Criminal by Karin Slaughter
|Criminal by Karin Slaughter|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Brutal murders from 1975 could hold the clue to the death of a prostitute now. The book's lifted above the genre by the research into sexist and racist attitudes in Atlanta in the mid nineteen seventies.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 448||Date: July 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
The apartment in Atlanta was particularly sordid but made horrifying by the brutally-murdered body of a woman. Special agent Will Trent is almost involved in the investigation but his boss Amanda Wagner seems determined to keep him at arm's length. The murder brings back memories for Wagner of a murder in the city more than thirty five years ago - before Will was born - but Trent receives some disturbing news which has him going back to the children's home where he grew up. How does it all fit together?
Look - you're going to have to pay attention with this book. It's not one to read for a few minutes at a time when you get the chance, because you'll never grasp what's going on. There are two timelines - one back in 1975 and the other in the present day. Back in 75 Atlanta was still a couple of decades shy of the infrastructure improvements which would be made by the summer Olympics and came complete with the traditional southern sexist and racist attitudes. Amanda Wagner (or 'Wag' as she was known because she was always trying to please people) really shouldn't have been investigating a murder but there was a determination there that surprised even her.
The story is dark, violent and not for the faint hearted. It could have been ordinary but it's really lifted above the genre stereotype by the research into sexist and racist attitudes in Atlanta in the seventies. If anything they're more frightening than the murders - which were extraordinary - these are just ingrained attitudes which ensured that anyone but white males were disadvantaged. It was hard not to come to the conclusion that it wasn't that men were worried that women or blacks couldn't do the job, but frightened that they could do it better than them.
The plot is twisty and intricate with a curve ball right at the end which I certainly wasn't expecting. The characters are good - aficionados will appreciate the return, albeit in a supporting role, of Dr Sara Linton and I loved the feisty Amanda Wagner. It's a book to make the time for - and to enjoy.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. If this book appeals then we think you'll enjoy anything by Linda Fairstein.
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