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.
Overall Rating: 5.00
Story Rating: 5.00
Character Rating: 5.00
Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)
First thought when finished: That ending was just about perfect! That is exactly how I like my thrillers to end: one last turn right after you think you have it all figured out!
What I thought of the case: In Criminal Karin Slaughter leverages probably one of my least favorite plot tricks but makes it work in a way that blew me away: dual time lines (present and past). In the beginning I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it but for this story it worked brilliantly. The modern-day case was reminiscent of the older case. Both of these cases were personal for Will and Amanda so it added a layer of intensity. I enjoyed watching the timeline from the past unfold because it held so many layers: the roles of women in law enforcement in the 1970s, prejudices, friendships, and the thrill of figuring out your first major case. The things that Amanda and Evelyn went through to work the case were crazy scary and probably pretty close to an accurate portrayal of the 1970s. I kept wanting the story to flip back to that timeline whenever we were in the present. I wasn’t as invested the case from the present day, other than to see how it unfolded with the case from the 1970s.
What I thought of the characters: This is my first Karin Slaughter book so I did not know anything about any of the characters in Criminal: Will, Sara, and Amanda. That being said, I felt immediately drawn to Amanda’s story. I felt she was amazingly complicated and the job really defines her. I think learning about how hard she fought for where she was is what really made me go “WOW”. I did enjoy Will and Sara too. I will be picking up the backlist in order to learn more about all of these characters. There is probably volumes I don’t know and I can’t wait to explore.
What I thought of the Audio: Narrated by Kathleen Early at running time of 15 hrs and 35 mins the audio of Criminal was very well done. I felt the pacing, emotions, and characters were all done in a way that never felt forced or rushed. I had a bit of a problem in the beginning with Will’s “voice” but that quickly went away as the story progressed. Technically I did not have any problems with the ending of tracks and moving on to the next one. Criminal was a very good audio production overall.
Final Thoughts: If you are like me and never checked out Karin Slaughter, I am telling you to now! Criminal was a fantastic book!
Thanks to the folks at AudioGo, I have a sample of Criminal by Karin Slaughter to share with you. PLEASE NOTE: Samples can be graphic at times
Karin created a microsite for Criminal: http://www.karinslaughter.com/
List of other Tour Stops (some have giveaways of the book)
Monday, July 9: Literate Housewife (http://literatehousewife.com/
Tuesday, July 10: Teresa’s Reading Corner (http://teresasreadingcorner.
Thursday, July 12: Book Addict Reviews (http://bookaddictreviews.
Friday, July 13: In Real Life (http://www.erin-faye.com/)
Monday, July 16: Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog (http://www.
Tuesday, July 17: You’ve GOTTA Read This! (http://sandynawrot.blogspot.
Wednesday, July 18: Alison’s Book Marks (http://www.alisonsbookmarks.
Thursday, July 19: Jen’s Book Thoughts (http://www.jensbookthoughts.