Mystery Book Review |The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter #ARCAugust

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The Last Widow is a fast-paced adventure, reminiscent of Patricia Cornwall’s Kay Scarpetta series, that doesn’t shy away from depicting the harsh realities of the criminally insane and the people that follow them. GBI agent, Will Trent, and medical examiner, Sara Linton, take us on a journey that follows a spiraling line regularly upsetting our expectations and leading us down a dark path. The only question is, can they lead us back to safety.

A temporal motif runs throughout the novel, and this serves to enhance the theme and the mood. The mood is one of urgency, and the reader feels that along with the characters.  The characters continuously check their watches and are frustrated when their means of seeing how much time has passed is gone. This urgency is also reinforced by the chapters being titled by the date and time. Time is an essential theme in this novel, especially as it pertains to survival, which is made apparent by the motif. The result is a fast-paced novel where the reader doesn’t even think to check their own watch.

The emotional journeys are genuinely written. From the emotional journey of a mother with a daughter just hitting puberty to the ramblings of a person’s mind when held in captivity, this story captures many sharp truths. These descriptions bring a sense of realism to the story and transport you into the world of the novel.

Will Trent and Sara Linton are relatable in their reluctant heroism. The characters are fully developed, and when they work together, you can feel the chemistry jump off the page. Engagingly flawed, they help each other overcome their inner demons while they are fighting to conquer their own.

The confounding time loops did not add to the story. To show different, essential perspectives, the reader sees an event from one character’s perspective and then in the next chapter, the same event from another character’s perspective. Though the views both added something unique to the story, I found moving backward and forwards numerous times in the tale frustrating much like rereading the same page of a story multiple times.

I also wish I knew more about what happened to Michelle Spivey in that month between appearances. Bits and pieces are provided, but I think I would like to know more definitely. Part of me feels like it could be a “be careful what you wish for” type wish though.

This novel will grab you from page one and not let you go until the end. I highly recommend for the thrill-seekers at heart.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

8 thoughts on “Mystery Book Review |The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter #ARCAugust”

    1. Thank you! It took months of writing and playing around with what kind of review voice I wanted. 🙂

  1. Great review! This is a book I’ve had on my list to read for quite some time. I definitely see where the back and forth of the narrative could detract from the overall reading experience. Sometimes I enjoy a different writing style where time is concerned, but occasionally it makes for a difficult read.

    1. It surprised me, since I wouldn’t say it was necessary. I wonder what prompted the choice – if it was thematic somehow and I just didn’t catch it.

      1. I wonder if sometimes authors choose to do things like this to let their books stand out from others. Maybe they see it as something unique that will get readers talking about their novel. If so, it worked with this one.

  2. I like the concept of the urgency and the chapters being headed with dates and times. That always keeps me flipping pages. It sounds like a very intense read, although I do dislike when authors rehash the same event from different perspectives.

    1. It really did keep you moving quickly through the book. And I don’t often in see, in contemporary books, so many devices used to compliment a theme.

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