Desert Isle Keeper
The Kept Woman
Fans of Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent series will absolutely not want to miss the latest instalment, The Kept Woman. It has everything I’ve come to love about Ms. Slaughter’s writing. The story is fast-paced and action-packed, and it was wonderful to catch up with characters I’ve read about and loved for years.
This is the eighth book in the series, and while most of the story stands quite well on its own, it’s probably best to start with the first book, Triptych. Better yet, go back to Blindsighted, the very first Grant County novel. That way, you’ll get a complete feel for the large cast of characters and how their stories intersect. As The Kept Woman is part of a series, this review contains spoilers for Ms. Slaughter’s previous works.
Special Agent Will Trent is dismayed to be called to the scene of a homicide in an abandoned Atlanta warehouse. The building belongs to one of the city’s top athletes, a man Will has been investigating for the past six months, hoping to be able to pin some rape allegations on him. Now it appears this well-connected bad boy might be linked to the murder of a former cop as well.
Evidence at the crime scene points to a second victim, a woman who appears to have fled the scene. Medical Examiner Sara Linton believes the woman doesn’t have long to live, given the amount of blood she’s lost. Will and his team are determined to find her before it’s too late.
When further investigation reveals the woman’s identity, Will’s life is turned up-side-down, for the woman is no stranger. Instead, she’s someone Will has known for most of his life, the one ray of light from his extremely troubled past. This discovery brings up more questions than answers as Will digs deeper into the life of a woman he both loves and hates.
For her part, Dr. Sara Linton is hurt and angry. She and Will have been in a relationship for the past year and a half, and it looks like this case will drive a wedge between them. She wants to be supportive of Will, but she can’t help but feel resentful of the hold his past has on him. Even so, she brings all her expertise to bear, in hopes of uncovering the truth before someone else dies.
I love the way the novel brings to light so much of Will’s past. Previous books told us it wasn’t pretty, but this book gives us some details we didn’t have before and caused me to like Will even more than I already did. I wanted to see him break free from all that ugliness and fully embrace Sara and all the love she has for him.
Sara is a heroine I’ve cheered on since I first read about her some twelve years ago. The author has given her a lot to overcome, and Sara has done so with remarkable grace and courage. I sympathized with her mixed emotions concerning Will and his past, but I longed for her to be just a little more patient while he came to terms with everything.
The star of the book is undeniably Angie, Will’s very complicated estranged wife. She’s not a likable character, but she’s someone I was able to identify with on several levels. She’s been present in Will’s life forever, but we have never been never allowed to really know her before now. I wanted her to stop screwing around and get her life together, but, at the same time, I understood why she found that nearly impossible to do. She’s made a lot of bad choices in her time, but we’re able to see glimmers of goodness beneath the surface.
Ms. Slaughter doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to violence and gore, so if such things negatively affect you, this won’t probably be a book you’ll enjoy. Personally, I feel her descriptions add quite a bit of authenticity to the story, but I know people react differently to that sort of thing.
I was sad to reach the end of The Kept Woman. I found myself wishing for a few more chapters, but not because the ending was rushed. I just wanted to remain in the company of the characters a little longer.