The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter is the tenth in the series featuring Will Trent, and though I’d say I’m a Slaughter devotee I somehow missed the last one or two.
Interestingly, for long term fans… this could almost be badged as a Grant County book as Jeffrey Tolliver, the (former) Chief of Grant County Police and headliner of that series (along with Sara Linton) features prominently. Which could be perplexing if you’ve read all of those books.
The Silent Wife
by Karin Slaughter
Series: Will Trent #10
Published by Harper Collins
Source: Harper Collins
Genres: Crime Fiction
A woman runs alone in the woods. She convinces herself she has no reason to be afraid, but she's wrong. A predator is stalking the women of Grant County. He lingers in the shadows, until the time is just right to snatch his victim.
A decade later, the case has been closed. The killer is behind bars. But then another young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead, and the MO is identical.
Although the original trail has gone cold -- memories have faded, witnesses have disappeared -- agent Will Trent and forensic pathologist Sara Linton must re-open the cold case. But the clock is ticking, and the killer is determined to find his perfect silent wife ...
The blurb suggests that the victims in this book play the role of ‘the silent wife’. Whereas I actually paused to think it was unusual Slaughter named this novel after Sara, rather than the crimes or their perpetrator.
I can’t remember if she often does this but Slaughter introduces us to one of the victims in the prologue. Though we don’t know this at time… so sorry, #spoileralert. We’re in her head briefly so it’s kinda sad when she… ummm… well, meets a tragic fate.
The book also opens with Will and Sara at a bit of a stand-off. Apparently it’s been going for a while so I’m not sure if it started in the previous novel. It’s not acrimonious, rather a confused stalemate of sorts… in relation to a marriage proposal. It seems more about things unsaid, than said.
Life become more complicated though when the pair become involved in a case investigated by Sara’s former husband, (fan fave) Jeffrey Tolliver.
Slaughter takes us back and forth in time so we revisit Tolliver and Sara from a decade earlier as well as some of the old Grant County gang.
And in the present of course we have Will, his (work) partner Faith, their intriguing boss (Amanda) and a few other regulars.
I really really like Will. I remember how much I hated his ex-wife and how that storyline drove me crazy so I was pleased to see him hook up with Sara.
Here she’s a bit scatty and there’s a snide or bitchy side to her that I can’t remember from previous books. Slaughter is also taking us back to a time we weren’t previously privy and I was a tad surprised at how much Sara was raging at her ex-husband. There’s a lack of maturity or rationality and possible vindictiveness I didn’t remember previously seeing.
Will’s typically confounded by Sara’s behaviour (and that of people in general as usual) here, but it’s nice to see him stand up for himself a bit more. He’s also forced to confront the (previously) unspoken challenge of comparing himself to Sara’s past love.
Slaughter again show us she’s done her research with a lot of detail about everything from crime scenes, to postmortems and the currency of choice in prisons (Bitcoin and PayPal!).
This is ultimately perhaps a tad predictable, given the limited suspects on offer but is a captivating read nonetheless. I very much appreciate the way Slaughter is able to keep these characters and this series fresh and engaging.
The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter will be published in Australia by Harper Collins and available in early July 2020.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.