Author: Karin Slaughter
Published: June 2019 by Harper Collins
Category: Crime, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Terrorist, Book Review
It begins with an abduction. The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but in the end…they find nothing. It’s as if she disappeared into thin air.
I didn’t realise when requesting this book it was so far into a series. Having said that, it does read well as a standalone. There was no confusion and I soon had enough feel for the characters from the information drip-fed through the narrative, by means of dialogue and observations, to become invested in them.
The abduction of Michelle Spivey, a scientist who works in disease control, from a shopping mall car park seems targeted, but there is no contact from the abductors, no ransom demand and the authorities are unable to locate Michelle. Due to the nature of her work the FBI have taken over the investigation.
Dr Sara Linton and Will Trent both work for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and several weeks after the abduction they are about to have a family Sunday lunch when the ground is rocked by two explosions at the nearby University campus leaving hundreds dead and injured. Dashing to the source of the explosions, Sara and Will are waylaid by a road traffic accident. Surveying the carnage at the scene and the group of men involved, Sara felt something wasn’t quite right. The realisation that all was not what it seems came too late as events spiralled out of control. Sara was forced to go with the men and Will was left badly injured.
I enjoyed the insights into the characters’ personalities and could see the development even as this was my first introduction. Despite his injuries, Will is determined to find Sara and risks his life going under cover to try and infiltrate the terrorist group, working with his partner, Faith and the FBI. This is an all too plausible scenario given the shocking and devastating acts of terrorism witnessed in recent years and Will is all too aware of what will happen to both of them if he is found out. Meanwhile Sara does her best to find out exactly what is going on at the camp where she is being held.
A very fast paced, action packed and thrilling ride, not without violence and horrible cruelty, including paedophilia, murder and biological warfare, which delves into the rise of the so called white supremacy groups—the cult mentality, misogyny, racism and male domination that drives them and the twisted principles they use to recruit new, naive young members. The plot structure and descriptive writing guarantees maximum suspense.
A minor niggle at the start was the same scenes told from Sara’s perspective, then from Will’s. Other than that, the differing points of view—Will’s, Sara’s and Faith’s—worked really well, keeping the tension level high. Karin Slaughter has created despicable villains, engaging protagonists and an all too realistically intense and compelling storyline.
I chose to read and review The Last Widow based on an advance reader copy of the book supplied by the author/publisher via NetGalley.
About the Author
Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her nineteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NEW YORK TIMES bestselling novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and PIECES OF HER. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project–a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, Karin Slaughter lives in Atlanta. Her standalone novels PIECES OF HER, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and COP TOWN are in development for film and television.