Atlanta, Georgia Present day A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead The police investigate but the trail goes cold Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognizes the MO The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof The killer is still out thereAs Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake

10 thoughts on “The Silent Wife

  1. Susanne Strong Susanne Strong says:

    Well Played Karin Slaughter, Well Played.

    Oops You did it again
    You played with my heart..

    My oh My.. what a wild, crazy, heart stopping, laugh out loud, tearfilled ride “The Silent Wife” turned out to be. Going in, I had no idea what to expect. What I got was Jeffrey. My Jeffrey. Jeffrey Tolliver. Be Still My Heart.

    Sara Linton, is now an Atlanta resident, where she is the medical examiner at the GBI and the girlfriend of Will Trent, who is an investigator with the GBI. Sara, however, was once a resident of Grant County, when she was married to the Chief of Police, Jeffrey Tolliver, before he was murdered.

    When Will Trent, his partner Faith Mitchell and Sara are called into investigate a crime at a prison, old cases of Jeffrey’s are called into question: murders of young women at Grant Tech. His reputation and that of the Grant County PD are on the line. Unfortunately for Will, Faith and Sara, the only officer who can shed light on the situation is a very pregnant Lena Adams, now a Detective with the Macon PD. Can you say Meow?!

    To make matters much worse, the GBI discovers several other victims with the same MO whose deaths have occurred in the years since the original murders, leaving the team racing to find a serial killer in their midst.

    Told in both the Past (with Jeffrey) and the Present (with Will and Sara), what happens here is seriously intense. Heartstopping, thrilling, terrifying and sometimes, extremely violent. Karin Slaughter knows how to scare a girl. Although I guessed the who and the why fairly early on, it did not detract from my enjoyment in any way whatever.

    Then there’s Jeffrey. A huge part of me loved revisiting Jeffrey. How could I not? He has my heart and he always will. That said, this Karin Slaughter novel tore me in two. I really like Will Trent. A lot. I love his partnership with Faith and laughed hysterically at their antics in this novel. I also like Will with Sara, although, I personally don’t think she’s good enough for him. (Sorry NOT Sorry!!). That said, I absolutely LOVE Jeffrey Tolliver. Yes, I am one of those women. When he died my heart was RIPPED OUT of my chest. It is something that I have not gotten over to this day. When I started reading this book and realized that Karin Slaughter was drudging it all back up AGAIN, with Will, Sara, LENA and JEFFREY.. My stomach churned and turned and I felt ill. I finished this novel two days ago and I am still a mess over it all and will be for a long time. It is to Karin Slaughter’s credit that she is able to pull all of these emotions out of me.

    “The Silent Wife” is a spellbinding, intense, mystery thriller that is a must read for Karin Slaughter fans. I personally suggest reading all of the Grant County and Will Trent novels in order before reading this so that you can experience the characters and the raw emotions that Karin Slaughter brings to the table. Kudos to Ms. Slaughter for slaying me yet again.

    Thank you to my book buddy Kaceey for being there for me throughout. I started bingeing this series last September and she has been there for me every step of the way. She has laughed and supported my love and utter despair over Jeffrey, my anger and frustration at Sara, my adoration of Will and Faith and my defense of Lena. I would not have gotten through this series without you. We read this one together and it was the best!

    Thank you to HarperCollins, William Morrow, Edelweiss and Karin Slaughter for the arc.

    Published on Goodreads on 7.5.20.

  2. Paromjit Paromjit says:

    Karin Slaughter's latest addition to her Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) agent Will Trent and medical examiner, Dr Sara Linton, series is a dark, unsettling and disturbing nightmare of a affair. GBI have been called in to to investigate the murder of inmate, 38 year old Jesus Vasquez, at the penitentiary during a riot, when they are offered information on the perpetrators by another prisoner, Daryl Nesbitt. He claims that he is innocent of the brutally devastating attacks, sexual assaults and murders of women in Grant County, pointing the finger at the then Chief of Police, Jeffery Tolliver, Sara's dead husband, and his fellow police officer, Lena Adams, as responsible for a corrupt investigation. Nesbitt says he can prove he is innocent, that there have been at least eight other women murdered since his imprisonment, by the real serial killer, furnishing GBI with newspaper articles on their deaths, demanding they investigate in exchange for revealing who killed Vasquez.

