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The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

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Article by Swirl and Thread ©.
Posted in | .

‘Kidnapped. Broken. Imprisoned.

She must unlock the truth…before it is too late.’ 

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter (published  with Harper Collins UK) is Book 9 in the Will Trent series and, dare I say, the first book in this series for me! Described as a ‘gripping new crime thriller’ it sees the return of the very popular duo, Will Trent and Sara Linton, following a three-year hiatus, making it very exciting news for all fans of this thrilling series.

Now I am obviously missing out on a huge backstory with having no knowledge of the Trent/Linton relationship but it genuinely had no impact on my reading experience. Karin Slaughter is such a specialist at what she does that I was immediately drawn into The Last Widow with sufficient references to their history to inform me but also to intrigue.

The Last Widow begins with the very shocking abduction of Michelle Spivey while exiting a shopping mall with her young daughter. There is no apparent reason for this kidnapping and the police are at a total loss as to her whereabouts. There is no trace of Michelle. There is no ransom note. Nothing. Just silence.

Sara Linton is with her family for Sunday lunch. While her aunt and mother pester her about her life, her future, her relationship, Will is working in the garden, agog with the obvious wealth of Sara’s background, world’s away from his own tough childhood days. As they both contemplate their future, they are suddenly alerted to a loud wail, a siren, an emergency siren that only goes off when a catastrophic disaster strikes. Without a thought to their own personal safety, Will and Sara run towards the source of the siren, the Emory Campus, home to ‘students, staff, two hospitals, the FBI headquarters and CDC’, but they are waylaid along the way with a traffic incident with an apparent fatality at the wheel of one of the vehicles involved. Sara, as a medical practitioner, runs to assist but all too late realises that something is off about this whole set up. Will fails to save Sara as she is brutally taken hostage and forced to drive away from the scene in the company of some very dangerous men. Who are they? Why kidnap Sara? Will is a mess, distraught that he was unable to save her. With no heed to anything but finding Sara, he puts himself in the front-line, going undercover in an attempt to discover the truth.

The GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) team waste no time in organising a search for Sara, but with no clue as to who or why, frustrations soon build up. Radical steps are called for and Will has to dig deep within himself to keep looking, keep hoping that Sara is still alive. When the realisation hits that this is the possible work of a very extreme group, a real fear creeps over the team. This group has no mass on humanity and will stop at nothing to achieve their objective, including murder.

Karin Slaughter takes the reader on a high-octane adventure up into the Appalachian mountains. There is a very strong smell of death off the pages, of pain, of terror and of abject fear. Sara, held captive, witnesses some very heinous scenes, some very strange behaviour as she fears for the safety of the greater society. These people have a plan, one that could potentially reek havoc if no-one stops them. Sara is trapped with very little options available to her. She has to bear witness to the scenes surrounding her, she experiences with abject horror, the feeling that she cannot prevent this event from happening, this act that will leave panic, confusion and multiple deaths in it’s wake.

The Last Widow is an explosive thriller that moves at a fast-pace as the timelines change and the location switches, so keep your focus folks! In the opening chapters I did get a wee bit confused when a scene is played out from both Will and Sara’s perspective but I had it soon forgotten as I continued to turn those pages at high speed. Karin Slaughter writes scenes that play out in your mind, as you experience the sense of panic and fear in the minds of the characters. The Last Widow contains some extremely graphic scenes that are stomach-churning in their descriptions, all adding to the authenticity of the plot and the sense of fear throughout. Sara and Will are wonderful protagonists. They have a very interesting chemistry that draws the reader in, wanting to know more about their relationship.

The Last Widow is a riveting tale, an action-packed, tense, suspense-filled thriller that will just suck you right in. Highly entertaining. Thoroughly enjoyed it…

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.