Will Trent returns in a very personal and harrowing case. Called to a disused nightclub in order to investigate the murder of a former APD Detective, it soon becomes clear that the case if far more complex and complicated than any of the GBI could have imagined. The nightclub belongs to one of Atlanta’s most respected and revered sports men, one who has the highest paid lawyers and who Trent has spent the past six months investigating for rape.
Complicating matters is the amount of blood found at the scene. It is very clear that not all of it has come from their known victim, meaning that they are potentially looking for at least one more body. When a piece of evidence reveals that the victim may have a very personal link to Trent, it pushes him to the very limit, a potential threat to not only his job but his relationship with Dr Sara Linton. Trent knows he should leave the case alone, but with a connection that takes him back thirty years, and the possibility that this other victim may still be alive, he knows he cannot, and will not, walk away.
‘The Kept Woman’ is Karin Slaughter at the very top of her game. It is most certainly the ‘page turner’, the action and tension balanced perfectly, pulling the reader along with Trent as he goes through a real rollercoaster of emotions. It is full of the characters that readers have grown to love, as well as one they love to hate. Angie, Trent’s wife and Sara Linton’s main antagonist.
Despite the fact that Angie is a very unsympathetic character, I think it would take a very hard hearted person not to feel something for the position she finds herself in throughout this story. The reader is privy to far more of Angie’s motivation throughout the novel than Trent is aware of, the second part of the text being told from Angie’s pint of view of the week leading up to the fateful moment in the nightclub, and you do get a sense that she is trying to do the right thing, even if it is too little too late. There is also a much clearer picture of what happened in Angie’s life to lead her down the destructive path she followed. I’m still not convinced you will like her, but at least you understand her.
There are hints dropped along the way as to what is really happening. Safe to say, not everything is as simple and straightforward as it seems. If I had once criticism, it is that the prologue makes it a little too clear that the risk for one character is not as high as the others may believe, but it didn’t stop my enjoyment of the book as whole, and if anything, I was kind of intrigued to see how and when they would all cotton on.
If you love the Atlanta series, then you will love this book. The bad guys are deliciously bad, from Angie all the way to the questionable characters she works for, because, let’s face it, character development is an area in which Slaughter excels. The story is gripping, often a little tragic and makes grim reading, carefully touching on subjects which could be triggers for some readers if not handled well. No such problem here, with the subjects addressed through inference and suggestion rather than angling for the gratuitous shock factor. I read through the book in a little over a day, not wanting to leave it for too long but being thwarted by that age old problem – the need for sleep. This has definitely become one of my favourite reads this year.
A very excellent 5 stars.
My thanks to Net Galley and publishers Random House UK, Cornerstone, for the copy of ‘The Kept Woman’ in exchange for my review.
The Kept Woman was published in the UK on 14th July,, 2016, and is released in the US on September 20th, 2016, and is available for order/pre-order here: