The Silent Wife (Will Trent Book 10)
William Morrow Pub
August 4th, 2020
The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter is her twentieth book and the tenth book with her stellar characters Will Trent and Sara Linton. Readers beware, the story is dark and violent but there are parts that is also a love story. The romance and personal parts help to balance the violence of the crimes. This spellbinding, intense mystery is what Karin Slaughter fans have come to expect from her psychological thrillers.
“This is my twentieth book and my tenth Will and Sara book. I thought it would be really fun to bring back a cold case that Jeffrey worked on. As someone who had been with the same person for over thirty years it was really hard for me to imagine how someone goes on when they lose their partner. I wanted to explore how did Sara move on and does Will accept she moved on.”
The plot has Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Will Trent and his partner, Faith Mitchell, called to investigate the claim of an inmate at the state penitentiary that he has information he will share if his case is reopened. He claims he is innocent of the brutal attack and rape of Beckey Caterino eight years earlier, and that there is a serial killer raping and murdering women. He also insists that Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver, the now-deceased husband of Will’s girlfriend, medical examiner Sara Linton, framed him.
“We both respect police officers and the ones I work with have been amazing. But what happens when good people make bad mistakes? I wanted to walk through that way of thinking with Jeffrey who is a police officer and a really good guy. Although he does things that are not acceptable, as a reader we still root for him because he is a good guy. We want him to catch the criminal. But what happens if he uses methods that are wrong? He used methods that are not strictly legal.”
The way Slaughter brings the past and the present into the story is by having the narrative alternate back and forth in time from the Grant County investigation eight years ago to the current investigation with the investigations told through several points-of-view. The past timeline follows Jeffrey and the Grant County police force as they navigate their way through some very twisted, gruesome crime scenes. The second trails Will and the rest of the GBI team as they re-investigate the very same 2001 crime. Will, Sara, and company must decide if Jeffrey intentionally framed someone, made mistakes in the course of the investigation, found the correct killer, or perhaps there is a copy-cat. In any case, the killer is methodical, a risk taker, relishes hiding in plain sight, and is continuing to prey on women.
“I wanted to explore how both Will and Sara were abused. Will as a child was physically abused. This is why he is able to put himself in the mind of someone who does not have an easy life. He understands isolation and the feeling of being alone in the world without anyone coming to help. Now as an adult he has a support system of his fellow GBI Amanda, Faith, Charlie, and of course Sara. This is one of the reasons she and Will connected. With Jeffrey she did not tell him she was sexually assaulted until way after their divorce, but was able to tell Will right away. He understands her feelings that she does not want to consider herself a victim.”
Because Jeffrey is so prevalent in this book, readers’ curiosity is aroused and they might want to go back and read the Grant County and Will Trent novels in order so they can get to know the characters better. By bringing him back, it definitely had an impact on Sara and Will’s relationship. It was interesting how Jeffrey and Will are so different in personality.
“Jeffrey was a high school football player with that swagger. He is used to women wanting to be with him and are used to people being happy with him. He has always been easily forgiven. I think he is really handsome, smart, with an aura that pulls people in, a highlight of the party. While Will has a hard time expressing himself, a man of few words. Will is stoic, calm, and an observer. He is the guy at the party that is seen alone petting the dog. Will is like a shadow where people would not know if he is there.”
This heart stopping thriller is both terrifying and violent. It is not a story for the queasy at heart. The discussion surrounding rape victims and the trauma they experience is compelling. But it is also a story that shows how police are not an organization, but are people who have their own struggles.