THE LAST WIDOW
Characters & their development: 3
Personal enjoyment: 3
-the way the timeline/perspectives worked
-the ending was lackluster
-hard to get into
The routine of a family shopping trip is shattered when Michelle Spivey is snatched as she leaves the mall with her young daughter. The police search for her, her partner pleads for her release, but it’s as if she disappeared into thin air.
A month later, on a sleepy Sunday afternoon, medical examiner Sara Linton is at lunch with her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the serenity of the summer’s day is broken by the wail of sirens.
Sara and Will are trained to run towards an emergency, not away from it. But on this one terrible day that instinct betrays them. Within hours the situation has spiralled out of control. And the fallout will lead them into the Appalachian mountains, to the terrible truth about really happened to Michelle, and to a remote compound where a radical group has murder in mind …
The Last Widow is a mystery/crime novel following two of Karin Slaughters most beloved characters, Will Trent and Sara Linton. This book picks up with a snippet into their life and their relationship, before an extreme event happens, leaving the city in chaos and Sara missing. After this, it’s a race against time for both Sara and Will as they slowly piece together everything that has happened so far, and everything that is about to happen to.
So for me, this was my first endevour into Karin Slaughters work. I have read a decent amount of books in this genre, but none of hers, so I thought it was about time to change that. The first time I picked this up, I was not very invested, The repeating timelines in the first 100 pages baffled me, and a few comments made by a side character, Faith, really bothered me. But once I pushed through, I found this novel wasn’t half bad.
I enjoyed how the author played with time in this novel. We are constantly changing not only perspectives but times in this novel. We might start off with Sara at 4pm, and then by the end of the chapter, its 7pm, but the next chapter starts with will at 5pm. It took some adjusting to get used to, but it was actually really intriguing to see how these characters were reacting to the things going on, at the same time in different locations. With the changing of perspectives it also meant we, the reader, got let in on secrets that other characters didn’t know.
But I didn’t enjoy the villain. Not because he was unrealistic, but because of the ending. We start of with him being a cult like leader, the new messiah to a group of people living in the wilderness. He thrives off their attention and trust, and eventually causes their demise. This whole part worked perfectly, I felt he was realistic to his real counterparts such as Charles Manson. However, at the final point of the novel, he crumbled, fell to dust and became just a sniveling man. Part of me assumes that was to show that he was really just a weak man. But it felt cheap and not quite right to the character she had set up for us. I expected him to go out in a blaze once he realized he was cornered, not cry.
Besides that there were some interesting character dynamics, We see Will and Sara’s relationship. Amanda who is Will’s boss, Faith, his partner and Sara’s family. Watching them all interact was great because it showed how different each character was which I really appreciated, even when I didn’t like every character the author wanted me to.
But the ending was lackluster, mostly in part to the crumbling villain but also because it was just, so predictable. I think that’s an issue with crime series. It becomes too predictable because you know the main characters wont die, so you loose the feeling of suspense when they’re in trouble.
overall I think this was a decent read. The story was fast paced enough to keep you interested, and there were some positive elements to combat the negatives. However, I wouldn’t go into this expecting a new favourite novel.