Review: Triptych (Will Trent #1) by Karin Slaughter

Triptych (Will Trent, #1)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

In the city of Atlanta, women are dying—at the hands of a killer who signs his work with a single, chilling act of mutilation. Leaving behind enough evidence to fuel a frenzied police hunt, this cunning madman is bringing together dozens of lives, crossing the boundaries of wealth and race. And the people who are chasing him must cross those boundaries too. Among them is Michael Ormewood, a veteran detective whose marriage is hanging by a thread—and whose arrogance and explosive temper are threatening his career. And Angie Polaski, a beautiful vice cop who was once Michael’s lover before she became his enemy.

But another player has entered the game: a loser ex-con who has stumbled upon the killer’s trail in the most coincidental of ways—someone who may be the key to breaking the case wide open…

For being the introduction to the Will Trent series, there was not as much Will Trent as I expected. This is not inconsistent with the only other Will Trent book I’ve read, Unseen, which is the latest book in the series. That book focused on multiple POVs and this one does as, well. We see the point of view of a homicide detective, vice cop (and long time friend of Will), a recently released convicted murderer and rapist, and Will.

While I enjoyed all the POVs, I would’ve liked more of Will – since it’s his series and all. The lack of introductory information made me wonder if he was previously introduced in another of Slaughter’s series and I missed it. However, his character and background, including his relationship with Angie, is slowly developed. He is a likable character, though, and I’m looking forward to more of him.

I really liked the writing style, as well. Slaughter did an excellent job of surprising me throughout the whole story. One of the narrators is unreliable and I don’t have a lot of reading experience with that and I really enjoyed it. The first part of the book ends with a big reveal that I loved and did not see coming. I felt the POVs were interwoven well, though maybe a bit too much time spent on John, the ex-con.

The writing is also pretty graphic. Gore in terms of crime scenes and etc. doesn’t really bother me, but it might some readers. There is also a lot of “strong language” that at times got a little much for me. I almost felt that Slaughter was overcompensating at times – being a woman writing men’s perspectives and dark themes. It didn’t really hinder my enjoyment of the book, but I hope the future books are a little cleaner, language-wise.

Overall, I enjoyed Triptych. It was a well written mystery and character study with reasonable twists that will still surprise. I would recommend this to crime novel enthusiasts and am looking forward to reading more of the series.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Readability: 4
Enjoyability: 4
Overall Average: 4 stars

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6 thoughts on “Review: Triptych (Will Trent #1) by Karin Slaughter

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