Review: The Last Widow (Will Trent #9) by Karin Slaughter

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter brings back Will Trent and Sara Linton in this superb and timely thriller full of devious twists, disturbing secrets, and shocking surprises you won’t see coming

A mysterious kidnapping

On a hot summer night, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is grabbed by unknown assailants in a shopping center parking lot. Vanished into thin air, the authorities are desperate to save the doctor.

A devastating explosion

One month later, the serenity of a sunny Sunday afternoon is shattered by the boom of a ground-shaking blast—followed by another seconds later. One of Atlanta’s busiest and most important neighborhood’s has been bombed—the location of Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC.

A diabolical enemy

Medical examiner Sara Linton and her partner Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, rush to the scene—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. When the assailants abduct Sara, Will goes undercover to save her and prevent a massacre—putting his own life on the line for the woman and the country he loves.

This book was excellent. I feel like I have been waiting forever for a new Will Trent book and it did not disappoint. In fact, I think this is my favorite book from Karin Slaughter to date.

I’ve always been a fan of Slaughter’s writing, but the way she was able to write this story with such a sense of urgency was so impressive to me. Even though there were plenty of parts that had a lot of information and background instead of action-packed sequences, that urgency was always there. It was very hard to put the book down. I loved the way Slaughter played with timelines and point of views, as well. We get third person POVs from Will, Sara, and Faith, which I expect from this series, but what was different was seeing some of the same scenes from different perspectives. I loved this! After the first few chapters, though, our main characters don’t have many scenes together, so while we still see what’s happening with all of them at the same time of day, it’s only from one perspective per scene. I also thought the frequent references to time reminded me a little of the tv show 24, which I loved.

The story focuses on the ramp up to a domestic terrorist attack. This particular sect is a white supremacist group, which is pretty timely. There are always scenes in a Slaughter book that are hard to read, but hearing the ideology of this group was so revolting. There’s a lot of people in our world today that throw out the term “nazi” at anyone they disagree with and I think it desensitizes us to when there are actually people like this that hold those type of views. This is an important topic, but it felt like there were a little more politics in this book than I generally like to read. Also, I wish Slaughter would have emphasized a little more that alt-right and alt-left groups do not represent people on the right or the left. This was really my only complaint, though.

Overall, I loved The Last Widow. I loved being back in Will Trent’s world. I love his relationship with Sara, and the other strong women in his life, Faith and Amanda. I also liked Van from the FBI and wouldn’t mind seeing more from him in the future. I loved the sense of urgency Slaughter infused into the story. I think this is my favorite book of 2019 so far and I really hope Slaughter doesn’t make us wait several more years before giving us another Will Trent book!

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4.5 Stars

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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019.

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1. Shamed (Kate Burkholder #11) by Linda Castillo. Publishing July 16, 2019.

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2. Dark Age (Red Rising #5) by Pierce Brown. Publishing July 30, 2019.

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3. Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins. Publishing August 6, 2019.

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4. The Killing Tide (Coastal Guardians #1) by Dani Pettrey. Publishing August 6, 2019.

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5. The Last Widow (Will Trent #9) by Karin Slaughter. Publishing August 20, 2019.

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6. Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay. Publishing September 17, 2019.

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7. Where Do I Begin? by Elvis Duran. Publishing October 1, 2019.

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8. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. Publishing October 1, 2019.

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9. The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Publishing October 8, 2019.

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10. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Publishing November 5, 2019.

What are your most anticipated releases?

Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers

This week on Good Reads is Mystery and Thriller Week, so I thought I’d celebrate by sharing some of my favorite books from the genre (links go to my reviews).

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Sharon Bolton is one of my very favorite authors and all of her books I’ve read have been great, but my two favorite books by her (and just favorites in general) are Daisy in Chains and Now You See Me (Lacey Flint #1).

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The Imogen Grey series by Katerina Diamond is fantastic. Be forewarned that they are pretty dark, but they are so worth it!

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Ragdoll (Detective William Fawkes #1) by Daniel Cole. This book completely lived up to the hype and I am dying for the next in the series.

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Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. A different take on the serial-killer novel, smartly written, and just look at that cover!

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The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen totally lived up to the hype for me. I thought I had it all figured out, but that twist completely got me.

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Lies She Told by Cate Holahan. The story within a story really worked for me and I loved this.

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I would be remiss to have a list about my favorite mysteries without including a book by one of my favorite authors, Linwood Barclay. I really enjoy his Promise Falls books and The Twenty-Three really stood out for the panic-inducing atmosphere the book starts out with.

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Another favorite author I need to mention is Karin Slaughter. I really love her Will Trent series, as well as her standalone titles.

Ok, I’m going to stop myself here because I could go on and on with this topic. If you want to find some more great mystery titles, I am going to refer you to my favorite Mystery blogger: Annie @ TheMisstery. Several of the books I mentioned above I discovered because of her. I feel like almost every blog post she writes results in me adding another book to my TBR.

And lastly, I’m going to leave you with this fun little game that is over on Good Reads. What is the name of your mystery novel? Mine is The Stalker on Flight 42

What are some of your favorite mysteries and thrillers? What was the title of your mystery novel?

