, you will know that Will and Sara are now a couple. Unfortunately, Will’s latest assignment is undercover, as hard as nails ex-con Bill Black (complete with motorcycle and probably a toothpick in his mouth). This takes him away from Sara for a bit as he concentrates solely on his mission. But it’s probably not the best time to be away from his partner, as things are kicking off on her side also.

Detective Lena Adams is back (another hooray!) and where Lena goes, trouble is bound to follow. Sara and Lena have a rather strained history as Sara blames Lena for the shooting of someone she loved and as a result, has never forgiven her. Lena is now married to Sara’s stepson Jared and gets mixed up in a very dangerous case where Jared ends up being shot. Sara is obviously devastated, feeling like history is repeating itself and once again, Lena finds herself the recipient of Sara’s fury. What they don’t know is how inter-linked the case Lena was working on and the case Will is undercover for really is. And Sara may not be too happy with it by the way. When all hell breaks loose, Sara and Will find themselves in a very precarious situation that may threaten their relationship indefinitely. As always, there are gruesome scenes a-plenty, and the story touches on the issues of child abduction and abuse which may not be for all readers but I think it was handled well.

I really love the characters in Karin Slaughter’s novels, especially Will Trent (whom I may have gushed about in previous reviews). For this review, I’ll gush about Lena instead! I was really pleased to see the return of this wild and slightly damaged detective and enjoyed that we got to see a bit of her vulnerable side in this novel. I know some reviewers may not really like Lena as a character, but I find her so interesting and immensely readable and always wonder what disaster she’s going to end up in next. This novel is jam packed with twists, turns and surprises and often kept me guessing with each page I turned. Karin’s new novel Cop Town is out now and even though it’s not part of the Will Trent series, I’m excited to see what it’s all about. For me, this is an author that can’t do much wrong.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

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Criminal – Karin Slaughter (Will Trent #6)

Published September 23, 2014 by bibliobeth

criminal

What’s it all about?:

Karin Slaughter’s new novel is an epic tale of love, loyalty, and murder that encompasses forty years, two chillingly similar murder cases, and a good man’s deepest secrets.

Will Trent is a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Newly in love, he is beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and Will is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda’s motivation until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before—when Will’s father was imprisoned for murder—this was his home. . . .

Flash back nearly forty years. In the summer Will Trent was born, Amanda Wagner is going to college, making Sunday dinners for her father, taking her first steps in the boys’ club that is the Atlanta Police Department. One of her first cases is to investigate a brutal crime in one of the city’s worst neighborhoods. Amanda and her partner, Evelyn, are the only ones who seem to care if an arrest is ever made.

Now the case that launched Amanda’s career has suddenly come back to life, intertwined with the long-held mystery of Will’s birth and parentage. And these two dauntless investigators will each need to face down demons from the past if they are to prevent an even greater terror from being unleashed.

What did I think?:

Let it be known I’m a big fan of Karin Slaughter’s work, and when I was first discovered her, beginning with the wonderful Blindsighted in 2001, I gobbled up her novels almost as soon as they were released. But recently, I have been a bit of a naughty Slaughter fan and fallen behind a bit which I aim to remedy now that I have read her latest story in the Will Trent series, Criminal, originally published in 2012. The other beloved main character who we got to know from the very start, Dr Sara Linton, does not make much of an appearance in this novel, but there is plenty of Will Trent to go round, which should please all Slaughter followers! I have to say, Will Trent is one of the most fascinating characters I have ever read about. He has had a difficult past which he is trying to put behind him now he is flying high with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (well apart from being on airport duty that is), and best of all, he’s probably met the love of his life which is allowing him to put a lot of those old demons to rest. You would think…

Criminal sees Will’s past delved into more meticulously and horrifically than ever before as a recent disappearance of a college student is being dealt with rather cryptically by Will’s boss, the indomitable Amanda Wagner. Wagner is desperately trying to keep Will off the case, but for what reason? The mystery only deepens when the two run into each other by coincidence in an abandoned building which used to be the orphanage where Will grew up. Flash back forty years, and we get to see more of Amanda’s past, as she struggles to carry out her duties as a policewoman against brutal gender discrimination. Women in the police force in the seventies were seen as a bit of a novelty and were often given the “softer” or easier crimes to deal with due to their apparent delicacy. Reading about this period in history was absolutely fascinating and I was pleased that we got to see the younger Wagner prior to her reputation as a bit of a “ball breaker.” Amanda and her partner Evelyn Mitchell (Faith’s mum, Slaughter fans) are sent to investigate the murder of a prostitute, deemed relatively safe by the superiors but as the case begins to take off, Amanda discovers that she got a bit more than she bargained for.

How does this all fit in with Will and the present day case? Well, that would spoil it, but be prepared for those juicy little nuggets of information the author gives out as we switch between time frames and slot each piece of the puzzle into place. The only problem I could envision is how Will was going to cope and if he had enough strength to deal with the ghosts of his past and put them firmly into the realms of history. Again, as with all of Slaughter’s thrillers, the character development is superb and I loved how we got to learn a bit more about Amanda Wagner, who I have always had a secret soft spot for. I should probably put a warning out there and say there is a bit of graphic violence which needs a hardy stomach, but I think it is always dealt with in a way that makes you want to turn the pages rather than vomit all over them. I think fans of Karin Slaughter will be very excited about this recent addition to the Will Trent series but if you’re new to her, I recommend you check out Blindsighted first. Of course Criminal can be read as a stand-alone, but knowing the background of some of the characters and knowledge of certain main events in the main characters lives will definitely make for a more pleasurable reading experience.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0