    Will and Sara's relationship develop tensions, fears and insecurities as Sara is plunged into her past, the trauma of Jeffery's original investigations, a bitter period where she had been divorced from the handsome Jeffery after his infidelities, before she later married him again as she had never stopped loving him. GBI and Sara begin to look at the deaths of the women, beginning with the most recent, Alexandra McAllister, thought to have been an accident. Lena, loathed and not trusted by the GBI in the slightest, is now pregnant informing them she has shredded her notebooks, making it difficult to uncover the truth of her and Jeffery's actions that led to Nesbitt being identified as the killer. It soon becomes alarmingly clear that the serial killer has continuing raping and killing women through the years, becoming more adept at disguising the deaths as accidents. His MO though has remain the same, stalking the women, stealing hair accessories from his victims as trophies, hitting them on the head with a hammer, drugging them, rape and sexual assault, paralysis, leaving their bodies in the surrounding woods.

    GBI find themselves up against a killer that is smart, deliberate, methodical, a risk taker, relishing hiding in plain sight, continuing to prey on women relentlessly, with never a flicker of remorse. Sara's personal relationship with Tolliver comes under the spotlight, the past taking up so much of her head space in the present, impacting on her relationship with Will, and having her examining the different natures of the men she had fallen in love with. The highlights in Slaughter's terrifying narrative of extreme violence and rape against women, is the sliver of hope in the theme of survival through the worst of horrors and trauma that could befall a woman, and the undeniable love portrayed between Sara and Will. This is brilliant, if tortuously dark and disturbing, storytelling that I highly recommend to crime and thriller readers. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.

  3. Elle Elle says:

    These books are basically crack to me so you’re not going to get a super balanced or neutral review here. I probably also shouldn’t be making drug jokes right after reading Dopesick, but I don’t have a better way to describe it! Karin Slaughter’s books just do it for me—as soon as I finish one I’m immediately looking around to see if there’s another. Luckily we got The Silent Wife less than a year after The Last Widow, and honestly:

    I had to double check, but I believe this is the first police/crime thriller I’ve read since the George Floyd protests, at least where the protagonists are almost entirely members of law enforcement. It’s interesting to revisit a beloved series with this different point of view, almost as if I’m seeing some things for the first time. While there may have been time for some tweaks, based on the international publication days I’m assuming pretty much all of The Silent Wife was written without this added layer of scrutiny. Therefore I was really pleasantly surprised with how well the material holds up.

    Slaughter has never been one to hold back, especially when depicting some of the realities for women and non-white members of the community and police force. Spoiler for Triptych: (view spoiler)[Hell the first villain that we see Will Trent chase down is a rapist cop. (hide spoiler)]

  4. Nilufer Ozmekik Nilufer Ozmekik says:

    Finally we got a real,gripping, gory, gritty, graphic, disturbing, dark and unputdownable Will Trent story that we’ve been waiting for. Don’t get me wrong, the brilliant, ultra talented author always gives us one book at a year but last two books were like regular, fast pacing thrillers and I missed the real essence, dysfunctional dynamics of Will’s world.

    But this book brought that missing essence by meticulously merging past and present, that means without coming clean, facing their pasts, the characters cannot move on because they’re stuck with the ghosts of their old lives.

    Quick summary of the book’s plot line: Brutal attacks on women by serial killer start to occur, which is bearing same MO of a rapist who has been locked for life 8 years ago and who has insisted that he has been innocent. Now a dangerous serial killer/ rapist out there to hunt the innocent women. And the prisoner Daryl Nesbitt who has been put behind the bars for the past allegations of brutal rape murders demands to see Will and longtime partner Faith Mitchell and during their meeting he insists he’s been framed by the corrupted cops.

    Of course Nesbitt points at: Jeffrey Tolliver, Grant County’s Chief Officer for wrongly accusing him of two violent rape attacks, the same officer who has been brutally murdered and the deceased husband of Will’s girlfriend, medical examiner Sara Linton. These accusations open up can of worms and force to face both Will and Sara with the skeletons they hid in their locked closet doors, questioning their intimate relationship.

    The book is divided between two different timescales: We go back to 8 years ago to witness Jeffrey’s investigation progress, seeing young Sara and we move back to the present to witness Faith, Will, Sara who’s racing against time to solve the murderers and catching the killer.

    Overall: it was gripping, thrilling, action packed , captivating novel and even though from the beginning I have some questions about Sara and Will’s relationship: at this book we see a clear picture about what holding them to move on and what they are scared of.

    And Faith is always one of my favorite characters of this book. Her partnership with Will, their opposite characteristics, their banters and the way of special, quirky communication between them are adorable, giving us dark humorous parts when we need to take break and relax after reading breathtaking, depressing, dark chapters of the book.

    The only thing disturbed me was detailed and long parts which made me slowed down. But instead of that, for so long this was one of the best Will Trent books I’ve read so long and I also enjoyed promising ending, looking forward to read the next one sooner.

