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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.
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This is a suberbly enthralling crime thriller set in Atlanta, Georgia. Written in two time periods (1974-5 and the present day) in alternate chapter style.The author cleverly and seamlessly unfolds a story that stretches almost 40 years. It starts with a street of prostitutes from varying backgrounds. They all have descended into depravity because of drug addiction and are selling their bodies to obtain enough money to get their supplies via a ruthless, violent pimp. Jane, Lucy, Kitty, Mary all lead squalid, sleazy lives in dangerous situations due their dependancy. Their fate is out of their hands. This is 1975. In this year the sexual discrimination act came in. The oral contraceptive pill became prescribable in 1971. Womens' rights in Atlanta?
Karin Slaughter throws us into the Atlanta ghettos and intoduces Amanda Wagner and Evelyn Mitchell, both policewomen. At this time women were not considered suitable as law enforcers and bore the brunt of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and wisecracks from their largely bigoted male colleagues. To this scenario is added the racial tensions between Afro- Americans and the white police largely segregated in the force on top of 'turning a blind eye' and more overt corruption. Tenaciously, the two policewomen do their best to go about their duties, particularly when women of the street start 'disappearing'.

The present takes the reader into Will Trent territory, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Amanda is his boss. Other colleagues are Faith Mitchell (Trent's partner), Evelyn Mitchell who pitches in with Amanda as often as not in an unconvential fashion. Will seems to have the world on his shoulders despite a love interest from paediatrician Dr Sara Linton. Most Will Trent followers will recognise these names. Events and unexplainable attitudes pervade the rest of the narrative with a secretive, suspenseful atmosphere. Some of the material is not for the faint-hearted. Amanda and Will ultimately understand more of their background and relationship. Amanda is the standout character in this book.

The prose and character development are expertly executed. As events unfold all the jig-saw pieces come together. The end part of the book explains all of the mysteries and more. The twists and revelations come tumbling one after another.
This is the most enjoyable and well-written thriller I have read for many a month. The interest is maintained throughout. A heart-thumper. Highly readable and recommended.
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on 10 July 2012
I am a big Slaughter fan and I was devastated when she killed off Jeffrey. However she implored us in the postscript to that book to have faith (no pun intended!) and she has delivered on her promise.

Sara and Faith take back seats in this book which provides much needed background on Will and Amanda (a character who has always fascinated me) and their rather odd relationship. Having skillfully created a solid cast of characters in previous books (including "Snatched"), they are woven into this book with some excellent historical context. It is a lesson Patricia Cornwell would have done well to learn with her Scarpetta series. It is just not plausible or interesting to focus a series on one main character who can turn her hand to an aray of skills to solve crimes by herself (and whip up some fresh pasta in her spare time!). Much better to do as Slaughter has done and change the setting and the focus so that other characters can develop (much like any good soap opera!). I make the Cornwell observation because Slaughter is frequently compared to her, but in fact I think Slaughter is by far and away the better author.

If you liked the Grant County series and have come to love the Atlanta series, then this book is essential reading. Bring on the next installment. I for one am gripped!
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on 16 July 2012
As usual Karin Slaughter delivers. Really enjoyed the latest instalment in the Grant County/ Atlanta series. Lots of back story for Will, Amanda and Evelyn while updating the stories of the main characters. The story itself was riveting and disturbing, can't wait to read it again, tho hopefully I'll read it a bit slower next time!
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on 11 March 2013
I love Karin Slaughter's novels. They are well written and compulsive page turners. The plots are tight and the characters well drawn. This is a very good addition to the series - one of the best, in my opinion. However I do wonder how long Ms Slaughter can carry on this series. I understood that she moved Sara Linton out of Grant County, and introduced the GBI characters, in order to broaden the scope of the series however this novel and the previous novel, Fallen, have had stories involving the GBI characters, Faith, Will and Amanda which seems as insular as the novels which focused on Sara and Jeffrey. I'm looking forward to the next novel!
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on 31 August 2012
Not the best but I guess I would have enjoyed it more if it was a stand alone. My main gripe was that Will Trent didn't use his investigative skills as usual and for me the dual - Will and Faith investigating is the best part of this KL's series. I felt that although Will's boss back story was interesting enough and needed to be told, it didn't leave enough space for us die hard fans of the series. What makes this series tick, is the characters and in this one, the main characters were not given life. It was rather the back story which overshadowed them.
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on 6 April 2013
Karin Slaughter is one of my favour authors and I have read all of her books. This one was up there with the best of her writing. The characters are so believable. In this book we got to know so much more about Will Trent and the relationship with his boss. The twists and turns were excellent. I can't wait for the next instalment in this wonderful series.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 December 2012
If I wore a hat, I would take it off to Karin Slaughter. She really does know how to crank up the tension in this latest offering. I wasn't sure at first how the story would evolve, or what would be revealed, but I was as usual, completely enthralled. As with all her books, Criminal is meticulously researched, and offers a view of Atlanta, Georgia in the 1970's, that is as bewildering, as it is challenging. As always, the writing is tight, the graphic and often violent nature of the crime depicted is compelling, and whilst never gratuitously violent, it certainly manages to hold your attention.
I think this book is made all the more poignant by the inclusion of some of Will Trent's back story, and as his burgeoning relationship with Sara Linton gets off to a shaky start, we are allowed a glimpse into what makes this enigmatic man tick. It was interesting to view the younger Amanda Wagner and her colleague, Evelyn Mitchell, in their early days as young detectives, battling not only the criminal underworld but also fighting to be heard in a chauvinistic male environment.

I always finish the last page of a Karin Slaughter novel completely emotionally exhausted, not just because I give up sleep in order to read just a little bit more, but because without fail, she manages to infuse her characters with so much independent spirit that you can't fail to invest emotionally in the story.

I am delighted to learn that the Will Trent series of novels are to be made into a series of feature films.
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on 13 March 2013
I'm a big fan of The Will trent series by Karin Slaughter and this book didn't disappoint. I love Will, i think he's such a strong willed person and his character is so three dimensional and you learn about where he comes from in this book.
I think this is a brilliant book, the story is complex enough to hold your attention without being ridiculously confusing, although it does go back and forth a lot so you do have to pay attention!!
It also takes you back to when Amanda Wagner and Evelyn Mitchell was just starting out in the police force and how women were treated in law enforcement back then (which is turly shocking)
The mystery holds you until the end and I particularly loved the last scene, which if you buy and read it you'll know why
If your a Slaughter fan you won't be disappointed with Criminal, i'll definately be reading it again in the future

Would definatwely reccommend, as long as your not faint hearted, this particular criminal (see what i did there?? :P) is one evil bastard.
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on 13 July 2012
I am a massive Karin Slaughter fan, but this was not her usual thrilling read! In fact for the first time ever i was well over half way through before i started to enjoy reading it! It was long winded in places and lacked the usual crime thriller feel. The book is written in two time periods, more focusing on 1975 era rather then present day with Will and Sara. The death of Wills father left me a little flat, it was almost dealt with like it was unimportant, and the relationship between Will and Amanda wasnt explored in enough detail, when through the book you felt like it was building up to something that never came!
Yes the chemistry between the two main characters was exciting as always a little sparce in this book, and we needed the background to Will to understand him more, but still i just didnt feel the tension like with her other books. However it did finish on a cliff hanger so i have high hopes for the next installment!!!
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