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Criminal by Karin Slaughter

Criminal (2012)

by Karin Slaughter

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Georgia (5), Will Trent (6), Sara Linton (10)

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5634217,691 (4.03)26



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Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
This is the first book I have ever read by Karin Slaughter.

It was rather tough at times to stick with the story because, the plot constantly jumped from the 1970s to the present day, along with a ton of characters that seemed to pop up all over the place...this made the story rather confusing sometimes.

I was hoping for a twist at the end, but unfortunately that didn't happen. It was an average story, and not a bad read but it is not the best crime novel that I have read either. I also found it hard to sympathise with the main character "Will", in this story for some reason.

Anyway, I assume Slaughter's other books are better? ( )
  TineSidhe | Aug 23, 2017 |
This story, part of the Will Trent/Sara Linton series, begins in 1974 Atlanta, and alternates between that time period and the present. In 1974 we meet young Amanda Wagner, as well as young Evelyn Mitchell, Faith's mother and the focus of the last book of the series, Fallen. Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent, Will Trent, is ordered not to investigate the disappearance of a female college student, which only tends to pique his curiosity more. He learns that his immediate supervisor, Amanda Wagner, has been withholding information from him. His father, a convicted killer, was released from prison two months ago. Will has only seen pictures of his father, his trial taking place when Will was only a child. But as disturbed as he is knowing his father is out of prison, he's more alarmed by the apparent similarities between the missing students and the women his father killed.

I loved this book and it was one of my favorites. That being said, I don't recommend anyone read it who is not already familiar with these characters. The very in-depth back story of Amanda and Evelyn is probably of more interest to long time fans who already know Amanda. The author has devoted a great deal of time to filling in the blank spots of the main character. I was also filled with nothing but sympathy for the pioneering women of the 1970s who tried to break into jobs formerly held only by men. As a woman of the same generation who did something similar, I almost wept remembering some of that treatment.

I've recently been rereading the Will Trent/Sara Linton series in audio and think the books keep getting better and better. I had to laugh at some of the incidents in this book, especially during the 1974 parts. There is a lot of violence in this book, especially toward the women who are killed, but I think the author does a great job of making you sympathetic to the main characters. She knows how to construct a good crime story filled with characters who are flawed and damaged, as well as evil. I'm looking forward to the next book of the series, Unseen.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
I know everyone says you should read series in order, and I really agree. Except...I got my hands on a copy of this book and I read it... it was my first (eagerly awaited) Karin Slaughter.

I have to say it got off to a very slow start and that's why I rated it four stars. If the author were not so well regarded, I would have abandoned the book because I didn't like it until I got to chapter 9 - I just couldn't get into it, and nine chapters is a long time.
The other small negatives for me were the switches backwards and forwards in time and the mass of characters to get a hold of. I had to really study each chapter heading to understand who I'd be reading about and in what time frame.
That said, the main plot, once it gets going, was totally riveting. I particularly enjoyed the historical elements of life for women on the police force in the 1970s and the black/white tensions in Atlanta and at the police precinct. I also enjoyed the metamorphosis of Amanda and Evelyn.
For me, Will Trent was less well drawn but he held my attention, and the story line about his father was very well told.
Perhaps I am hard not to give it five stars, but I have high standards. However, I shall definitely read another by Slaughter. ( )
  AnnGirdharry | Feb 16, 2017 |
Criminal by Karin Slaughter is a 2012 publication.

Wowza! I was making great progress with this series, but got sidetracked somewhere along the way, but hopefully, I can get back on track now.

This is an amazing installment in this series and might be one of the best so far.

Will and Amanda’s backstories are examined as we trip back in time to the mid-seventies when Will’s father is making a name for himself, and not in a good way.

This story explains how and why Amanda knows Will so well, and explains what exactly went down with Will’s parents.

I will never think of Amanda in the same way again after reading this installment. Karin Slaughter did an amazing job of building suspense, and giving us a much better and deeper understanding of the conflicted and flawed characters we have come to care about.

The attention to details, especially in describing the climate and atmosphere of the 1970’s, was impressive.

The Will and Angie saga is also on the menu and Sara is caught in the middle as Will struggles with his past and how to move forward with Sara. These characterizations never cease to amaze me!

The revelations and shockwave come slowly at first, but the last quarter of the book had me spellbound. The final chapter holds a jaw dropping twist that left me in complete shock. I can’t wait to see how everyone deals with the fallout from here on out.

This is an awesome series!

4.5 stars ( )
  gpangel | Jan 5, 2017 |
Although a bit choppy and “mushy” at times, the “what is Amanda hiding?” was handled nicely and made for an interesting read. But there is a nagging thought of is there a hidden agenda here with Sarah’s sexuality—she was traumatically raped as a med student and while that may have played into her relationship and reconciliation with Jeffrey, her sexual behavior with Will seems a bit odd. Like there is a dark side to Sarah that we are just beginning to see. ( )
  debavp | Oct 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Is Karin Slaughter always this long-winded? At 436 pages, her 12th novel, Criminal, reads about 150 pages too many, and in several passages, it becomes painfully clear that Slaughter has jammed into the narrative every scrap of research she could drag up on subjects that might not deserve such scrupulous examination. Not that the garrulousness means readers should ignore Criminal. Even when Slaughter is way too wordy, she’s still entirely readable.

As with earlier novels, Criminal takes place in Slaughter’s native Georgia, specifically in Atlanta. The action covers two alternating time periods, 1974-75 and the present. The two are connected by the plot and by a handful of characters. All of the latter fall into one of three categories: members of the Atlanta Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; murder victims, mostly young prostitutes; and, the smallest and most tantalizing category, the killer, a spectacularly heinous fellow who isn’t conclusively identified until very late in the book.

Out of this mix, it’s a cop named Amanda Wagner who holds the plot on course. In the book’s 1970s passages, she’s a rookie APD officer with an intuitively sharp sleuthing touch. Amanda also carries the burden of a bullying father who happens to be a senior member of both the Atlanta cops and the Ku Klux Klan. Forty years later, having survived daddy, Amanda is a 60ish senior officer with the GBI. Her investigative instincts remain intact, but she’s added an intellectual rationale for her policing moves. That, and a gift for keeping secrets, make her essential in assuring that Slaughter’s scattergun approach to the narrative produces a reasonably coherent resolution.

Still, Slaughter’s insistence on sharing with readers her massive research stands as a barrier against total enjoyment of Criminal. The author’s Acknowledgments let us know we’re in for a history of the Atlanta Police Department, but did we need whole chapters to convince us that the ATP of the 1970s may have been the most racist and sexist organization in the history of policing?

True enough, one intriguing nugget of irony emerges from the ton of Atlanta cop research. When Amanda Wagner’s daddy sends his KKK robes to the dry cleaner’s shop for laundering, who restores them to their pristine white? Answer: the shop’s black employees.
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karin Slaughterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Early, KathleenReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baar, Marry vanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lenting, InekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paige, CaitlinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ressi, FedericaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sørensen, Henrik EnemarkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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August 15, 1974

A cinnamon brown Oldsmobile Cutlass crawled up Edgewood Avenue, the windows, lowered, the driver hunched down in his seat.
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Do not combine this 2-in-1 book with the individual stories contained in the book. Thanks.

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A Georgia Bureau of Investigation search into a shocking crime from 1975 poses unprecedented personal and professional challenges for top agent Will Trent, who encounters threats against his life and everything he thought he understood about his past.… (more)

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