Title: The Silent Wife
Author: Karin Slaughter
Published: July 8th 2020
Publisher: Harper Collins Books Australia
Genres: Fiction, Crime, Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
From the No.1 bestselling author comes a gripping new crime thriller featuring WILL TRENT and SARA LINTON.
‘Simply one of the best thriller writers working today’ Gillian Flynn
A woman runs alone in the woods. She convinces herself she has no reason to be afraid, but she’s wrong. A predator is stalking the women of Grant County. He lingers in the shadows, until the time is just right to snatch his victim.
A decade later, the case has been closed. The killer is behind bars. But then another young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead, and the MO is identical.
Although the original trail has gone cold – memories have faded, witnesses have disappeared – agent Will Trent and forensic pathologist Sara Linton must re-open the cold case. But the clock is ticking, and the killer is determined to find his perfect silent wife …
Bestselling author Karin Slaughter has been endorsed by fellow novelist Gillian Flynn and the media outlet The Washington Post. This gives the reader a very good indication of the reputation and popularity of this author’s work. The Silent Wife is the tenth novel in Karin Slaughter’s long standing Will Trent series. It is a tale of sheer brutality, devastating violence, dark memories and solid police work. Despite the heartbreaking nature of the crimes featured in this new novel by Karin Slaughter, it is an utterly compelling story.
The Silent Wife is structured via a dual narrative based timeline. In the past, a deranged perpetrator is targeting women located in the Grant County region. Stalking the women and hunting them down, this predator is dangerous in his pursuit, carefully concocting evil plans to strike when his victims are at their most vulnerable and inflicting horrible violence against them. We learn that a decade into the future, this killer has been caught and the case against him has come to a close. But just when the authorities think that they have put this disturbed individual behind bars for good, another terrible attack against a woman occurs, with the crime echoing the exact same circumstances of the attacks ten years prior. The police begin to wonder if they put the right man away for these deadly crimes. Help is called in from agent Will Trent and Sara Linton, a forensic specialist. They must work together to reopen a case in an attempt to ensure that no further victims fall for the deadly advances of this sickened predator.
The Silent Wife was a harrowing tale that I think will remain with me for some time to come. I haven’t let go of this book or its contents, it has remained fresh in my mind despite a busy weekend and a couple of books read in between finishing this novel and writing a review. Due to the graphic contents of the book, I was inclined to downgrade my rating of The Silent Wife. However, the passionate author’s note at the close of this book moved me so much that I altered my final assessment of Karin Slaughter’s book and I elevated it to a solid four star read.
If you are someone that often bypasses the author’s note at the end of a book, I urge you to read Karin’s Slaughter’s composition at the close of The Silent Wife. It is best to read the author’s note after you have concluded the story as it does contain some spoilers. What I will say is that The Silent Wife is a book that we need out there in the publishing world. With no end in sight to violence against women, it is important that these stories are aired and shared, whether it be in a fiction or nonfiction format, the message is the same. Although often very brutal and horrific, I think we need to hear these accounts, they do occur and sadly they will continue to happen in our current climate. I do need to issue a trigger warning if episodes of sexual assault and violence against women are likely to deliver a response, it may be best to tread carefully with this one.
Of late I have tried to avoid picking up novels of a series I am not wholly committed to, but in the instance of The Silent Wife, I was willing to put aside my non commitment to series based novels and surrender myself to Slaughter’s compelling narrative. I did find that I was a little out of the loop in regards to some of the relationship dynamics in this story, which I think is in part to my inexperience with the Will Trent series. However, the situations and emotional issues faced by the characters were connective and I soon found myself drawn into the world of Will, Sara and company. Fans of this series will be pleased with Slaughter’s expansion of these characters and the new problems she pits her cast list against. These aspects of the story provided a good offset to the awful crimes that arise as the narrative travels down its dark path.
I appreciated the format of The Silent Wife, which switched easily from the past to the present. This approach helped to suspend some of the tension and mystery of the crimes at hand. Slaughter handles the interchanges between the past and present very well, the plot doesn’t hesitate and the pacing is delivered in a forward moving fashion. There were plenty of heart stopping moments that cropped up during The Silent Wife and I couldn’t help but bite my fingernails in utter suspense and fear. The police work is methodical, realistic, gritty and eye opening. The cold case process and the strategies that are taken to capture the killer makes for an insightful, but tension filled read. I was somewhat relieved when The Silent Wife met its dramatic end, as the horrific violence these poor women endured could finally come to a close.
The Silent Wife is a novel that works its way into the dark recesses of your mind, leaving you with a lasting memory of the damaging impact of a crime against survivors, those left behind and the law enforcement working to solve these tragic cases.
The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter was published on 8th July 2020 by Harper Collins Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Silent Wife, Karin Slaughter, visit here.
*Thanks extended to Harper Collins Books Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.