I requested Unseen through NetGalley because I’m kind of on a mystery kick right now and the description looked interesting. I didn’t realize at the time that this is the 8th book in the Will Trent series. I was a little hesitant to jump into a book that’s so late in a series, but I gave it a try. I’m very glad I did.
Synopsis (from Good Reads):
Karin Slaughter’s New York Times bestselling novels are utterly riveting and masterfully drawn. Her latest thriller, Unseen, pits detectives, lovers, and enemies against one another in an unforgettable standoff between righteous courage and deepest evil.
Bill Black is a scary guy: a tall ex-con who rides to work on a Harley and trails an air of violence wherever he goes. In Macon, Georgia, Bill has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer and his cunning girlfriend. They think Bill might be a useful ally. They don’t know that Bill is actually a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent named Will Trent. Or that he is fighting his own demons, undercover and cut off from the support of Sara Linton—the woman he loves, who cannot be told of the risk Will is taking.
Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting: Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife, responsible: Lena, a detective, has been a magnet for trouble all her life, and Jared’s attack is not the first time someone Sara loved got caught in the crossfire. Furious, Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it, and soon danger is swirling around both of them.
In a novel of fierce intensity, shifting allegiances, and shocking twists, two investigations collide with a conspiracy straddling both sides of the law. Karin Slaughter’s latest is both an electrifying thriller and a piercing study of human nature: what happens when good people face the unseen evils in their lives.
-Since I have never read the rest of the books, there were times that I wasn’t sure if something had been detailed earlier in the series or if it was purposefully vague for the sake of the story, but this is my fault and not the authors. I felt like Slaughter actually did a good job of recapping relevant events from the past so that I still had a good sense of the characters and their past even without reading in detail. This usually drives me crazy in books that I’ve read the entire series, but I really see the value in it now for new readers.
-The first chapter mentioned a raid that Lena was a part of. At first I thought it was something from the previous book, but the details are later revealed. It’s told in reverse chronological order – The day of the raid, then the day before the raid, then four days before the raid, etc. I actually really liked this style. It made the plot twists that much more shocking.
-The story is told from three different POVs – Will Trent, Sara Linton, and Lena Adams. Will is the tortured soul BCI agent, Sara is his girlfriend, and Lena is the wife of Sara’s stepson (by her late husband, who was also Lena’s partner) and has also been investigated by Will in the past. I liked the interaction between Will and Sara, with the exception of their big misunderstanding, which I thought was resolved much too quickly. I had a lot of trouble liking Lena, but I think that’s kind of the point of her character. The last chapter let me like her a little more than the rest of the book.
-When it comes to mysteries/crime novels I like a plot that surprises me without dumbfounding me. I felt Slaughter did a good job of giving small clues and building up to the reveal of Big Whitey, the villain of the book, but still surprised me along the way.
-This is the first of the Will Trent series I’ve read and I’m definitely going to go back and start at the beginning. I would suggest you do the same.