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Criminal: A Novel (Will Trent) Hardcover – July 3, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 815 customer reviews
Book 7 of 7 in the Will Trent/Atlanta Series

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Criminal
“Karin Slaughter’s best yet by far: All her signature strengths are amplified a hundredfold by the past explaining the present. Reading this book was like watching a great athlete having a career year.”—Lee Child
“Fascinating . . . Slaughter delivers another riveting, pulse-pounding crime novel.”—Booklist (starred review)

“With every page of this story the tension mounts . . . If you have a hunger for a rich and fulfilling novel then you owe it to yourself to pick up Criminal. . . . Slaughter at her most visceral and gut-wrenching best.”—The Huffington Post

“Slaughter’s tense fourth thriller to combine characters from her two crime series . . . seamlessly shifts between past and present.”—Publishers Weekly

“A jolting case that involves murders separated by 40 years . . . explosive.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Karin Slaughter prove she's one of the best crime novelists at work today with Criminal. [She] weaves a rich tapestry of complex characters with a compelling mystery. Readers will feel emotionally attached to these characters, and their journey will both delight and surprise even the jaded suspense fan.”—Associated Press

“They don’t call Slaughter 'the thinking woman’s thriller writer' for nothing—her pacing assumes you can keep up.”—BookRiot

“Special Agent Will Trent has to be one of the most fascinating suspense protagonists in recent memory . . . Criminal offers a look back at 1970s Southern culture (with all its gentility and warts), a dash of romance for its unlikely protagonist and a twist ending that few will see coming.”—Bookpage


“Karin Slaughter is one of the best crime novelists in America.”—The Washington Post

“Crime fiction at its finest.”—Michael Connelly

“An absolute master.”—Chicago Tribune

“Slaughter writes with a razor. . . . Better than Cornwell can ever hope to be.”—The Plain Dealer

“Slaughter will have you on the edge of your seat.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“One of the boldest thriller writers working today.”—Tess Gerritsen 

“Move over, Catherine Coulter—Slaughter may be today’s top female suspense writer.”—Library Journal (starred review)

About the Author

Karin Slaughter is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of twelve thrillers, including Fallen, Broken, Undone, Fractured, Beyond Reach, Triptych, and Faithless. She is a native of Georgia.

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Product Details

  • Series: Will Trent
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345528506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345528506
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (815 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For years, Karin Slaughter has been tantalizing us with bits and pieces of Will Trent's history. Followers of Slaughter's popular series know that Will is an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. He is dyslexic, scarred physically and psychologically from years in an orphanage and on the streets, and barely made it out of his hellish childhood intact. An ill-advised marriage to a fellow orphan, Angie, has brought Will additional misery. Even though he is still Angie's husband, Will has fallen for pediatrician Sara Linton; Sara cares for him, as well, but she wonders if she can truly be close to a man who has so much emotional baggage. Slaughter's audience knows Sara intimately as a beautiful and brilliant physician and medical examiner who played a prominent role in earlier books.

In "Criminal," Slaughter tells her story in alternating chapters, some of which take place in 1974-75. In the opening scene, we meet a group of wretched female drug addicts. They are at the mercy of a brute who sells their bodies on the street and keeps most of the money they earn for himself. Nineteen-year-old Lucy Bennett started her habit when she took speed to lose weight. She graduated to "injectable amphetamine" and everything spiraled downward from there. Now, she feels as if "she'd swallowed a truckload of concrete" and her hair has been falling out in clumps. Her plight is particularly heartrending since she had once been a good student with a bright future. Now, she is just another streetwalker with dead eyes.

Slaughter places us squarely in Atlanta's underbelly: We witness the unspeakable torture and slaying of helpless women as well as the racism, sexism, and corruption that infected the city's police department in the mid-seventies.
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Format: Hardcover
The title of my review was taken from the novel CRIMINAL by Karin Slaughter.
A literary tree was planted in her first thriller BLINDSIGHTED with the tangled roots of Sara Linton, small-town pediatrician and her ex husband Jeffrey Tolliver, sherriff of Heartsdale, Georgia.
The twisted branches grew strong with the likes of Jeff's friend Lena Adams and an assortment of diseased characters feeding off the basis of Sara and Jeff's relationship.
From those branches grasping for a place in the heart of darkness bloom Will Trent, Faith Mithcell and Amanda Wagner,all an integral part of the mind of one of the finest mystery writers I have ever read.

Instead of delving into the plot(s) of CRIMINAL without giving any red herrings away or 'spoiler alerts' I wish to give my observations of what drives myself (in my opinion) and her readers to wait with controlled anticipation for her next thriller to be published.

If one is 'not' a Karin Slaughter novice then one knows about her ability to create such flesh and blood characters when something bad or evil happens to them your gut tightens and you are driven to continue reading and hope for a better outcome.
That is truly a rare gift!

IN CRIMINAL Ms. Slaughter weaves two mysteries together thirty five years apart.
1975 is re-imagined with all the sights, smells and everyday functions that only a great writer could accomplish.
From how women detectives were treated to how they interacted with each other.

Lastly, one of the most sastisfying endings of any thriller I have read in the past year!!!

Jim Munchel/Books A Million, Harrisburg, Pa.
Co-Manager Books
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Format: Hardcover
I eagerly anticipate every single book by Karin Slaughter, and she's never let me down when it comes to Will Trent and Sara Linton--and after last year's fantastic Fallen, I was really excited to read her new book. Criminal is, however, my least favorite book by this author yet, and the first book in the Georgia series that I've rated less than 4 stars. After thoroughly enjoying each of the previous (12?) novels in this series, it's something of a shock to find myself with such mixed/negative feelings about this one.

The two things that normally make Karin Slaughter books so damned good are crackling, suspenseful mysteries and strong characters that you passionately care about. In Criminal, those elements are woefully obscured by the book's structure (too many POVs, many of which are too long for secondary characters), too much focus on Amanda Wagner's past (which sounded like such a great idea, except that she's much less compelling and sympathetic as a young rookie), and a serious lack of time spent on the central characters we've come to know. The starts and stops of the many, many characters POVs make for a jumbled narrative and a frustrating reading experience, and they detract from both the cleanness of the plotting and any emotional response we might've had to the characters. I'm frankly very surprised that a Slaughter book would be this messy.

Eventually, the central mystery is an interesting one, if a bit on the predictable side. The little we see of the Will/Sara/Angie dynamic continues to be fascinating.
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