Book review: The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 Permalink

It feels like it’s been a while between Will Trent / Sara Linton drinks, and it has been, with the previous novel – and the 7th in Karin Slaughter’s popular series – released in 2013.

I’ll let Slaughter off this hook this time around however, as she’s kept busy with a range of other writing projects, including Cop Town and Pretty Girls.

Book review: The Kept Woman by Karin SlaughterThe Kept Woman (Will Trent, #8)
by Karin Slaughter
Series: Will Trent #8
Published by Century
on July 14th 2016
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 1780893574, 9781780893570
Pages: 560

A body is discovered in an empty Atlanta warehouse. It's the body of an ex-cop, and from the moment Special Agent Will Trent walks in he knows this could be the most devastating case of his career.

Bloody footprints leading away from the scene reveal that another victim - a woman - has left the scene and vanished into thin air.

And, worst of all, the warehouse belongs to the city's biggest, most politically-connected, most high-profile athlete - a local hero protected by the world's most expensive lawyers. A local hero Will has spent the last six months investigating on a brutal rape charge.

But for Will - and also for Dr Sara Linton, the GBI's newest medical examiner - the case is about to get even worse. Because an unexpected discovery at the scene reveals a personal link to Will's troubled past. The consequences will wreak havoc on his life and the lives of those he loves, those he works with, and those he pursues.

But Sara's scene-of-the-crime diagnosis is that they only have a few hours to find the missing woman before she bleeds out . . .

As I started reading I realised I’d actually not read #7 (Unseen), and am not sure how that happened as Slaughter’s usually a #mustread for me!  I’d definitely read the sixth in the series (Criminal), but assume it was Unseen in which Will and Sara got together. Either way, we’ve jumped forward in time a little and Sara and Will seem happily ensconced in their relationship with Will’s ex (Angie) off the scene for a few years.

Will’s women are all back in this latest outing. In addition to Sara, there’s Amanda his boss and Faith is partner. And – sadly – it’s not long before Angie rears her trouble-making head… this time causing problems for Sara and Will.

Interestingly it’s really only coincidence that sees Angie and Will’s world collide, and that lands this latest case in the lap of Will and his team.

It’s a little hard to say a lot about the plot and its connections to Will’s past without giving too much away, but suffice to say Angie brings with her, some baggage and Will is – yet again – required to help clean up after her.

Slaughter brilliantly puts us in the heads of Will, Sara and Angie. I must admit I dislike Angie so much I was seriously grumpy when I landed in her mind, but her narrative offers us a bit more insight into her character and (interestingly) the duality of her thoughts, feelings and behaviour. I’m a bit murky on the past novels in the series but feel as if I learned a lot more about her this time around.

Angie’s at her best and worst in this novel and Will – accustomed to seeing both – is forced to consider how well he really knows his childhood friend and first love.

The Will and Sara dynamic is working really well and as the book opened I was confident this book (or indeed the series) wouldn’t suffer the ‘Moonlighting’ curse of falling apart once the two key characters finally got together. Although having said that, Slaughter’s not overly sentimental having killed off Sara’s first husband in the Grant County series. She’s very cleverly moved Sara on and the charismatic Jeffrey Tolliver is a sweet, but vague memory for most readers.

The ending is both frustrating and satisfying, setting readers up for the next instalment.

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter was published by Random House UK (Cornerstone) and available from 14 July 2016.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher for review purposes. 

  • Heather Duff (@hross42)
    July 13, 2016

    I have never read a Karin Slaughter book but as I love the In Death series I think I might enjoy this! Thanks for sharing!

    • Deborah
      July 14, 2016

      And yes Heather you could start with the Grant County series, which also features Sara – she ties the two together.

  • Rita @ View From My Books
    July 14, 2016

    Great review! Auto-read author for me since the first Grant County installment. I enjoyed Cop Town very much but Pretty Girls was a bit too much violence against women to stomach (I realize she planned that reaction to get readers talking about violence against women, clever author).

    I can’t wait to connect with Sara and Will again, but I do hate Angie, such a downer. Though most readers hated Lena from the first half of the series, and she was my favorite character because she was so multi-dimensional! Thanks, Deb for your thoughts.

    • Deborah
      July 14, 2016

      Thanks Rita and I disliked Lena as well and thought it interesting she incorporates such characters (Lena and Angie). I can’t quite recall the detail of Cop Town but think there was a ‘character we’d love to hate’ there as well!

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
    July 14, 2016

    Why haven’t I read this author before?? I have Cop Town on my shelf but haven’t read it. I need to fix that because this sounds like a book I’d really like. I like the sound of Will and Sara’s dynamic and will have to look for the first of their books. I think that may be my problem actually – she has so many great sounding series that I don’t know where to start!

    • Deborah
      July 14, 2016

      Katherine, as I mentioned to Heather you could probably go back to the very popular Grant County series which featured Sara. I can’t believe this is the 8th in this series but think there were several before Sara entered the fray.

  • Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    July 15, 2016

    I have read this author, but not this series. Sounds like I need to begin.

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