By: Karin Slaughter
Will Trent #8
Publication Date: 9/20/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars
A very special "thank you" to Edelweiss, William Morrow-HarperCollins for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
One of the top female crime writers in the world, Karin Slaughter returns following her stellar performance Pretty Girls, landing on My Top 10 Books of 2015 and Cop Townlanding on My Top 30 Books for 2014 with her continuation of the highly anticipated, #8 Will Trent Series THE KEPT WOMAN. Man, "Slaughter can describe evil to the very core."
Set in HOT Atlanta, avid fans of Will Trent, Sara, and Angie (triangle)--you are going to devour The Kept Woman, and at the same time, get to catch up with Amanda, Faith, Tess and familiar characters. Worthy of all the hype. Please, someone make this into a movie/TV series. What is the holdup?
Angie is a woman we all love to hate. Please let her DIE!
Will is a flawed man you want to root for. Sara is a woman you want a happy ending with the man she longs to build a normal life with. Angie is always an ongoing source of pain, drama, and conflict. One nasty Bitch.
When will the nightmare be over?
Does Angie have a heart? Will she ever let Will go and be free from her clutches? Damaged, beyond comprehension, Angie a former cop, private eye, and a pro at running scams, running girls, running pills. How has her past caught up with her present?
The novel opens when the body of an Atlanta ex-cop, Dale Harding is found in a warehouse dead. There is evidence of another victim from the blood.
Special Agent Will Trent knows the warehouse, a club belonging to athlete, famous basketball star-Marcus Rippy, having just walked on a rape charge. He had repeatedly brutally assaulted his victim. A woman. Keisha Miscavage, her accuser. Now he is hiding behind lawyers.
Dr. Sara Linton is on the case as well as her lover, Will Trent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. All things point to involvement with the nasty ex-wife Angie Polaski, Will has been trying to divorce for years. She is in and out of his life like a bad revolving door.
Of course Amanda and Faith are thinking maybe Angie is dead. (we/Sara can only dream). She is too evil to die.
From flashbacks of events prior to the murder, the missing woman—a violent struggle. Blood. The Glock is registered to none other than Angie Polaski. Will’s ex-wife, and the woman he met as a girl. Dark hair, smart mouth, killer body.
Angie had been in and out of Will’s life like a mosquito since he was eleven years old at the Atlanta’s Children’s Home—both surviving abuse, neglect, abandonment, torture.
Wounded. Dangerous. Desperate.
Now Sara wonders what Will has been up to. Has he been honest? Seeing Angie behind her back?Angie was a cop for ten years and she knows the ropes. Will did not love her and according to him, he had been searching for her for a year to file divorce papers. Their marriage was a scam, something they had literally done on a dare.
Will had promised Sara he was doing everything possible to end it. She had never questioned him until now. There had to be more to the story. A break in, notes left on the car.
Someone murdered a cop who was on Kip Kilpatrick’s payroll in the service of Marcus Rippy. Also Angie had been stalking Sara, Will’s girlfriend. Sara is beyond upset picturing Angie at Will’s house touching her things. Angie always dictated the terms of their relationship. A twisted lover. One minute Angie loved him and the next she hated him. Disappearing months or years at a time. She was a constant in his life for nearly three decades. Everyone has a past.
Will’s scars were both emotional and physical. He did not trust easily and it had taken years to break the hold Angie had over him. Was it broken?
Now, what had Angie gotten herself involved in now? Where was Angie and how was she mixed up in this mess? The new intense crime (Will/Sara/Angie) will bring them all together once again. Rest assured, you will be anxiously awaiting the next Will Trent thriller!
“Damage. Some people had holes inside of them that they spent their lives trying to fill. With hate. With pills. With scheming. With jealousy. With a child’s love. With a man’s fist. Badness doesn’t come all at once. The dominoes fall over time. You hurt someone by mistake and they let you get away with it. Then you try hurting them on purpose and they still stick around. And then you realize that the more you hurt them, the better you feel.
So you keep hurting them and they keep hanging on, and the years roll by, and you convince yourself that the fact that they still stand by you, means that the pain you cause is okay. But you hate them for it. For what you do to them. For what they do to you.”
My favorite part: “Anybody know a doctor?.” Sara said, “I’m NOT touching her.” (go girl)!
On a serious note, once again Slaughter uses violence as a powerful tool in her crime writing. A means to talk about greater issues affecting society, and women; with domestic abuse, child abuse and rape.
She is a pro at portraying women who have suffered horrendous abuse and demonstrates how they put their life back together. From the social aspects to the horrific tragic acts of the past, emotional and psychological damage and how they interact within relationships and careers.
An EW online interview with the author:
“The Kept Woman, like many of my novels, explores how the events of the present can rip a tunnel into a long-gone past,” Slaughter tells EW.
“But more so than anything I’ve written, this book comments specifically and strongly on domestic abuse. Violence against women is an epidemic, transcending geography and social status, and in The Kept Woma I aim to shine a light on this heartbreaking truth.”
