239. Criminal by Karin Slaughter

Criminal by Karin Slaughter (US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)
Special Agent Will Trent, Book 6

Pages: 436
Ages: 18+
Finished: Sep. 2, 2012
First Published: Jul. 3, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: mystery, thriller, serial killer
Rating: 5/5

First sentence: "A cinnamon brown Oldsmobile Cutlass crawled up Edgewood Avenue, the windows lowered, the driver hunched down in his seat.."

Publisher's Summary:  "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—this was Will's 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.

A masterpiece of character, atmosphere, and riveting suspense, Criminal is the most powerful and moving novel yet from one of our most gifted storytellers at work today."
I edited the above very slightly as it gave away one piece of information which I thought was a spoiler.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada

Reason for Reading:  Next in the series.

Wow, oh, wow, oh, wow!!  Not since Karin's first book have I been so taken with one of her books.  This is a good series, that kind of went down a bit in the middle to 3s & 4s for me, then last book, Fallen, raised the bar back up to a 5 and here with Criminal, Slaughter has outdone herself.  This is probably the most disturbing crime (or MO) a serial killer has ever performed that I have read in fiction.  I'm actually afraid to check online to see if there has been a real case of this type of torture/killing because 1) I don't want to know someone could *really* do this and 2) if they didn't, it makes me wonder where Slaughter's mind goes to make up this stuff!  Chilling, sick, creepy, a splendid serial killer read for something totally new, unique and different from the rest.

Karin totally switches things up with this entry in the series with setting most of the book during the 1970s and Amanda's first homicide case.  This ties into the present with a case they are working on, but the past is the dominant part of the book and this just really throws something fresh into this series and finally we get to know Amanda as a person, what made her like she is today.

Thirdly,  Will and Sarah's relationship develops and I'm so happy with the direction Sarah's character has taken as I absolutely could not stand her in the Grant County Mysteries.  No longer is she the whiny woman, sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong, getting herself in trouble and having to be rescued at the end of the book.  I hope to Heaven that never happens again.  Please stay at the hospital Sarah!  Anyway (LOL) This was just absolutely fantastic, loved every minute of it and I think Slaughter has blown a breath of fresh air into the series.  Can't wait for next year's book!


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