Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Each book in this series makes me love it more.
This book starts out with Special Agent Faith Mitchell of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) leaving a training that ran an hour and a half late. She's on her way to pick up her infant daughter from her mother's house, but when she tries to call her mom, she isn't able to get in touch with her. While this is out of the ordinary for her super tech-connected mom, she tries to put her concerns out of mind. But when she gets to her mother's house, she walks into a nightmarish scene. Her mother's car is there, but music her mother would never listen to is blasting from the house ... and cuts off once Faith gets out of the car. The door is slightly ajar, and there's a bloody handprint on the door. Her infant daughter is locked in her mother's shed next to the safe that stores her mother's gun, but the safe is open and the gun is missing.
Being the well-trained cop that she is, Faith calls 911 and reports what she has observed. She is told that backup is on the way and to wait outside. But if you've read any of the Will Trent books, you already know that Faith has more than a little streak of rebelliousness. So of course she goes inside with her service weapons. She finds one man already dead in the laundry room. She finds a second man being held hostage by another man in her mother's bedroom, but her mother is nowhere to be found. By the time backup arrives, Faith has more questions than answers, and she has now become not just a witness to the carnage in the house, but also a suspect. Her hands are tied from assisting in this investigation, and she is forced to watch from the sidelines and rely on her partner, Will Trent, the deputy director, Amanda Wagner, and Dr. Sara Linton to help her solve this and get her mother back ... if she's even still alive.
Naturally, while all this is going on, the simmering sexual tension between Will and Sara is ongoing, along with occasional cameos from Angie Polaski. This is the former cop who has known Will since childhood, married him on a dare, and shows up periodically only to verbally abuse Will and leave again for months on end. She's basically the character you love to hate.
I have been enjoying this series more and more over time, and I especially love how Karin Slaughter dribbles little pieces of the backstory of each of the main characters over the course of the series. We get the basics, and each of the characters are well-developed enough to make you empathize (well, all except Angie), but you learn more about their background as time goes on. I accidentally started this series at number 8 (The Kept Woman), which provides a significant portion of Angie's backstory. I still despise her, but it's just enough story to show that she is somewhat human. I'm definitely looking forward to the next books.
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