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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
Karin Slaughter departs from her Grant County series to write this standalone thriller which features Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Will Trent (who’s featured in her other books) as well as cynical homicide detective Michael Ormewood and vice cop Angie Polaski. Slaughter writes about Georgia and its suburbs the way Dennis Lehane writes about Boston: you feel as though you are there, and the city becomes a secondary character in the book.

The book isn’t easy to read. The chapters go back and forth in time from the 1985 murder of a likeable teenage girl, Mary Ann Finney, to the present day where prostitutes are being murdered and their tongues are being cut out. This modus operandi is what brings Trent in, but the most recent victim doesn’t fit with the previous cases. Ormewood resents Trent being a part of his investigation, and Will and Angie have had an off-again, on-again love affair that presents complications of its own as the three try to find the serial killer who’s haunting Atlanta.

I had a hard time getting through this book. Slaughter writes very complex characters but my biggest complaint is that they aren’t really all that likeable. There wasn’t one character who truly held my sympathy. Also, given that the book examines the relationship between intimacy and violence, it felt similar in some aspects to Patricia Cornwell’s “Predator”. It’s one thing to write about depraved people and what they do; it’s another thing to wallow in it.

The investigation leads to an ex-con named John Shelley, who can barely function in the real world. How he is connected to the 1985 murder of Mary Finney is interesting, and there is a mid-book plot twist that has been done before (by Ira Levin), but it’s still a surprise to the reader. It’s not the greatest thriller ever, but Slaughter is a good writer and knows how to hold the reader’s attention.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Karin's books and even though this was not a "Grant County" book I have to say that she had keept me on the edge of my seat. You get so involved with the characters that you can visualize them in your mind as you read the story. Karin has taken her rightful place as one of the best female authors and one of my favorites. I look forward to reading her next book (hopefully soon).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Triptych is not a great title, and I wish Slaughter's people would have helped her change it. The word is not one most people will recognize, and it doesn't really apply well to the character it's supposed to represent. Once that's been said, the book itself is well done. Its plot is fairly straightforward and somewhat predictable, and the cliches (the wounded detective with a dark past; he even has a disability! He can't seem to make a relationship with the equally flawed policewoman, etc.) detract a little from a violent and gripping mystery.

A naive but likable teen wakes up one morning lying in bed next to his dream girl--the only problem is, she's been brutally murdered. Evidence and emotion lead to a quick trial and conviction for this unfortunate kid. Slaughter is particularly strong as she describes the horrific existence this young man endures during his twenty years of incarceration. The boy's mother is also poignantly portrayed as she comes to terms with this family-shattering event. Ms. Slaughter did her homework, and she applies a thoughtful and rough-edged narration to this midsection of the story.

A not-quite-satisfying conclusion is also a minor detraction from the book, but Ms. Slaughter's careful characterization and strong narration skills leave you feeling very satisfied with her first stand-alone novel, Triptych.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A prostitute is murdered on the steps of her apartment, in a run down area of Atlanta, and Detective Michal Ormewood is sent to the scene. The police soon discover that there have been a number of recent, similiar attacks, although not always fatal, involving younger victims. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation send one of their agents, Will Trent, who has been investigating these similiar crimes, to assist the Atlanta Police Department with their investigation.

I found this book an engrossing read. There is always something going on in it, that makes you want to read on. The characters in it have depth, and personality, which makes you care about them, when they are in perilious situations. There is a bit of jumping backwards and forwards at the beginning of the novel, but it all starts to make sense fairly quickly, as all is not as what the reader may have originally thought at the start of the book.

This is a standalone book, and not part of the Grant County series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story is a departure from the previous books by Ms. Slaughter. Instead of a small south Georgia town the action takes place in the big metropolis of Atlanta, GA. The story deals with several new murders that may or may not be related to an older, similar murder. I can't say too much without giving away some essential plot elements, but this is a good cop/murder mystery with some interesting characters and several plot twists that keep you guessing. The action is graphic but necessary to this type of story. The plot moves along quite well. If are familiar with Atlanta you will probably recongnize some of the "fictionalized" locations described in the book. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an amazing book, wow! The best thriller that I have read in a long time. I love Karin Slaughter's writing style especially in this book, so captivating! I read this book anywhere I could get a few minutes to myself - I liked it so much that I had it on me at all times. A+
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Triptych is a spin off series of Karin Slaughter's Grant County series. These books move us out of Grant county and into the big city of Atlanta. Where we meet Special Agent Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

A triptych is work of art, that is divided in three parts. And when the three parts are put together, they form a complete picture. Much like the artwork, this book is told in three parts, and when they are all put together, they form one complete picture.

