The Last Widow #KarinSlaughter

Enthralling, Emotional, Enlightening – these are merely the beginning of a long list of adjectives I often use to describe Karin Slaughter’s books. Thrilling and captivating, The Last Widow, was a heart stopping, engrossing read from cover to cover, something I have come to expect from this author, which is why she is on my “must read” list for every new book she writes.


After a hiatus, Slaughter has returned to the Will Trent series which includes Sara Linton, both of whom now are working for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and who are tentatively in a relationship. The book begins with a shopping trip turned abduction and rapidly moves to a bombing at the Emory campus in downtown Atlanta. En-route to the bombing, Will and Sara become entangled in a car crash that escalates into murder and mayhem and Sara being taken hostage. Whew! And that was all in the first few pages of the book! Soon we, the readers, realize that all of this is part of a white nationalist terrorist plot that has been brewing for well over a decade. The problem is how to stop the looming attack without losing half the population as well as Sara.

What I love most about Karin Slaughter’s books is the volume of research that goes in to each and every one of them. I know that when I read one of her books not only are they going to be an exceptionally well written thriller, I am going to come away from the experience with a greater knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. She always deals with “ripped from the headlines” topics in her books and The Last Widow is no exception. As the characters are informed and updated on the standing of white nationalists in the US, we learn as well and what we learn is frightening and eye-opening. Never does Slaughter preach or make judgement calls; she is even handed and quite neutral on the issues at hand. I, on the hand, am not at all and wish that there had been more anger on anyone’s part. Those from the FBI often were apologetic over not doing more, stopping more, shutting down more terrorist groups and their reasons were not reasons with which I could agree. Too many people are dying and, unlike fiction, there is no one rushing in to save the day.

The Last Widow is realistic, sobering and frightening and I am quite sure it will regarded as controversial as many of her previous works have been. It is, however, one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. My only concern is with the first few chapters of the book. Slaughter begins by telling the same events from different perspectives. It is, at first, quite repetitive and somewhat strange. The remainder of the book continues to be told from multiple perspectives but not the same events from each character’s point of view. The shift is an odd one and I’m unclear why it was used in the first place. That isn’t her usual writing style and I found it distracting. Once she stopped doing that, the book was perfection.

If you’ve never read Karin Slaughter before now, I highly encourage you to do so. She has several stand-alone books including Coptown which is one of my all time favorite books. This is the 9th book in the Will Trent series which was merged with the Sara Linton series. You could read it on its on but I wouldn’t suggest it. There simply is too much backstory with all of these characters and it is that backstory that makes this book as remarkable as it is. Start at the beginning of the Will Trent line and work forward – you’ll be glad that you did.


20 thoughts on “The Last Widow #KarinSlaughter

    1. I honestly can say that Coptown is one of my all time, bar none, favorite books. I learned so much about the south, about integration, about women during that era. It was incredible. I can’t believe you’ve never read her before now. I hope you like it and become as addicted to her as the rest of us. I think you will.

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  1. I’ve only read the first Will Trent book (the only one that was available in my library), so I have a lot of catching up to do 🤗 I was thinking about this bizarre re-telling if the same events at the beginning of the book- was it like establishing a baseline/showing how different the perspectives are going to be?

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    1. Wonderful review, Mackey! This is my all time favorite series by my favorite author. I completely agree that you can’t read these as a standalone because of the backstory and I always suggest starting with the Grant County series 1st because Sarah Linton is the main character of that series before she makes an appearance in book four of Will Trent. Her backstory is so complex and integral to their relationship. I loved this book and I didn’t find the retelling of the events strange. It really showed how different people perceive different moments in time differently, which is what I think she was trying to convey. Will saw things differently than Sarah’s mother, etc and the events affected them differently based on what they “saw”. That’s my interpretation anyway.

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      1. These all are great points Stephanie. I think I don’t recommend the Grant County series as often as I do her stand-alones and the Will Trent series is because I never really liked Jeffrey and Sara’s mother drives me up the wall. I love Sara as she is being written now and I adore all of the characters in the series – except Sara’s mother. I’m sure that is just a personal issue that I have with southern mothers. However, all of Slaughter’s books are top notch. I don’t know how a reader could go wrong with any of them.


      2. I love what you said, Mackey about Sara’s mom…too funny! I can’t stand Sara’s mother either (Jeffrey is ok), but I guess being southern born and bred it never dawned on me that it’s because of her being such a southern mother that’s why I dislike her.🤣 She is so annoying, and I wanted to slap her silly in The Last Widow. Her poor husband. I do agree all the books are top notch and there’s not a single one that I don’t love. My favorite series no questions asked and The Good Daughter is in the top five of my favorite novels. KS could write my grocery list and make me happy.


    2. Perhaps that is what it is – or maybe it was her way of establishing how differently each of them were reacting to the same events. What I don’t understand is why she stopped midway through. We still get all of the different perspectives but not the overlapping like at the beginning. Certainly it wasn’t enough of a distraction to keep me from adoring the book. I always expect her works to disappoint me and they just never do. Well, one book concentrated on a character that I didn’t care for but that’s just me. 😉 I hope you enjoy the rest of the series. It gets better as it goes alone.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks though! It took my answering Mackey before I realized that I’d commented under your post! I was lying down with my phone, and I guess I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have been when I hit reply. I did too; she’s such a great character although I’m admittedly jealous of her and Will, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a great read, even for someone who hasn’t read any of either series 😉I do agree about the first few chapters though. I wonder if it’s a thing, it was the same in The Good Daughter. Excellent review!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right. She did do it in The Good Daughter! I had forgotten about that. She always tells a story from multiple viewpoints, which I like, but I had forgotten that she did it similar to this in The Good Daughter. So, maybe it is her new thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, wow, wow, Amazing review Mackey. I love Karin Slaughter and really, really want to read this one. Your descriptions have me salivating to read this one. I am so jealous that you have already had the chance to read this one.


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