Summer of Mystery (Authors)

Every booknerd loves a signed book. The only thing better than a signed book is getting the opportunity to get it signed in person. This summer I had the opportunity to do that with three incredible authors.

Linda Castillo

Linda is the author of the Kate Burkholder series and was in town for her latest book, Down a Dark Road, which I attended with my dad. The series is set in Ohio and Linda’s book tour always stops in the area. This was my fourth time getting to see her and it is always a wonderful time. I always love hearing about her inspiration for the books and her path to getting published. This particular tour stop has become my new favorite because when I went to get my book signed she remembered my name before I even said anything!

Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter was in the Cleveland area for her new book The Good Daughter and I attended it with my Book Buddy, Amanda. One of the first books I reviewed on this blog was one of Karin’s Will Trent books. I didn’t know it was part of a series when I started reading it, but once it was done I had to go back and read the rest of the series and thus discovered a new favorite author. Karin spoke of her childhood and how she started writing (stories about her sisters being mutilated lol). In regards to The Good Daughter in particular she shared that the inspiration for Gamma was one of her old English teachers. She also shared that both the Will Trent series and Cop Town has been optioned for tv series. I asked her if there would be any more books with the characters from this novel and she said no, other than the prequel novella. “The characters have been through enough, don’t you think?”

Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline was in the Cleveland area for Exposed, part of her Rosato & DiNunzio series, and I attended it with Amanda. Lisa was a hoot! She had us laughing the whole event. She told a lot of stories about her family and how she got started writing. Before this event I had only read one book by her, One Perfect Lie, but afterward I read the first book in the series that preceded this series (I’ve decided I want to read them all in order, so I haven’t read Exposed yet) and really enjoyed it. Hearing Lisa’s stories and her style of humor really added something to the reading experience and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Review: The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Husbands and wives. Mothers and daughters. The past and the future.

Secrets bind them. And secrets can destroy them.

The author of the acclaimed standalone Pretty Girls returns with this long-awaited new novel in her bestselling Will Trent series—an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges the Georgia detective into the darkest depths of a case that just might destroy him.

With the discovery of a murder at an abandoned construction site, Will Trent and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are brought in on a case that becomes much more dangerous when the dead man is identified as an ex-cop.

Studying the body, Sara Linton—the GBI’s newest medical examiner and Will’s lover—realizes that the extensive blood loss didn’t belong to the corpse. Sure enough, bloody footprints leading away from the scene indicate there is another victim—a woman—who has vanished . . . and who will die soon if she isn’t found.

Will is already compromised, because the site belongs to the city’s most popular citizen: a wealthy, powerful, and politically connected athlete protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers—a man who’s already gotten away with rape, despite Will’s exhaustive efforts to put him away.

But the worst is yet to come. Evidence soon links Will’s troubled past to the case . . . and the consequences will tear through his life with the force of a tornado, wreaking havoc for Will and everyone around him, including his colleagues, family, friends—and even the suspects he pursues.

Relentlessly suspenseful and furiously paced, peopled with conflicted, fallible characters who leap from the page, The Kept Woman is a searing novel of love, loss, and redemption. A seamless blend of twisty police procedural and ingenious psychological thriller, it marks Karin Slaughter’s triumphant return to her most popular series, sure to please new and diehard fans alike.

I was late to the party with the Will Trent series. The first book of the series I picked up was the book prior to this one, Unseen. It was actually one of the first books I reviewed on this blog. After that, I went back and read the whole series. And loved it. And have been (impatiently) waiting for the next installment ever since. After three years, Slaughter finally gave us more Will Trent and it was definitely worth the wait!

Karin Slaughter has such a great style of writing. Her use of shifting POV and timelines is always used to the greatest effect possible and is done with such skill. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I decided to put this book off until a library book became available instead of buying it because I read a review that (incorrectly stated) the second half of the book was told from Angie’s (Will’s “wife” and resident psycho) POV. I’ve always hated Angie and didn’t think I could stomach half a book from her (not to mention being a little annoyed of only getting half a book from Will, Sara (his girlfriend), and Faith (his partner)). But, of course, I should have had faith in Slaughter’s storytelling. We get Angie’s POV at the beginning, middle, and end of the book. The middle, where we go back in time a bit and find out just what Angie was up to, was definitely one of the best parts of the book. Yes, I still hate Angie. Yes, she’s still a psycho. But I actually really loved being able to get in her head and plot-wise it was pretty intense.

The mystery of the book was really well done. I loved the build up and the little reveals. There were several things that completely surprised me and I love that. As a fan of the series, I also love the character development. Will Trent is such a complicated character and his relationship with Angie is so complicated, as well. I really enjoyed the exploration of their twisted relationship and how it affected those around them.

Overall, I really loved this book. Slaughter never disappoints me and I am so happy that we finally got another book in this series. I definitely recommend it to fans of mystery/suspense/crime. I already can’t wait for the next one!

