"Criminal" by Karin Slaughter: Intense and Worth it

By: Ashley Staff
By: Ashley Staff

When I first started this book I was a little wary about it; I’m not going to sugarcoat anything, this is a very riveting book. It is intense in the sense that Slaughter holds nothing back in her writing; I have honestly never read a book quite like this one and I would like to say that I have read quite a few books in my life. I feel this is a book that should definitely be geared toward a more mature audience. The book contains a pretty hard core drug and prostitution scene and I have read my fair share of books with these concepts in it, but this was definitely the most intense. This is the first book I have read by Slaughter and I am really interested to read more of hers to see if she has this same style of writing in all of her books.

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This book consists of flashbacks to a case that happened in Atlanta in the 70’s and a case that is happening in Atlanta during the present day. During the case in the 70’s you are introduced to two young detectives, Amanda Wagner and Evelyn Mitchell. During the 70’s in Atlanta no one took the woman seriously in the police force, everyone thought they didn’t belong, that this was a man’s job, but Amanda and Evelyn were determined to make their presence known. One day Amanda and Evelyn are sent to the Techwood Homes, the bad part of town in Atlanta, to follow up on a rape that was reported. Once they arrive they find there is no rape that occurred, but a young prostitute is there and starts revealing information about other prostitutes that have gone missing. Then all of a sudden dead prostitutes are being found with undeniable similarities and Amanda and Evelyn seem to be the only ones who are really trying to solve this case. Concerned by the dead prostitutes and the ones that are still missing and why they were sent to a crime scene that never occurred, Amanda and Evelyn start on a whirlwind investigation that leaves them making enemies with the wrong people and fighting for their lives.

During the present day you are introduced to Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Will is newly in love and feeling like his life is going in the right direction, but when someone close to Will is released from prison and a dead college girl is found that has similarities to the case back in the 70’s Will slowly feels his life spiraling out of control. Will has secrets from his past that he has tried to forget and put away, but he slowly feels them coming back to haunt him and doesn’t know if there is a way to stop them before they ruin his life. Forty years have gone by and Will’s boss, Amanda Wagner, is brought right back to her first case ever from the 70’s. These two will do whatever it takes to finish this case and will stop at nothing until they do.

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Like I said before this is an intense book; if there is one piece of advice I can give you it is to pay attention! You are introduced to so many characters you may be a little overwhelmed at first, but don’t back down just keep reading. I loved the way that I was literally challenged to remember so many details from the past and present and put them together. Slaughter is an excellent writer and this is not the first book with Will Trent in it. She has a series of other books with him, but don’t worry this book can be read independently. It was how I read it and now I am interested in reading the other ones because I find Will such an interesting character. After I finished this book I really just wanted to start it over again because so many things happened and I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a thing. This book will take you through so many emotions and leave you guessing until literally the last page.

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