The Kept Woman – Karin Slaughter

The latest instalment of Will Trent’s and Sara Linton’s life brings back a force to be reckoned with, Will’s wife Angie. Will’s past has always been on the fringes of each book and with each book we learn more about his past and his complex relationship with his wife. Coming from abused foster home they find solace in one another and become dependent on one another, they represent a consistency in their lives.

For Angie however, it is more than Will is a constant within her life, to her he is her possession, one which Sara will never be able to have. In Angie’s mind Sara is unsuitable for Will as she has not been through what Angie and Will have. I won’t begin to try and describe what they have been through or look deep into their mentality towards one another but, I feel that the representation that Slaughter makes to be an accurate one. Not only in this book but in previous ones we are given droplets of backstory culminating to this point. Throughout the book I felt for Will and Sara and the distribution that Angie has been causing in their lives.

The novel begins in a half constructed night club with the discovery of one body with more questions than answers which all lead back to a previous case of Will’s involving a basketball player, Ripley; a rape case in which Ripley was found not guilty. From the start the reader is very aware that something isn’t right, with the current case and the previous one and it is only as we are given Angie’s narrative can the reader string all of the missing pieces together. Even with Angie’s added narrative Slaughter still manages to pull surprises out from under the carpet which even led to me thinking “I did not see that coming.” The twists and turns are commonplace within any crime novel but Slaughter’s writing is so refined that as a reader you need to be paying attention. As Will’s narration becomes more unreliable it is easy to become lost within his own thoughts instead of picking through the small breadcrumbs that Slaughter has left for us. Even Sara’s grounded nature can’t break through to Will.

Unlike other crime novelists that I have read Slaughter does not follow the same routine within each book, each one paves its own way forward allowing the reader (or at least I do) to have a new experience when reading each book. An incredible feat when you consider one of the main protagonists has been a constant throughout.

Karin Slaughter was one of the first crime novelists I read and got me hooked on the chase and after sixteen novels it’s great to see that she is still able to deliver time and time again. I can’t wait for the next book in which I hope that Will and Sara will be able to move on with their lives together.


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