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

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The Seasons of Book Blogging Tag

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I have been an awful blogger lately! I haven’t been able to focus – I’m “currently reading” three different books – so not only have I not been posting, but I’ve been slacking on reading other’s posts. To help get me out of my rut I decided it was time for a tag and this one looked fun. I was tagged for The Seasons of Book Blogging Tag by A Novel Glimpse.


Rules and Regulations:

  • Thank the creator and the person who tagged you.
  • Begin with the month in which you have been tagged and move forward from there!
  • State the best gift you’ve ever been given after you answer the question for your birthday month.
  • Tag whomever you’d like when you’re finished.. or else you’ll be “it” forever.
  • Have fun, of course!

November is the month when we’re reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. Choose one book you’re grateful for having read and give a shout-out to the person who recommended it!

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern because it’s beautiful and is one of my favorite books. Thanks to all the bloggers who wrote amazing reviews on it – I wish I could remember the specific blogs that made me pick me it up.

My birthday is in November, so my favorite gift was…I think I’ll go with my birthday this year – I got a Keurig from my parents.


December is a time when friends and families come together and celebrate. Name one book you would give as a gift.

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I’ve been debating getting all my family members books for Christmas, but I’m not quite sure yet. I was thinking of getting Triptych (Will Trent #1) by Karin Slaughter for my brother because he’s a cop and I think he may like it.


January begins a new year. Name a resolution you made this year and if you’ve kept it or not!

I did not keep ANY of my bookish resolutions I made for 2015. One big one was to read the Harry Potter series and I still haven’t started it (honestly…I probably never well).


February is the month for relationships. Name your favorite book relationship: romantic, platonic, or familial, your choice!

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This should come as no surprise to anyone – The Raven Boys and Blue! I’m obsessed with them and I’m SO SAD that there’s only book left, but I’m SO EXCITED to read it.


March is the month for luck and new beginnings. Name a book or series that you would like to re-experience as if you’d never read it.

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I completely devoured these books within days and it remains one of my favorite series of all time.


April is a spectacularly ordinary month. Name a book that was so over-hyped that it just could not live up to your expectations.

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Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway. It seemed everyone gave it 5 stars and I was really looking forward to it, but it was a complete let down for me.


May is the month when the flowers start to bloom. Name a book that was a pleasant surprise to you.

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Adhieh was a book I expected nothing from and I ended up loving it!


June is the time to take a break. Name a book or genre that you like to read when you just need to check out.

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Cutesy, YA Contemporary – like The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West.


July is the time to celebrate your independence! Name a book that made you see fireworks. (Figuratively. Please don’t light books on fire.)

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo completely lived up to the hype for me and I just LOVED it – especially Kaz Brekker, my great book love.


August is the hottest month of the year. Pick an up-and-coming author that you think will be the next hottest thing.

 

I’m going to go with Renee Ahdieh. I don’t think The Wrath and the Dawn was her first book, but it was huge this year and I’ve seen it’s sequel on a lot of people’s most anticipated 2016 reads – including mine!


September is time for students to go back to school! Pick a book you read for school that you actually enjoyed.

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.


October is time to celebrate Halloween! Pick one character that you would love to dress up as for Halloween.

The best of Effie Trinket's outrageously awesome outfits from the Hunger Games and Catching Fire. How fun would it be to dress up in one of these costumes for Halloween?! #CapitolCouture:

 

Effie Trinket ALL THE WAY!

Thanks again to Deanna for tagging me! I tag anyone who would like to participate!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is: Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in X genre. I’ve decided not to limit myself to a certain genre and will include authors and books.

Dangerous Girls   Dangerous Boys

1. Abigail Haas – Dangerous Girls, Dangerous Boys
I’ve just read these books and became obsessed with them. I hadn’t even heard of them until I won Dangerous Girls in a giveaway. More people need to read these.

The Dead Will Tell (Kate Burkholder, #6)

2. Linda Castillo – The Kate Burkholder series
While I originally read this series because it’s set in Holmes County, it really is a great mystery series, with an interested setting of Amish country. Plus, I’ve met Linda Castillo and she’s awesome.

Triptych (Will Trent, #1)

3. Karin Slaughter – The Will Trent series
I love this series, but I haven’t really seen anyone else I follow in the blogosphere read her.

Never Look Away

4. Linwood Barclay
Barclay is a master storyteller who writes great mysteries with amazing character development.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

5. Sarah Rees Brennan – The Lynburn Legacy
This is my favorite new series I’ve read this year so far. More people need to get on it!

All the Truth That's in Me

6. Julie Berry – All the Truth that’s in Me
This was such a unique book and another one I haven’t really seen around the blogosphere.

The Best Man (Blue Heron #1)

7. Kristan Higgins
She is by far my favorite romance author. I love her writing style and her quirky characters. More people need to read her.

Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)

8. Kiersten White – Mind Games duology
I love her style and the characters in this series. More people need to give this a try!

Attachments

9. Rainbow Rowell – Attachments
Rainbow Rowell is definitely not underrated, but her first book, Attachments, is by far my favorite of all her books but is the least recognized.

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10. Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey
Northanger Abbey is one of Austen’s lesser known books, but it’s definitely one of my favorites.

Have you read any of the above books? What books/authors do you think are underrated?