I was hooked on Karin Slaughter's writing from the first book, Blindsighted. The first six books were set in Grant County and featured the local sheriff and his wife, the local coroner. They're excellent crime/mystery books, with great plots and wonderful characters. In fact, it is the characters themselves that draw me back, over and over again.
Things move in real time in Slaughter's books. Her writing has segued to focus on another character from the Grant County books - Georgia Bureau of Investigation detective Will Trent. Slaughter's latest book Criminal is the seventh in the Trent series.
The question always arises with series books - can you read them as stand alones? Well, yes you could, but in my opinion you'd be missing out on some really great reading and a lot of backstory if you didn't start earlier on in the series.
In Criminal, a local college student goes missing and although this would normally fall into Will's lap, his boss Amanda pulls him off the case. The case bears marked similarities to a case from forty years ago - the case that launched Amanda's career. And both have blood ties to Will.....
Slaughter employs a great past and present narrative. In Criminal, we are finally get answers to the question of Will's murky past and his boss Amanda's interest in his life. And best of all, we get to know Amanda a whole lot better. I also really enjoyed Amanda's partner Evelyn. Although we know her in the present day books, the 1970's Evelyn had me laughing out loud, gasping at the treatment female officers were shown and cheering the pair of them on. Slaughter brings the 1970's to life, with attitudes and lifestyles faithfully reproduced.
The plotting is intricate, believable and gripping. Faint readers, be warned - the crimes are graphic. Crime fiction aficionados - this is a must read series.