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Criminal
Cover of Criminal
Criminal
Will Trent Series, Book 6
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"[A] hold-on-to-your-hat, nail-biting story."—The Washington Post


"Slaughter's best yet, by far."—Lee Child

Will Trent is a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Newly in love, he is beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and Will is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda's motivation until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before, when his father was imprisoned for murder, this was Will's home. It appears that the case that launched Amanda's career forty years ago has suddenly come back to life—and it involves the long-held mystery of Will's birth and parentage. Now these two dauntless investigators will each need to face down demons from the past if they are to prevent an even greater terror from being unleashed.
Includes Karin Slaughter's short story "Snatched" and a preview of the next Will Trent novel, Unseen
"With every page of this story the tension mounts. . . . If you have a hunger for a rich and fulfilling novel then you owe it to yourself to pick up Criminal."—Huffington Post

"A masterpiece of character, atmosphere and riveting suspense, Criminal is the most powerful and moving novel yet from one of the most gifted storytellers at work today."—Chicago Daily Herald
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"[A] hold-on-to-your-hat, nail-biting story."—The Washington Post


"Slaughter's best yet, by far."—Lee Child

Will Trent is a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Newly in love, he is beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and Will is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda's motivation until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before, when his father was imprisoned for murder, this was Will's home. It appears that the case that launched Amanda's career forty years ago has suddenly come back to life—and it involves the long-held mystery of Will's birth and parentage. Now these two dauntless investigators will each need to face down demons from the past if they are to prevent an even greater terror from being unleashed.
Includes Karin Slaughter's short story "Snatched" and a preview of the next Will Trent novel, Unseen
"With every page of this story the tension mounts. . . . If you have a hunger for a rich and fulfilling novel then you owe it to yourself to pick up Criminal."—Huffington Post

"A masterpiece of character, atmosphere and riveting suspense, Criminal is the most powerful and moving novel yet from one of the most gifted storytellers at work today."—Chicago Daily Herald
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    August 15, 1974

    LUCY BENNETT

    A cinnamon brown Oldsmobile Cutlass crawled up Edgewood Avenue, the windows lowered, the driver hunched down in his seat. The lights from the console showed narrow, beady eyes tracing along the line of girls standing under the street sign. Jane. Mary. Lydia. The car stopped. Predictably, the man tilted up his chin toward Kitty. She trotted over, adjusting her miniskirt as she navigated her spiked heels across the uneven asphalt. Two weeks ago, when Juice had first brought Kitty onto the corner, she'd told the other girls she was sixteen, which probably meant fifteen, though she looked no older than twelve.

    They had all hated her on sight.

    Kitty leaned down into the open window of the car. Her stiff vinyl skirt tipped up like the bottom of a bell. She always got picked first, which was becoming a problem that everyone but Juice could see. Kitty got special favors. She could talk men into doing anything. The girl was fresh, childlike, though like all of them, she carried a kitchen knife in her purse and knew how to use it. Nobody wanted to do what they were doing, but to have another girl--a newer girl--picked over them hurt just as much as if they were all standing on the sidelines at the debutante ball.

    Inside the Oldsmobile, the transaction was quickly negotiated, no haggling because what was on offer was still worth the price. Kitty made the signal to Juice, waited for his nod, then got into the car. The muffler chugged exhaust as the Olds made a wide turn onto a narrow side street. The car shook once as the gear was shoved into park. The driver's hand flew up, clamped around the back of Kitty's head, and she disappeared.

    Lucy Bennett turned away, looking up the dark, soulless avenue. No headlights coming. No traffic. No business. Atlanta wasn't a nighttime town. The last person to leave the Equitable building usually turned off the lights, but Lucy could see the bulbs from the Flatiron glowing clear across Central City Park. If she squinted hard enough, she could find the familiar green of the C&S sign that anchored the business district. The New South. Progress through commerce. The City Too Busy to Hate.

    If there were men out walking these streets tonight, it was with no amount of good on their minds.

    Jane lit a smoke, then tucked the pack back into her purse. She wasn't the kind to share, but she was certainly the kind to take. Her eyes met Lucy's. The dead in them was hard to look at. Jane must've felt the same. She quickly glanced away.

    Lucy shivered, even though it was the middle of August, heat wafting off the pavement like smoke from a fire. Her feet were sore. Her back ached. Her head was pounding like a metronome. Her gut felt like she'd swallowed a truckload of concrete. Cotton filled her mouth. Her hands felt the constant prick of pins and needles. A clump of her blonde hair had come out in the sink this morning. She had turned nineteen two days ago and already she was an old woman.

