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Book Review | The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter

Print Length: 498 pages
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

Book Description

He watches. He waits. He takes. Who will be next . . .

THE SILENT WIFE

Investigating the killing of a prisoner during a riot inside a state penitentiary, GBI investigator Will Trent is confronted with disturbing information. One of the inmates claims that he is innocent of a brutal attack for which he has always been the prime suspect. The man insists that he was framed by a corrupt law enforcement team led by Jeffrey Tolliver and that the real culprit is still out there—a serial killer who has systematically been preying on women across the state for years. If Will reopens the investigation and implicates the dead police officer with a hero’s reputation of wrongdoing, the opportunistic convict is willing to provide the information GBI needs about the riot murder.

Only days ago, another young woman was viciously murdered in a state park in northern Georgia. Is it a fluke, or could there be a serial killer on the loose?

As Will Trent digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the cold case in order to find the answer. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear, and lies to become truth. But Will can’t crack either mystery without the help of the one person he doesn’t want involved: his girlfriend and Jeffrey Tolliver’s widow, medical examiner Sara Linton.

When the past and present begin to collide, Will realizes that everything he values is at stake . . .

The following review contains information taken from a junket with Karin Slaughter on July 16, 2020 as well as my own thoughts and opinions about the novel.

Goodreads Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Slaughter’s 20th novel, The Silent Wife, is a page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat while making you want to hide in your closet from a serial killer that is on the loose.

What I Loved

The thrills and chills in this story made me want to hide in a closet until it was safe to come out. Slaughter uses pieces of real crimes in each of her novels, and these valid case details provide an authentic feel to the very thrilling and creepy events that move the story forward. What also adds to the suspense is the chapter length. They are longer earlier in the story and become much shorter towards the end. This increase in the pace creates an increase in the suspense until the grand release of the story’s conclusion.

The attention to detail and the way even ordinary events are described is so precise and elicit just the right response from me. Even the little things (such as how Will reacts to Faith’s daughter putting the battery he was showing her into her mouth to Will asking Sarah to join him for pizza after a long, hard day) hold within their descriptions a keen observational truth. The little things make such a significant impact on the story in balancing it out between the gruesome crime plot and the characters’ storylines. Slaughter explains that she looks at the plot lines separately but feels the romance/personal plot helps balance the harshness of the crime. She believes that they need to have equal weight, and she succeeds in doing that. Even the way she handles autopsies is in keeping with what she has witnessed in real life and not as you see on tv shows, which often show the doctor and police exchanging witty banter and not the solemn respect for the deceased that takes place.

The depth of character development is nearly unparalleled in other books of this genre. Will and Sara are characters I wish I could meet in real life. They are sincere and genuine. How do you not sympathize with characters like that? All of Slaughter’s characters have faults – they are good or bad depending on the situation, which only added to my ability to feel like I know them and respond intensely to the story as it plays out. Slaughter’s favorite character is one of the support characters, Amanda. She finds it refreshing that Amanda is mean but loyal and always has her teams’ back. Slaughter is also fond of Faith, though she must do a lot of research on her because she does not have any kids of her own. She marvels at mommy blogs and takes inspiration from the posts to learn about what Faith experiences. That method of research works. I am a mom, and I never once questioned the sincerity or believability of Faith’s plight as she juggles between work and family.

The complexity of the story kept me on my toes and eager to know what comes next. This comes from the fact, as Slaughter described it, that female crime thriller novelists tend to write more psychologically. And just as I love psychological thrillers, this is the aspect of Slaughter’s books I gravitate to and appreciate the most. The mind is such a fantastic tool, and when it processes events and feelings abnormally, it becomes such a horrific weapon.

To Read or Not to Read

If you only read one thriller this year, it needs to be The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter.

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 twenty novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, Pieces of Her, and The Last Widow. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta. Her standalone novel Pieces of Her is in development with Netflix and the Grant County and Will Trent series are in development for television.

Karin Slaughter Social Media

Categories: Book Reviews Books mystery

Tessa

See my “About me” on my site.

23 replies

  1. Guess who got a copy of the sameeee?!? MEEEE!! Just arrived today!!! I was already so fucking excited to read and now – having read your review – I MIGHT JUST DROP MY CURRENT READS AND GO ON WITH THIS ONE INSTEAD!!!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

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