  5. Debra Debra says:

    Nineteen years ago, Karin Slaughter wrote the first book in her Grant County series and she has been my favorite ever since. Karin Slaughter fans know that the books began with the Grant County Series and then the Will Trent Series came along with Sara doing a crossover and the rest is history folks. If you have not read these two series, I highly recommend them. Be warned - they are dark, full of heinous crime, full of love, full of suspense, full of medical and investigative jargon, and simply my favorite page turners of all time. She has had some awesome stand-alone books as well. Okay, I am done fangirling and gushing....

    Atlanta, Georgia - A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. After investigation, the case unfortunately turns cold. That is until GBI investigator Will Trent is at a crime scene in a state penitentiary and a prisoner says he recognizes the MO - after all, he was committed for the same type of crime years ago. He always claimed he was innocent, he always blamed/claimed Jeffrey Tolliver, put the wrong man behind bars.

    As Will and his team begin to investigate, ghosts of the past come back. The biggest one being Jeffrey Tolliver, Sara's dead husband (Sara and Will are a HOT item, in case you have not read the books). There is a lot of history that is about to be dug up. To give some background, as I previously mentioned, Sara Linton is Will's girlfriend but was once the pediatrician and medical examiner of Grant County where she was married, divorced and married again to Jeffrey Tolliver, who was the Chief of Police.

    This book was a roller coaster ride for many reasons. Told through the past and present, readers got to see Jeffrey Tolliver again! This was fun and bittersweet all at the same time. Boy did I want to punch Slaughter in the face after she ripped my heart out at the end of the Grant County series. Like King, she is not afraid to kill her darlings. It was a nice walk down memory lane. Plus, we got more information on the crimes, the investigation, and saw things from Jeffrey's POV. LOVED IT!

    In the present day, we see Will, Faith, Amanda, Sara, and even Lena. We also see their investigation, the strain the investigation puts on Will and Sara's relationship (how could it not?) and even learn the truth. Amanda still wants things ASAP! Faith continues to be a funny, strong, single mother, investigator and partner to Will. Will continues to be Will and Sara continues to be Sara. Which are all great things. We also get to see members of Sara's family and I continue to love Sara's Mothers love and wise words.

    My precious child, her mother said. Let me carry the burden of your hate. Let me do that for you so that you can move on.

    But along the way, this was a love letter for fans of both series. A bloody, dark and suspenseful love letter! Bless her heart! I loved every single page of this book.

    With Jeffrey, Sara had known that there were dozens, possibly hundreds of other women who could love him just as intensely as she did. With Will, Sara was keenly aware that she was the only woman on earth who could love him the way that he deserved to be loved.

    Just as Will Trent deserves to be loved, Karin Slaughter deserves to be loved for writing this book! I found this book to be well thought out, perfectly paced, and engrossing. As present and past collided in this book, things just got better and better, not to mention, more riveting, more dangerous and darker! Just the way I like it!

    Most books work as a stand-alone. Not this one. Not really. You NEED to read them all. That’s right start with the Grant County Series and then move on to the Will Tent Series. Fans of Slaughter and these series will not be disappointed.

    In case I did not make myself perfectly clear – This book was AWESOME!

    p.s. READ the Author’s note. You’re welcome!

    Thank you to HarperCollins, William Morrow, Edelweiss and Karin Slaughter for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

  6. Michael David Michael David says:

    It’s been nineteen years since Karin Slaughter released her first book in the Grant County series. Now, in the connected Will Trent series, she has written the best book since 2012’s “Criminal”.

    Past and present collide when GBI investigator Will Trent and his partner, Faith Mitchell, go from looking at a deadly prison riot to looking into the brutal attack of a woman. When Will’s girlfriend, medical examiner Sara Linton, gets the chance to perform a second autopsy on a new victim, it becomes clear that this latest string of attacks may be connected to the ones that happened Grant County...when Sara’s then ex-husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, was chief of police. There may be a serial rapist and murderer on the loose. To make matters more complicated, it is called into question whether or not Jeffrey and rookie cop Lena Adams were corrupt in their handling of the Grant County case.

    I cannot explain how much I was anticipating this book, and I’m happy to report that it did NOT disappoint! Not only do we get to read more about the characters we love in the present day (Will, Sara, Sara’s family, Faith, and Amanda), we also get Jeffrey! He is very much alive in the past timeline...a particular period that we never saw Jeffrey and Sara in. Oh, and we get Lena in past and present. I can’t stand her at all, and I hope karma knocks on her door one of these days.