    In the side street, the brown Olds shook again. Kitty's head came up. She wiped her mouth as she got out of the car. No dawdling. No giving the john time to reconsider his purchase. The car drove away before she could shut the door, and Kitty teetered for a moment on the high heels, looking lost, afraid, and then angry. They were all angry. Fury was their refuge, their comfort, the only thing that they could truly call their own.

    Lucy watched Kitty pick her way back toward the corner. She gave Juice the cash, trying to keep her forward momentum, but he caught her arm to make her stop. Kitty spat on the sidewalk, trying to look like she wasn't terrified as Juice unfolded the...

About the Author-
  • Karin Slaughter is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of fourteen thrillers, including Unseen, Criminal, Fallen, Broken, Undone, Fractured, Beyond Reach, Triptych, Faithless, and the e-original short stories "Snatched," "Busted," and "Go Deep." She is a native of Georgia.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 28, 2012
    At the outset of Slaughter’s tense fourth thriller to combine characters from her two crime series (after 2011’s Fallen), life is running smoothly for agent Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as he eases into a new relationship with Dr. Sara Linton, until the abduction of 19-year-old college student Ashleigh Snyder. When his GBI mentor and boss, Deputy Director Amanda Wagner, specifically tells him to stay away from the case, Will knows something is wrong. Flashback to 1975, when Amanda is a rookie in the Atlanta Police Department, along with Evelyn Mitchell, who later becomes the mother of Faith, Will’s GBI partner. The APD at that time is rife with racism and sexism, but Amanda and Evelyn refuse to abandon the case of several missing prostitutes, despite warnings from other (male) detectives to back off. Slaughter seamlessly shifts between past and present, while her usual attentive eye for character and carefully metered violence is on full display. 6 to 8–city author tour. Agent: Victoria Sanders, Victoria Sanders & Associates.

  • Kirkus

    June 15, 2012
    Now that Slaughter has put former Grant County Medical Examiner Sara Linton (Broken, 2010) and Faith Mitchell, of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (Fallen, 2011), though hell, it's GBI Deputy Director Amanda Wagner's turn on the hot seat, in a jolting case that involves murders separated by 40 years but united in ugliness. Georgia Tech sophomore Ashleigh Snyder has gone missing. The case is a natural for endlessly troubled GBI agent Will Trent, but for some reason Amanda, though she's directed every other available agent to search for Ashleigh, is keeping him off the case. Not only has she banished Will to the airport in a dead-end patrol of men's rooms, he also finds her hanging around the Techwood apartments, geographically close to Ashleigh's place but economically a million miles away. How come? Amanda's motives are rooted in the murder of Jane Delray (or was it Lucy Bennett, as Lucy's brother Hank insisted?) back in 1975, the year Will was born and Amanda was cutting her teeth in the GBI. Shuttling back and forth between that fateful summer and the present, Slaughter links the murder of a prostitute you'd think would have been long forgotten to the fate of Ashleigh Snyder. As per usual in this explosive series, the darkest revelations involve recurring characters. Yet the narrative arcs of the regulars continue to fascinate because Slaughter's not afraid to put them through irreversibly life-changing situations. However successful you find the dizzying alternation between present and past nightmares, this double-barreled load of horrors is the clearest indication yet that Slaughter, like the sage of Yoknapatawpha, is less concerned with the shape of individual novels than with her sprawling, multivolume saga as a whole.

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    February 1, 2012

    Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Will Trent would like finally to make his life more than just work. But no such luck with a crime from 1975 suddenly making trouble today. Slaughter can of course be lauded as a No. 1 international best-selling author and ITW Silver Bullet Award winner and the guiding light behind the Save the Libraries campaign. Buy multiples.

    Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist (starred review) "Fascinating . . . Slaughter delivers another riveting, pulse-pounding crime novel."
  • The Huffington Post "With every page of this story the tension mounts . . . If you have a hunger for a rich and fulfilling novel then you owe it to yourself to pick up Criminal. . . . Slaughter at her most visceral and gut-wrenching best."
  • Publishers Weekly "Slaughter's tense fourth thriller to combine characters from her two crime series . . . seamlessly shifts between past and present."
  • Kirkus Reviews "A jolting case that involves murders separated by 40 years . . . explosive."
  • Associated Press "Karin Slaughter prove she's one of the best crime novelists at work today with Criminal. [She] weaves a rich tapestry of complex characters with a compelling mystery. Readers will feel emotionally attached to these characters, and their journey will both delight and surprise even the jaded suspense fan."
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Will Trent Series, Book 6
Karin Slaughter
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