Book Review: The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

July 8, 2020 Book Reviews 0

Book Review: The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter
Genres: Thriller
Published by William Morrow on August 20, 2019
Pages: 465
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Illustrator: Karin Slaughter
Also by this author: Kisscut, Indelible, A Faint Cold Fear, Triptych , Faithless, Beyond Reach, Blindsighted , Triptych, Fractured, Undone, Broken, "Snatched", Criminal, "Busted", Unseen, "Cleaning the Gold", The Silent Wife

Ninth in the Will Trent thriller series and revolving around a self-made dyslexic GBI agent and a medical examiner.

My Take

Holy cats!! It’s a conglomeration of action and character you do not want to miss with Slaughter using a third person global subjective point-of view with the majority of the perspectives from Sara, Will, Amanda, and Faith. It’s definitely a buy! If only for that fabulous ending! Oh yeah, baby!!!

Hoo, boy. Money. Sara has tons. Will. Well, Will does not. And I do adore Slaughter’s paragraph when Sara asks him how he feels about it. Ya gotta love Will! Then there’s more about the money…

We also learn why Will can play the guitar. Such a guy thing, and it’s weird to think of Will as a normal kid. Hard, but not because of his dyslexia. It’s hard because Will never did learn how to be a normal kid, having been raised in an orphanage with short bouts of fostercare, so he’s never learned to socialize. (If you want to read Will’s backstory, check out Criminal, 6, but I do recommend you start at the beginning of the series.) You’ll crack up when you read the notes Will writes himself so he can be more open with Sara. I can think of a number of people — men and women — who could do with these notes *grin*!

I think the worst part of Will’s life right now is Cathy and not being invited to the meeting. She hates Will! Lordy, does she despise him! And that meeting. Will is pissed! He’s good at his job and he’s not invited?? It does make for an interesting bit of conflict in the story. One of the best parts, besides Sara, is that Will is finally being accepted as one of the guys at GBI.

Oh, yeah, lolololololol, Will thinks having a woman in charge does wonders for those bad guys who don’t like having a woman in charge, although Sara does note that Will “won’t even let the jelly win”.

What is with all this revising of history? Why must we re-interpret everything in the past based on what we know now? All those songs from the past that Will considers are supposed to be “Class A felonies” now?? Gimme a break.

That carjacking scene simply adds to the tension, although it was kind of weird that Slaughter wrote the scene twice; once from Sara’s perspective and once from Will’s.

Then we get a break from the tension as Slaughter segues into the law enforcement meeting. I think I was falling asleep reading about it. I sure did feel for Faith, lol.

Oh man, Amanda tells Faith that Will will never move up the food chain. Crap.
This is it! This is it!

Sara says that “…a paycheck doesn’t define success. Being fulfilled by your work, finding meaning in what you do, is my definition of success.”

Yes! I love Dr Lawrence’s attitude! And I despise Dash’s attitude…and you’ll despise him even more as you learn more about him. What is it with these paramilitary groups, all patriotic and stuff, that thinks it’s okay to kidnap, torture, rape, and, oh yeah, murder American citizens??? Any one who isn’t just like them and willing to accept that “men lead, women follow”. Oh, and don’t forget anyone who isn’t 100%. Sorry, bub, that’ll never work with me.

Dash goes on and on about their traditional values, not letting the modern world interfere. And Sara wants to know if the solar panels came over on the Niña, Pinta, or Santa Maria. Jerks!! I do love Sara’s retort: “Don’t mess with the US Government. They won two wars and can print their own money.”

Another tactic I have a hard time dealing with is these law enforcement agencies who are so stingy about sharing anything.

Hmmm, gotta wonder if the paper Slaughter talks about reflects the real world about the white supremacist movement in the military? Scary stuff…

“…but I’ve never gotten shit because of the color of my skin. I’m sick of things only being fair for some people. It’s not right. It’s not American.”

Jesus, the more I learn about Gwen…jesus…

I will say there’s a fascinating series of psychological analyses throughout the story, touching on a variety of fields.

The Story

A scientist kidnapped, banks robbed, and an explosion on a hospital, university, and CDC campus. Then Sara is kidnapped by terrorists.

And then there’s that big-shot meeting to which Will was not invited!

It all goes out the window when Sara is kidnapped, and Will goes undercover to save her and prevent a massacre — putting his own life on the line for the woman and the country he loves.

The Characters

The socially awkward Special Agent Will Trent of the GBI has pulled himself up by his bootstraps and feels no need to apologize for who he is — although he is desperate to hide his dyslexia. He’s finally divorced, and he’s madly in love with Dr Sara Linton, a.k.a., Sara Earnshaw, a pediatrician and medical examiner. Jeffrey Tolliver had been Sara’s husband until events in Beyond Reach, 6 & last, five years ago. Betty is Will’s Chihuahua; Billy and Bob are Sara’s greyhounds.

