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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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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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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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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 10 July 2012
I was really looking forward to getting my hands on the new Will Trent book, but found myself slightly disappointed. I did really enjoy aspects of the story, getting to know more about the characters and the whole bit set in the 70's was really well done. The links between past and presant gave a much clearer understanding about characters and their relationships with each other.

But what dissapointed me, the lack of Will Trent investigating. I really engoy the way he looks at a crime and carrys out an investigation, but unfortunatly that was missing from this book. I understand it wouldn't have been able to happen and the majority of the investigation was conducted in the 70's but that is what I had been waiting a year for.

Maybe I am being a bit harsh and as I had been waiting for so long maybe I would have always been disappointed, no matter what had happened.

Don't get me wrong, it is definatly worth buying and reading, it is a good book, just not what I was quite expecting/hoping for. Maybe my expectations were to high!
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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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A university student goes missing in Atlanta - but Amanda Wagner is determined to keep Will Trent off the case... why?

In the latest of her Sara Linton/Will Trent series, Slaughter excels herself with a story which is full of emotional depth. Set between the 1970s when Amanda and Evelyn Mitchell were young police detectives on a force which was endemically sexist and racist, and the present day, this is, in some ways, a very angry book - but also one which shows how far society has changed in the last fifty years. Then it was normal for police officers to be part of the Klan - now, there's an African-American president.

Most of all, though, this book plumbs the depths of Will's past - and, boy, is he put through it! I've never been particularly sold on saintly Sara Linton as a character, but think Will is one of the most interesting in contemporary crime fiction.

So this isn't a book to read as your first Slaughter as you do really need to have a sense of the histories between our characters. That said, some of the earlier books can be a bit schlocky, and this feels far more emotionally mature.

I bought the paperback in the US and that edition has a preview of the next book (Unseen) which, sadly, opens with a return to Lena Adams, a character from the earlier books who I could never really believe in. But if Slaughter manages to pull off something as good as this, I may well be persuaded to give it a try.
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Okay I'm really not sure where to start with this review as I feel completely at odds with how I normally feel after finishing a Karin Slaughter book. A quick re-cap for those maybe not in the know might help. Karin Slaughter created a series of books called Grant County and then another series featuring Will Trent and Faith Mitchell. IN a surprising (but genius) move Karin Slaughter managed to turn the two series into one and they became known as The Georgia series. It was an incredibly risky move as some fans had become attached to various characters. Even for me I found it hard to believe that she had done such a thing; however her last release entitled Fallen showed just how clever Karin Slaughter really is. Without adding too many spoilers for those wanting to read the series from the beginning, I will just say the series currently features Will Trent, Faith Mitchell and Sara Linton. For her fans that have followed from book 1 there were many questions that have come up over time and this book is the one to address some of them.

The book is split into two parts almost, one featuring Will, Sara and Faith in the present day and the other featuring Amanda Wagner (Will's boss) and Evelyn Mitchell (Faith's mother) set in the seventies. In the beginning I was more drawn to the present day element and at the halfway point was wondering what was going on. Why was I not getting into the book as much as I normally did? I realised at just past the halfway mark that it's because I am an impatient woman! The story featuring Evelyn and Amanda makes so much sense especially towards the end. The crimes are as ever gruesome and I found the authenticity of women in the police force back then kind of shocking.

The story itself was as usual great, but for me I felt like I was more interested in the answers to my questions and thankfully by the end so many things clicked into place. I wouldn't say that this story was as good as Fallen (I forgot to turn my bath off whilst reading that one!) but as ever is fantastic writing and for fans who have followed the series, is a crucial part of the series. Will, Sara and Faith do not feature as heavily but it makes perfect sense as we see the reasons for where some of them are today. I think that although this isn't my favourite Karin Slaughter book it just shows how talented a lady she is. Another winner from the leading lady in this field!
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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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