Part one introduces us to Atlanta Detective Michael Ormewood who is called away from watching the Super Bowl game to investigate the murder of a prostitute in a very unsavory part of town. It was a brutal death, she had been beaten and her tongue had been removed. This is the last thing Michael needs, another high profile case to add to his already stressful life. Trying to live on a cops salary is hard enough but he is having to raise and educate his special needs son. His marriage is failing and his mother - in - law truly hates him, blames him for his sons condition. The last thing he needs is problems at work, And that's exactly what he sees with Will involved in his case. And Will wants a closer look at this case because it has similarities to two other cases that he thinks may be connected.

John Shelley, is an ex con. In part two we learn he has served the last twenty years in the Coastal State Prison. He was convicted of the murder and rape of Mary Alice, a young girl John wanted to be more than friends with. Through flashbacks we get the story of how Mary Alice was killed after attending a party with John at his cousin Woody's house. Woody is the local stoner and drug dealer. He has fast become John's best friend and his dealer. When John wakes up the day after the party in bed with a very dead Mary Alice, all the evidence points to John.
After his parole, John just wants to live his life and not bother anyone. He has a job, a place to live, and he just wants a small TV to watch football games on. When he tries to rent to own a TV, what he finds out about his credit, spins John's whole world out of control. And starts to point him toward the person who may be trying to set him up to fail and go back to prison. Or it just might finally answer some questions John has had for many years.

In part three, we learn more about Will, and his relationship with detective Angie Polaski. They grew up together in the Atlanta Children's Home. Both have come up through the foster system, surviving the best they could. There is a definite reason Will behaves the way he does, and we get a small peek into his and Angie's childhood. It's not pretty.
Angie had met John while working undercover. She liked him. Felt he was a nice, honest guy, even knowing what his arrest record said about him.
Will and Angie start to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Finding connections to people who should not know each other. And when it all comes to a conclusion it's pretty intense.

I love this new character Will. And this is a great addition to the Grant County series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 30, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When an Atlanta prostitute is murdered and her tongue bitten off, GBI investigator Will Trent is called in to assist the investigation. It seems that a serial killer with a penchant for young girls shares the same tongue biting mo. Trent must work with the hostile police officer Michael Ormewood. Ormewood"s marriage is disintegrating under the financial challenges of caring for a severely mentally handicapped child. Trent relies on his own instincts as well as input from vice cop, childhood friend and lover Angie Pulaski. Ahead of them on the trail of the killer is a convicted child murderer, recently paroled.

The author toys with the reader during the first half of the novel. It changes from a who done it to a how will they catch him story midway. Some of the revelations are quite shocking but they contribute to the careful and surprisingly sympathetic characterizations of some of the most unlikeable sorts that ever populated a book. The wrongs are horrific and the ultimate resolution is immensely satisfying.

There are some weak spots, of course. First, Will Trent's dyslexia and the way in which he compensates strains credibility. Angie Pulaski, slut by choice, is incredible and unlikeable. Vice cops do not go out and hang with hookers and they do not wear their hooker clothes home and around to do errands. Women in law enforcement (and I daresay, most traditional male bastions)are more concerned with being professional and advancing their careers than sleeping around to assuage the hurts of a lousy childhood. In these politically correct times, everyone is certainly more sensitive to issues of sexual harassment and the police men would not likely be as flagrantly boorish as portrayed. Also the scene were Ormewood and Trent split up and isolate the juvenile witnesses does not ring true.

However, this is a fast paced novel well worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 2, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Slaughter's first book (Blindsighted) was released, I was actually pretty impressed. Although it was pretty heavy on the violence, it was also pretty heavy on the characters. The plotting was tight and affecting. There was good local color. In short, even though it had many elements that might not have thrilled me, it also had a lot of things that I really liked. I had the feeling that Slaughter had the potential to bring her genre out of the supermarket and airport into somewhere pretty interesting.

Unfortunately, ever since then, I've kind of been waiting for the interesting to happen. Instead of using the ultra-violence as a seasoning, I have the feeling that she has started to depend on it.

(Note: I have the feeling that sometimes I talk about violence like a precious old lady peering over her reading glasses. I really do not object to violence when it is part of the plot, and makes sense in the atmosphere and genre. I do dislike what in last years feels to me an attempt to create the most vicious vile and degrading serial killer around. It is too much, and feels like a violence arms race. It clouds how violent even small acts of violence can be.)

Anyhow, in this sense, Triptych is an improvement over the Grant County books. Violent, yes, but within a rational scale. Unfortunately, in this novel it is the plot tricks which push the book over the top for me. I won't go into the twists and turns, since it could spoil the reading experience. But suffice it to say that the book falls largely flat if you figure out the main gimmick early on, which I did. A high risk strategy, I fear. At least for me, it didn't pay off.

In short, not a bad entry from Slaughter. But it still fails to live up to my initially high expectations of her work.

(I do like Will Trent as a character, by the way. I wouldn't mind seeing more of him in the future.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Loved this book and now am hooked on Karin Slaughter (thanks for the freebies, btw)! Not your typical mystery novel and I love the twists and turns. Easy to read yet very interesting. The characters have depth and it left me wanting more.
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