'The Silent Wife' is the tenth book in the Will Trent series by internationally bestselling author, Karin Slaughter, slated for release on August 4th, 2020. Her previous novel, 'The Last Widow,' was a #1 Sunday Times bestseller. She's sold over 35 million copies across 120 countries worldwide.. and believe it or not, this is the first of them I've read.
You have to forgive me, her first novel was being published in 2001.. at a time things in my life were getting just a bit wild. That only really began to come to a halt last year and now I'm just getting to a lot of great authors who were breaking at a time reading was just not happening. That being said, I've heard a ton of praise for her work and she absolutely lives up to the hype.
The story follows Will Trent, a GBI investigator with demons of his own to wrangle, as he ends up at a state prison to look into a murder that occurs there during a riot. While he and his co-workers are beginning to piece together what might have happened and who may have been involved, another prisoner reaches out with information to trade.
Claiming his innocence, the prisoner offers them a plethora of details in exchange for his request that they investigate a death that seems to mimic one he was accused of eight years earlier. He insists that the young woman who was brutally attacked and left for dead is the work of another and that he believes he has proof the attacker is still active.
Slaughter's pacing is superb. She does a wonderful job of shifting between non-linear timelines and multiple narrators, giving the reader both the backstory and the current lay of the land simultaneously. Both timelines move with a steady, parallel rhythm that continues forward smoothly. Transitions are seamless, characters have their own distinct voices, and they're all fascinating in their own right.
I definitely have a soft spot for characters like Will and I can see why he'd be part of a series with such longevity. I'm certainly interested in going back and reading some of the other titles. His childhood was rough and his relationships as an adult have mostly been toxic too. It's easy to see how badly he could have turned out, if not for second chances and a grim determination to make something of himself. He's still a little broken.. and he's not the only one.
His girlfriend Sara has had some tough moments too. She didn't get the difficult start Will did, but there's absolutely a point in her life where everything changed for her.. and those changes have affected her daily life in long term ways. Through it all, she remains compassionate and incredibly likeable.
None of Slaughter's characters are infallible. In fact, most of them feel very real. I found myself comparing them to people I know. Some of them try the reader's patience far more than others, however, and I had several theories as I made my way through this book. Ultimately, I enjoyed every step of the journey. I'm pretty solidly versed in procedural information and she still pulled out a few things I'd never heard before.
There may be some triggers here if you're sensitive to violence. The assaults are vicious. The premeditation and methodology are the stuff of nightmares. But wow, what a read.
If you want to pick up an intriguing mystery/suspense novel that will hold your interest all the way through, 'The Silent Wife' is a good choice.