Today on MinimacReviews I am beyond thrilled to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter. Like, really excited. Because it’s Karin Fucking Slaughter, and I am of the opinion that this is her best book yet.
If you like your thrillers intense and the social commentary blunt you need this book in your life right now. Don’t worry if you haven’t been following along with the Will Trent and Grant County series, The Silent Wife can be read as a heart-stopping standalone and will undoubtedly leave you wanting more.
Title: The Silent Wife
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publication Date: June 25, 2020
Genre: Crime Thriller, Police Procedural
Themes: Murder, Sexual Assault, Serial Killers
My Rating: 5/ 5
Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognises the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof. The killer is still out there.
As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake.
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There’s nothing quite as wonderful as picking up a book with high expectations and then having them completely blown away. As a long time fan Slaughter’s cutting prose, disturbingly relatable characterizations, and gritty investigations I was ready to end up totally invested in this book. What I wasn’t prepared for was the ways in which my nerves were slowly flayed with every page and the feeling of utter despair when I turned the final page.
This book is dark, gritty, and deeply nuanced in it’s dissection of serial killers/ assaulters and the cops that investigate them. It doesn’t shy away from the grey areas of the force, the weight of expectation that contributes to the creation of corrupt officers, and the toxic attitudes that often impede the genuine pursuit of justice. Violent sexual crimes are portrayed without glorifying the brutality, and the emphasis on the trauma and recovery of the survivors offers a tender and deeply connected perspective that it too often absent from thrillers and hard-boiled crime.
Let me be clear, there are parts of this book that are graphic, but never gratuitously so. If you’re squeamish, it’s probably best to stay away.
Told in a riveting split timeline that slowly reveals the sequence of events as experienced by Jeffrey Tolliver and his team eight years previously, and the eventual unpacking and reinvestigation of these cases by Will & Co. as they race against the clock to connect the dots there is never a dull moment. The balance between past and present is expertly crafted, as are those between truth and fiction, and evidence and emotion. Add in a dash of personal drama and a handful of cliff-hangers and you have the recipe for a book that’s difficult to put down.
But not everything about this baby is so dark you can’t see the light of day. Instead, The Silent Wife is filled with pop culture references, cutting observations, and elements of the real that ground it in today. For example Slaughter touches on Pastafarians, adult reader/ reviews of YA (I feel so… seen?), and even the reality of a successful investigator having to motherland her whatever to keep those Sims alive. It’s the little details like these sprinkled throughout the pages that brought enough levity to read through the tragedy.
Altogether this book is dark and twisty and utterly fantastic. Whether you’re new to Karin Slaughter or are in it for the 20 book haul, The Silent Wife is an absolute must-read!
About the Author
Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 19 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant Sunday Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her.
The Good Daughter and Cop Town are in development for film and television and Pieces of Her is soon to be an eight-part Netflix adaptation, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter (Mad Men), and produced by Charlotte Stoudt (Homeland) and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies).
Karin is the founder of the Save the Libraries project- a non-profit organisation established to support libraries and library programming.
She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Many thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in the Blog Tour.