The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter @SlaughterKarin @fictionpubteam #review #TheLastWidow

Today it is my absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for the latest book in Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent & Sara Linton series, The Last Widow. I was very late to this series having been left somewhat bereft and broken at the end of the Grant County series of books (still not entirely forgiven the author for that one) but can happily say that Will Trent has made up a little ground and the series is absolutely cracking. Thanks to Becca Bryant at Harper Collins for inviting me to join the tour and providing an advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is about:

Source: Netgalley

About the Book

It begins with an abduction. The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end…they find nothing. It’s as if she disappeared into thin air.

A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer’s day is broken by the wail of sirens.

Sara and Will are trained to help in an emergency. Their jobs – their vocations – mean that they run towards a crisis, not away from it. But on this one terrible day that instinct betrays them both. Within hours the situation has spiralled out of control; Sara is taken prisoner; Will is forced undercover. And the fallout will lead them into the Appalachian mountains, to the terrible truth about what really happened to Michelle, and to a remote compound where a radical group has murder in mind…

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Google Playstore | Apple Books

My Thoughts

This book is not for the feint hearted. From the slow building tension and shock factor of the opening chapter to the blend of heart-thumping action and heart-breaking emotion, it really does have it all. There are very serious themes at play here – racism, domestic terrorism, extremism and child abuse, albeit not explicit – but all are dealt with in an authentic, absorbing and sympathetic way, still eliciting strong emotions within the reader without alienating them.

The early chapters are told from both Sara and Will’s point of view, giving the reader all perspectives in what turns out to be one of the most traumatic times in Will’s life. It’s not so great for Sara either, to be fair … The loved up couple are spending a little quiet time together when they feel the earth move, quite literally, the sound of two loud explosions breaking the silence and turning a day with family into a day that sees a family torn apart. Racing to see how they can help our intrepid pair find themselves in grave danger. Sara is taken and Will is left broken – physically and emotionally. But how far will he go to save the woman he loves?

I really do enjoy this series. It has the perfect mix of brilliant characters, strong roots and vividly described setting and always, always, features a storyline which will have readers on the edge of their seat. The Last Widow is no exception, although the heart-stopping, breath stealing moments will often come as a result of the intense sense of jeopardy for our characters, than for any necessary action scenes. Don’t get me wrong – there are some very hectic, all to play for sequences in this book, particularly towards the end. But this book will floor you because of the depth of the emotion, both between Will and Sara, and the heart-breaking scenes that unfold as the story progresses.

As I said, this is not an easy read. There are certain scenes which will leave you feeling cold and perhaps even angry. In amongst it all there are still moments that will make you smile and maybe feel a little hopeful, if only for that smile to be stolen a few pages later as Sara makes her final, most distressing discovery. The bad guys in this book, if you have any soul at all, will make your skin crawl and you have to applaud the author for being able to create such objectionable characters without making the reader switch off. If anything I became more invested, just to ensure that they got their comeuppance, smiling occasionally at the fate that befell some of them. Dash is perhaps the ultimate portrayal of a thoroughly misogynistic bad guy. Outwardly charming, and able to convince others to follow in his wake no matter how dark his intent, without ever once telling them what his true plan would be. And yet, like Sara, the reader is able to glimpse beneath that slick veneer and see the evil beneath. This cult leader is a man I’m not even sure a mother could truly love.

What I probably loved most though is seeing Will and Sara at their most vulnerable. I don’t mean that to sound harsh, although it probably does, but there was something so beautiful about the blend of fear and determination that Sara displayed, making her seem a touch more human than I’ve perhaps seen her before, and more so in seeing Will so lost without her. This is a man on the edge, so close to broken it is almost painful to watch and yet impossible to look away from. He is so lost, so bereft at the thought he allowed Sara to be taken, and yet still able to find the fire within him, he becomes even more of a perfect hero. It’s almost sickening. Almost …

If you love this series, even if you have a moderate liking with a bit of a thing for Will Trent (and who doesn’t love Will Trent?), you are going to love The Last Widow. Just be prepared to have your emotions thrown into turmoil and your balance tested as you move closer and closer to the edge of your seat. Can they find a happy ending? Well that really depends on your definition of happy. I’ll say one thing. I’m one pretty happy reader right now and can’t wait to see what Karin Slaughter offers us next.

About the Author

Karin Slaughter is an American crime writer, whose first novel Blindsighted became an international success, was published in almost 30 languages, and made the Crime Writers’ Association’s Dagger Award shortlist for “Best Thriller Debut” of 2001. She has sold more than 30 million copies of her books, and is published in 32 languages.

Fractured, the second novel in the Will Trent series, debuted at number one in the UK and the Netherlands, and was the number one adult fiction title in Australia. At the same time, Faithless published in Germany at number one.
Slaughter was born in a small southern Georgia community. Now residing in Atlanta, she is widely credited with coining the term “investigoogling” in 2006.

Slaughter is currently part of a “Save the Libraries” event that benefits the DeKalb County Public Library.

Author Links: Twitter | Website

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