HINT! I want to see Karin Slaughter featured on Younger(one of my favorite shows), an American comedy-drama television series, from the creator of Sex and the City , based on the Pamela Redmond Satran’s novel of the same name-- created and produced by Darren Star.
With the frequent mentions of rival HarperCollins, would love to see Slaughter featured in a guest appearance scene with Maggie, played by Debi Mazar (Maggie is a 40-something lesbian artist, who is Liza's roommate and closest friend).
Please, let it be a more prominent scene than the short clip with author, Jennifer Weiner. If you blinked your eyes, you would have missed it. If you are a book lover, you will love the name dropping of top authors and publishers. Between sharp tongue, witty, Maggie- and Diana Trout, played by Miriam Shor (temperamental head of marketing) at the publishing house where Liza just got a job by pretending to be 26 years old—Slaughter’s appearance would be a total riot and ratings would soar! Also make sure to reference, Will Trent, Angie, and Sara to maximize the drama. Cannot wait for Season 3!
NO one can write like the "Queen" of crime thrillers, Karin Slaughter!
Have read them all—highly recommend. For new readers, Slaughter does a good job with a backstory of the characters from previous books. As always, plenty of action, crime, violence, and corruption.
The Will Trent series
• Triptych (2006)
• Fractured (2008)
• Undone (2009), Genesis (UK/Australia title)
• Broken (2010)
• Fallen (2011)
• Snatched (2012, ebook novella)
• Criminal (2012)
• Busted (2013)
• Unseen (2013)
• The Kept Woman (2016)
Thanks to Net Galley and to Little, Brown Book UK for offering me a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
This novel combines an intriguing plot (a police-procedural thriller about an African-American young woman murdered in mysterious circumstances that many want to cover up) with a tense and little explored historical background, post-WWII Atlanta, a place where racial tensions were alive and well. The story takes place shortly after the first African-American men have taken their posts as police officers. The Atlanta of the time is a segregated city, with white and black neighbourhoods, and where the poorest and most criminal area is known as ‘Darktown’. Nobody wants to police it, but the business is booming.
The new members of the police force have a badge and a gun, but can only police the African-American neighbourhoods, cannot enter the police station, are bullied by the white police agents, command no respect, have access to no resources and are stabbed in the back at the slightest opportunity.
The story is told in the third person from several points of views. Most of the story is told in alternating chapters from two of the police officers’ points of views: Rake, a white rookie whose partner is a racist and corrupt police officer who uses force, threats and intimidation to control criminals and peers alike, and Boggs, an African-American policeman, the son of a preacher who is one of the influencers of the well-off African-American community in Atlanta. Rake tries to be a good and ethical policeman but finds it difficult to confront the status quo, and although he tolerates the African-American policemen, he is not pro-equality. For him, the best case scenario is that they keep out of each other’s way. Boggs knows they are only there as a political gesture and any excuse will be good to get rid of them, but he takes a stand and decides to investigate the death of the young African-American woman white detectives don’t care about, no matter what the consequences. There are also brief chapters told from other characters’ points of view, but this is always relevant to the story and I did not find it confusing.
The plot is complex, with several murders, police corruption, false clues, and the added difficulties of the partial sources of information and the obstacles that Rake and Boggs find at every turn. There are many characters that appear only briefly and it is important to be attentive to the story not to miss anything, and towards the end, the author cleverly keeps some of the clues under wraps (you might have your suspicions but it’s not easy to guess the whole story and wrap it all up).
The action of the novel is kept at good pace,the writing has enough description to make us feel as we were sweating with the characters (and we can almost feel the violence in our own bodies), without ever being overdrawn, and there are quite a few chapters that end in a cliffhanger and makes us keep turning the pages. There is also a well accomplished underlying sense of threat and darkness running through the whole story and it’s impossible to read it and not to think on how much (and also how little) some things have changed.
The main characters have doubts, weaknesses and don’t always do the honourable or “right” thing but that makes them easier to relate to, although not always likeable. I missed having more of a sense of their personal lives (Rake is married but we know next to nothing about his family and although Boggs lives with his family, most of the focus is on the job) but that fits in nicely with the genre. Apart from an African-American Madam, the victim, and a woman who helps divulge some useful information, women don’t have much of a role in the story as seems to correspond to the period. Some of the secondary characters are odious whilst others are all too human, and at times become casualties in a war they never enrolled in.
A well-written story, with a complex plot, set in a relatively recent and turbulent historical period that will make you think about race, discrimination, and progress.
Ethan did not want to go home for a wedding that will never take place. Nathan had to find a needle in a haystack. Can them finding each other be love?
Nathan promised his father's best friend he would find his son, in exchange for something he wants so dearly. Ethan does not know how to tell his family he was not enough, again. They meet, and both their lives are changed.
Ethan is trying to save face. Nathan just wants to help Ethan, out of the goodness of his heart. But when a meddling family think they are helping.....
Let's just say there is a surprise around every corner. I shall leave it at that. I am not one to give spoilers but this short and sweet romance is seriously worth it. I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!
***I received a free advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest & unbiased review.