- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press (August 16, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385339461
- ISBN-13: 978-0385339469
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 507 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Triptych Hardcover – August 15, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Slaughter departs from her Grant County crime series (Faithless, etc.) with a stand-alone thriller notable mainly for a jolting mid-book twist similar to one Ira Levin used with more subtlety in A Kiss Before Dying. The case of a prostitute's brutal murder provides a welcome break for Michael Ormewood, a cynical, world-weary Atlanta cop weighed down by dealing with the city's underclass and the heartbreak of a mentally impaired son. Since the victim's tongue was severed, linking the crime to several other recent outrages, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation intervenes. Suspicions focus on a recently paroled sex offender, John Shelley, who viciously butchered a neighbor more than a decade earlier. Slaughter unexpectedly switches the narrative's perspective, but the shock value garnered by the plot twist isn't matched by the predictable denouement. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In her first stand-alone thriller since she began writing her best-selling Grant County series (the latest is Faithless, 2005), Slaughter continues to obsess over her favorite theme--the close link between intimacy and violence. In this intricately plotted page-turner of a novel, there's a serial killer at work in Atlanta, and he likes his victims young. His telltale m.o.--biting off his victims' tongues--brings in Will Trent, an agent from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, but the latest vicious murder doesn't fit with the previous cases. For one thing, the victim is a drug-addicted black prostitute in her thirties. Will is assigned to work the case with local detective Michael Ormewood, a hard-to-read veteran who resents Will's presence. Will also calls upon vice-squad undercover agent Angie Polaski, a lifelong friend he first met in an orphanage where they were both placed after suffering severe abuse--their on-again, off-again romantic relationship is a source of comfort and frustration for both of them. Suspicious of authority and severely dyslexic, Will slowly pieces together an investigation that leads to feckless ex-con John Shelley, a man so stunted by his prison stint that he can barely function yet comes roaring back to life when he senses that his newfound freedom is about to be snatched away. Slaughter is keenly interested in the root causes of sexual perversity, and she writes about them so affectingly that her fascinations also become the readers'. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Enter Will Trent, disability and all
Enter Agent Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Will works in a special autonomous GBI unit and reports directly to the director, Amanda Wagner. A functional illiterate due to profound dyslexia, Will has nonetheless acquired both a college degree and a doctorate in criminology. He is regarded as one of the bureau’s finest investigators.
A brutal rape and murder, with more to come
Soon after Will has inserted himself into the case of the two girls another, similar murder occurs. But the victim is a 40-year-old prostitute. Then a young girl, a potential witness to the prostitute’s murder, vanishes. While trying to sort out the coincidences and inconsistencies among these several cases, Will works principally with two local detectives. Neither trusts him. Then, as he looks into the murder of the prostitute, Will is shocked to encounter his on-and-off-again lover, Angie Polaski. They have known each other for 25 years, ever since they met in the Georgia Children’s Home, both products of extreme physical abuse at a very young age. Angie is now a cop, working undercover as a prostitute on the Vice detail.
As the investigation proceeds, Will, Angie, and the other two local police officers stumble about in a welter of confusing clues. We know that eventually they’ll link the two-decade-old rape and murder to today’s cases — but they don’t know that until nearly the very end.
A rip-roaring novel of suspense
This is a rip-roaring novel of suspense, a thriller to keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re a mystery fan and not put off by graphic descriptions of violence and sex, you’ll love this book.
By the way, the title, Triptych, refers to a work of art consisting of “three canvases hinged together to make one image when it was open, another image when it was closed.”
About the author
Karin Slaughter is one of America’s most gifted mystery novelists. She’s also one of the most successful. Since the publication of her first novel in 2001, Slaughter has written six books in the Grant County series, ten in the Will Trent series, and six standalone novels. Triptych, the inaugural effort in the Will Trent series, helps make clear why more than 35 million copies of her books have been sold in 36 languages. I’ve reviewed several other novels she’s written: Kisscut (#2), A Faint Cold Fear (#3), Indelible (#4), and Faithless (#5), all in the Grant County series; Broken (#4) and Unseen (#9) in the Will Trent series; and the standalone novels Criminal, Blindsighted, and Pretty Girls. I’ll keep coming back for more.
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.
I enjoyed the book as well as Slaughter's excellent writing; the lady can weave a story. I rate the novel a 5. I