Triptych by Karin Slaughter (2006)

Other books by Karin Slaughter reviewed on this blog include:

Blindsighted (2002)

A Faint Cold Fear (2004)

Pretty Girls (2015)

This thriller, the first book in the Will Trent series by Karin Slaughter, was another fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down thriller by a master of the genre. As with her other novels, Slaughter is easily able to blend well-drawn characters, complicated story lines, and thrilling tension and the result is a dark page-turner that it is very easy to stay up too late into the night to finish.

Triptych’s main character, Will Trent, is slow to emerge from the pages of the book. Other characters take center stage for a large portion of the story, telling us their versions of the story — some more reliable than others — before Will enters the action. When he does, we meet wise FBI agent who works as part of a small investigative unit whose job is to help local police departments solve complicated crimes. Will is tall, lonely, wounded from a horrific childhood, able to solve many cases using his own brand of detective work, one which allows him to hide his severe dyslexia from his colleagues. In Triptych, Will is called in to help connect the dots between several rapes, abductions, and one recent unsolved murder in Atlanta. With the help of Atlanta Police officers, he slowly works to collect evidence and link these current crimes with many more spanning twenty five years.

This novel does an excellent job presenting the reader with almost all of the information they need to solve the crime, but keeping the characters in the story partially in the dark. Each of the story’s characters hold a piece of information key to solving the crime, but their lack of communication, and at times their lack of knowledge about the importance of the facts in their possession, mean the killer continues to go free day after day. Slaughter brings a host of characters into the story –several cops, FBI agents, parole officers, coroners, lawyers, ex-cons, prostitutes, victims and their families — and lets each of them present us with a slice of the overall story. The back and forth between the characters means that the reader draws closer and closer to the truth while waiting desperately for the police to do the same.

Overall, a thrilling read, so enjoyable that I have already downloaded the next two books in the Will Trent series onto my IPad so I can start them today.