Friday, October 30, 2020


THE SILENT WIFE: A NOVEL (Will Trent Series #10)

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

AUTHOR: Karin Slaughter
ISBN: 978-0-06-285810-8; paperback; 6x9in. (August 4, 2020)
496pp, B&W, $28.99 U.S., $35.99 CAN

The Silent Wife: A Novel is a 2020 crime novel from American crime writer, Karin Slaughter.  The Silent Wife is the tenth novel in Slaughter's “Will Trent Series,” which stars Will Trent, a special agent in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).  Another star characters is Sara Linton, a doctor and medical examiner from Slaughter's “Grant County” novels.  The Silent Wife finds Trent and Dr. Linton investigating a possible serial killer in a case that connects to Sara's late husband.

The Silent Wife finds the GBI investigating the killing of a prisoner, 38-year-old Jesus Rodrigo Vasquez, during a riot inside Phillips State Prison, a medium security state penitentiary in Buford, Georgia, not far from Atlanta.  During the investigation, GBI investigator Will Trent is confronted with disturbing information.  One of the inmates, Daryl Nesbitt, claims that he is innocent of a brutal attack on college student, Rebecca “Becky” Caterino, eight years earlier, for which he has always been the prime suspect.  Nesbitt, imprisoned for possessing child pornography, insists that he was framed by the corrupt law enforcement city police department of Heartsdale in Grant County.  The primary target of Nesbitt's accusation is Sara Linton's late husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, the former chief of Heartsdale.

Nesbitt claims that the real culprit in the attack on Becky Caterino is still out there – a serial killer who has systematically been preying on women across the state for years.  If Will reopens the investigation and implicates the dead police officer with a hero’s reputation of wrongdoing, the opportunistic Nesbitt says that he is willing to provide the information GBI needs about the riot murder of Vasquez and about an illegal phone distribution system inside the prison.

Only recently, another young woman, Alexandra McAllister, was found viciously murdered in a state park in northern Georgia.  Is it a fluke? Or could there be a serial killer on the loose?  Will realizes that he will have to crack a cold case to catch a killer that still might be active.  Will needs his girlfriend and Jeffrey Tolliver's widow, Sara, to help him hunt down a possible serial killer.  But when the past and present begin to collide, Will realizes that everything he values is at stake . . .

THE LOWDOWN:  I read a “galley copy” of The Silent Wife that William Morrow's marketing department provided to book reviewers and bloggers.  So this edition contains a kind of introduction and also a kind of afterword in which author Karin Slaughter emphasizes to readers that she decided to write a novel that was frank about violence against women.

Last year, I read Slaughter's novel, Pieces of Her, a most delicious read that was also filled with dangerous plot twists and crazy-ass characters.  The Silent Wife easily surpasses Pieces of Her in terms of being a pot boiler thriller that is demented fun to read.  That the killer is a sadistic freak, a savage rapist, and monstrous killer of women did not make me forget that the novel was trying to convey the reality of the almost casual threats of violence and actual violence that many women and girls face everyday.  One of the many things that Slaughter expertly gets across to her readers in The Silent Wife is the everlasting physical and psychological damage that women suffer as a result of the violence done to them by males.

And The Silent Wife is still a great entry in the suspense and mystery genres.  Slaughter does not have to preach to you, dear readers.  She simply crashes into your imagination with a mind-bending plot and superbly executed narrative – with a real-world purpose.  The Silent Wife is one of the best mystery thriller that you will read this year or any year.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of crime thrillers and of Karin Slaughter will want to read The Silent Wife.

10 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.


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