Eddie and Cathy Linton are Sara’s parents. He’s a plumber and real estate investor, she’s a stay-at-home mom. Tessa is Sara’s married sister who recently had a baby; she currently lives in South Africa with her missionary husband. Aunt Bella is Cathy’s sister.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is…
…the state version of the FBI. Panthersville Road is where HQ is located. Special Agent Faith Mitchell is Will’s partner and came up through the Atlanta PD. Dr Amanda Wagner is their boss and the deputy director of the Atlanta GBI. Special Agent Zevon Lowell is assigned to the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office. Charlie Reed is their best crime scene investigator.

The diabetic Faith is a single mother with a twenty-two-year-old son, Jeremy, in college and a two-year-old, Emma, at home; Emma’s father is Victor. Evelyn Mitchell is Faith’s widowed and retired-from-the-Atlanta-PD mother. Faith’s brother has been in the Air Force for twenty years.

The FBI had…
…been invented to stop bank robbers. Special Agent Aiden Van Zandt has a quirky sense of humor. Executive Assistant Director Kate Murphy is with Intelligence, three ranks down from the director of the FBI and had been Maggie’s partner back in the day. Miranda is Navy.

Atlanta PD
Major Maggie Grant. Nate is an officer.

Other law enforcement agencies involved include…
Fulton County Police and Sheriff, the US Marshal’s Service, and the ATF.

Dr Michelle Spivey is an epidemiologist with the CDC; officially, she’s an Epidemic Intelligence Officer. Dr Theresa Lee, an orthopedist and professor, is her life partner. Ashley is their almost twelve-year-old daughter. Hailey is Ashley’s best friend.

Emory Hospital is…
…one of the buildings affected by the bombing. Lisa Ortiz is a nurse. Dr Lawrence treats one of the kidnappers. Dr Schooner is the radiologist. Daniel is a porter.

In Mexico
Inspector Jefe Norge Garcia was with the Federales, the Mexican version of the FBI with a dose of Army, in 1999. It was at a family-style resort that Garcia noticed “Willie Nelson“, a.k.a., Pedo.

Martin Novak, a high priority prisoner and anti-government nut, is a criminal mastermind whose gang killed indiscriminately. Gwendolyn is his daughter.

The IPA is…
…a.k.a., the Invisible Patriot Army, which is led by Dash, a.k.a., “Dwight”, a.k.a., Douglas Shinn. Merle is Sebastian James Monroe with a dishonorable discharge from the Army Corps of Engineers for domestic violence; “Clinton”, a.k.a., Adam Humphrey Carter, is a perve and con who’s been in and out for all kinds of crimes, including rape. He’d also been a Newman County cop. “Vince”, a.k.a., Oliver Reginald Vale, who’s also ex-Army; and, “Hank”, a.k.a., Robert Jacob Hurley, who had been a GHP cop until 18 months ago (his divorced wife is Veronica) and is an ex-Air Force munitions officer, had been part of the team that bombed the campus. More IPAers include Wilkins, Peterson, the injured Tommy, Gerald Smith, Daryl likes to fish, Oliver hates chocolate, Rick likes French bulldogs, Jenner, and O’Leary. Kevin Jones, Dobie, and Lyle Davenport are some flunkies.

Gwen is Dash’s wife who runs the camp; she’d been an orderly with dreams of nursing school. Together they have seven children, including Adriel, Benjamin, Esther, Edna, Charity, Joy, and Grace. Other children include Martha, Jenny, Hannah, Sally, and Lance.

In the town of Bella, Beau Ragnersen is an ex-Army medic with Special Forces, the Green Berets, who now runs the Peter Cottontail, a social club. He’s supposed to be the caretaker for the motel left by Hugo Hunt Hopkins. His real money comes from his dealing legit drugs.

Major Jack Wolfe, Airborne, is a new recruit.

Jake Tapper, whom Eddie calls “Sir Verb-A-Lot”, is a TV reporter. Pete Guthrie had been a security guard. Edatha Quintrell, a grandmother of six, didn’t move fast enough. Officer Rasheed Dougall was off-duty at the time. Dona Roberts is a retired Navy cargo pilot. Angie is Will’s divorced wife. Thank god.

White supremacist groups of the past
George Lincoln Rockwell, a naval commander in World War II and Korea, founded the American Nazi Party. Richard Girnt Butler, in the Army Air Corps, founded Aryan Nations. Thomas Metzger is the leader of the White Aryan Resistance. Frazier Glenn Miller, a Vietnam vet, is the White Patriot Party leader. Eric Rudolph, the Centennial Olympic Park Bomber and ex-Army, is with the Army of God and Christian Identity Movement. Timothy McVeigh is the Oklahoma City Bomber and washed out of Special Forces; Terry Nichols was his accomplice and got a hardship discharge from the Army after a few months.

Brandon Russell, Florida National Guard, was also a member of the Atomwaffen Division. More idiots, er, white supremacists, include Dylann Roff, Robert Gregory Bowers, Nicholas Giampa, and James Mason.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a fractal of grays and beiges, so appropriate for Sara’s partial face being broken. There’s an info blurb in the top right in white. The author’s name is almost central in white with a tiny epigraph in right below it. The title is in yellow and pushed over to the right, with the information that it’s a novel, in white centered below that.

The title is a promise made to Sara, that she will be The Last Widow of her kind.

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