Author: Karin Slaughter

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Questionable Women, Dirty Cops and Murder in The Kept Woman

November 18, 2016 Book Review, reviews 1

Questionable Women, Dirty Cops and Murder in The Kept WomanThe Kept Woman (Will Trent, #8) by Karin Slaughter
Published by William Morrow on September 20th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 461
Source: purchased
AmazonBarnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A couple of days ago I took Karin Slaughter’s latest book, The Kept Woman, outside to read for just a bit. I only planned to read for an hour or so, but three hours later I had to finally move inside because the sun was going down so fast I couldn’t see the words to read!

Karin Slaughter is brilliant when it comes to pacing and plot. The Kept Woman is #8 in her Will Trent series based in Atlanta, Georgia. Normally I prefer to read the all the books in the series, in order. But with Karin Slaughter I will make an exception! Believe it or not, I did not start reading her books until the standalone Coptown came out. This is only my third novel by Slaughter and she’s become one of those authors I will automatically buy.

Back to Will Trent ~ oh my goodness what a flawed man he is! He grew up in the foster care system, married his teenage sweetheart, Angie Polaski, who also happened to be in foster care with him. The novel begins with a gruesome murder of a cop no one liked or respected in an abandoned club being built by a basketball star who got off on a rape charge. While investigating the crime scene they figure out Angie was involved and is critically injured. Will loses it in front of his ME girlfriend and goes on a frantic search for Angie.

[Tweet “Brilliant pacing and plot in this thriller! “]

I plan to go back and read the previous seven books in this series. If those are half as good as The Kept Woman, I may come up for air in a few weeks! Learning the background of how and why Will and Angie became the people they are is sad and realistic. Their childhood is in stark contrast with that of Sara, the Medical Examiner. I’ve noticed in the three books of Slaughter’s I’ve read so far, crimes against women and children are the focus. She does a fantastic job of bringing awareness to the pitfalls of the foster care system; the hard-to-explain cycle of abuse in domestic violence situations; the flawed police who investigate crimes and finally, the resilience of some children after surviving horrific circumstances.

The Kept Woman is one of those thrillers that you can’t put down. Every page is another revelation. There are underlying plot points that surprised me even though I figured out who the killer was early on. Karin Slaughter knows Atlanta well, writing about Buckhead and downtown with equal aplomb. Highly recommended with one caveat:

Trigger warning ~ The Kept Woman addresses crimes against women and children. Please be aware before going into this book if these types of triggers are detrimental to your well-being.

If you like The Kept Woman, you may also enjoy One Kick by Chelsea Cain or The Fixer by T.E. Woods

four-half-stars

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Book Review: Coptown

July 26, 2014 Book Review, reviews 5

Book Review: CoptownCoptown by Karin Slaughter
Published by Delacorte Press on June 24th, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 416
Source: purchased
Amazon
Goodreads

 

Atlanta, Georgia, 1974.  Racial tensions are high.  Women are pushing the standard.  Anyone not white male is suspect and marginalized.  Enter Maggie, a female cop in a family of cops, but not one of the family.  Maggie is pushed, belittled, abused and in essence “encouraged” to find a man, have babies and let the men do the real jobs.  Maggie’s not giving in, not giving up.  Trained by Gail, a hardened chain-smoking undercover playing prostitute, Maggie has learned how to let most of the squad’s antics roll off of her back.  The antics of her bigoted self-righteous uncle and golden-boy brother not so much.

Coptown begins with Katy joining the force and Maggie stuck with the blonde, buxom Dutch from the ritzy side of town known to this day as Buckhead.  The day Katy enters the station for roll call is the first day after Maggie’s brother escaped “The Shooter” by carrying his injured partner ten blocks to Grady Hospital on a bum knee.  The station is in an uproar as this is the third pair of cops targeted by The Shooter.  The women on the force are expected to handle minor offenses while the ‘real men’ go after the bad guys.  That means all the male cops are rounding up anyone who moves or breathes on the street and not really doing any detecting.  Maggie’s not having that though – her brother was shot and, though they don’t speak, she’s got his back.  But Maggie is also stuck with a newbie.

The character development of Maggie and Kate weaves in and out like a beautiful tapestry.  The partners are completely different from one another yet their stories overlap to create this perfect symbiotic relationship.  The strength of both women awed me but it was their weaknesses that revealed the true strength of Kate and Maggie.

I’ve seen a couple of presentations by Karin Slaughter at the Decatur Book Festival and she is such an engaging speaker that immerses herself in research before writing her novels and, man, does it show.  Y’all know I’m from North Georgia so having Atlanta as the backdrop was especially great for me.  But Slaughter didn’t just make Atlanta a backdrop – she made Atlanta a living, breathing entity.  {from the author’s Acknowledgments: “Please keep in mind that Atlanta is not just one city — every experience is unique.}.  From Cabbage Town to Buckhead to Grady Hospital, Slaughter had me nodding my head and thankful she gets the city.  Of course she should as she’s from Atlanta!

Since finishing Coptown I’ve been asking those in the know about their experiences in the early 1970’s.  To see what these women went through in order to bust through the system and be on the police force it’s astonishing they survived!  Same with every other population not white male – the Jewish culture was still reeling from WWII AND prejudice on the home front not to mention what the blacks were going through.

Coptown is on my very short list of most favorite books for 2014.  Coptown has everything a good thriller should have and yet so much more – great characters, a plot that just does not slow down, evil bad guys and even evil good guys.  Don’t miss this one if you like a good thriller.  The only reason you’ll put it down is to take a deep breath between chapters {especially if you fit into any of the marginalized society populations – black, Jewish, female, Chinese, Japanese, purple dinosaur, etc}.

Do share – what sticks out in your memory of 1974?

 

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