    This book (and both series) is dark, and not for the faint of heart. It’s graphic in its descriptions of violence (I will never look at a hammer the same way again), medical procedures, and harm to women. It’s also a dialogue-driven, emotional journey of characters we feel like we really know. The underlying tone is romance. The love that Sara and Will have for each other is like no other I have read. Sara’s path from Jeffrey to Will is heartbreaking and wonderful all at the same time. As she so eloquently puts it:

    “With Jeffrey, Sara had known that there were dozens, possibly hundreds of other women who could love him just as intensely as she did. With Will, Sara was keenly aware that she was the only woman on earth who could love him the way that he deserved to be loved.”

    If you’re new to the world of Karin Slaughter, I would highly suggest starting at the very beginning of the Grant County series (Blindsighted) and working your way through. It will make the emotional punch all the more satisfying. I had tears at the end of this one. I’ll leave it to the reader to determine if those were tears of joy or sorrow.

  7. Sheyla ✎ Sheyla ✎ says:

    Oh my Gosh!! A new Will Trent novel <3.

    Will is one of my favorite male characters. He is so broken and so smart at the same time.

    Surprisingly, I adored Sara Linton too. In general, we tend to be harder on the female characters. Thinking things like she is making the wrong choice, she is putting herself in danger unnecessarily, she is acting mean for no reason or maybe it's just me that expects to read more about smarter, interesting and powerful women characters. Luckily, I never have to complain about Sara. She is perfect for Will. She makes him more confident and even though it takes him a while to open up, she gets him to do it. Also, her own traumas and the way she has handled herself through all of it, makes me respect her. Or maybe because she is a doc is why I like her so much. Who knows, it may be all of it.

    Getting back to The Silent Wife, Karin Slaughter wields her magic wand and we get to be back in Grant County, with a younger Sara and Grant County's Chief officer, Jeffrey Tolliver.

    How you might ask? simple a serial killer.

    At the beginning of the book, a prison riot brings the GBI to investigate. While gathering information, an inmate, Daryl Nesbit, wants to talk to Will and Faith. He says he is innocent of a crime and he has the proof. Women have gone missing after he was put in prison and he blames Jeffrey and Lena Adams for letting the serial killer run free.

    By several POV's and by intercalating past and present chapters, we get a bigger picture of what truly happened. The identity of the serial killer was shocking but maybe not too much. It all made sense.

    Karin's writing is always raw and gritty. True evil is out there in the world and she knows how to bring it into her fictional world in a masterful way.

    In regards to the characters, I already drooled over Will and Sara at the beginning of my review, so I will say that Faith is another strong female character. Being in her head is always entertaining and I do love her relationship with Will as a partner and as his friend. Amanda as their boss is the cherry on top. She seems to be one step ahead of everyone every single time. I know the majority of readers love Jeffrey. I'm in the minority. I was never a Jeffrey fan. I thought Sara deserved better. However, he annoyed me very little in this one.

    One thing I want to make clear in case I haven't done it in my prior reviews is that I HATE Lena. I hope she gets what she deserves. She is a horrible person and doesn't learn from her mistakes. Really sad for her husband.

    Cliffhanger: No

    4/5 Fangs

    MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  8. Ceecee Ceecee says:

    Will Trent and Faith Mitchell of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are called to a Georgia prison following a riot and death of an inmate. Whilst there, prisoner Daryl Nesbitt asks to see them and accuses Detective Jeffrey Tolliver of fitting him up for brutal two rape attacks which he is serving time for. Jeffrey is now dead and was the former husband of medical examiner Dr Sara Linton who is in a relationship with Will. The unfolding drama puts a great strain on both of them and their relationship. The story is told in two different timelines from Jeffrey’s perspective eight years ago with the original investigation and Will, Faith and Sara’s in the present day.

    The two different timescales works extremely well and they dovetail effortlessly . This is a tricky thing to get exactly right and shows the skill of the author. This is a very twisty tale, there are moments when it’s very creepy and scary and the plot is extremely gritty. The attacks on women are savage and although its made crystal clear just how depraved the perpetrator is, this is not gratuitous but it is hard hitting. It’s well written, the characters are very good, some of them are damaged by their past but this makes them more intriguing because they are flawed and complex. I like the occasional dark humour which is a welcome release from the storyline. I did guess who the perpetrator is but it does not spoil the ending of the book in any way.

    However, it took me a long time to get into the book (maybe 25%) as I feel it’s over detailed and a bit longwinded in places. Then something seems to change and the tempo increases and from that point on I couldn’t put the book down.

    With thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for the ARC.

  9. Bridgett Bridgett says:

    “With Jeffrey, Sara had known that there were dozens, possibly hundreds of other women who could love him just as intensely as she did. With Will, Sara was keenly aware that she was the only woman on earth who could love him the way that he deserved to be loved.”

    The Silent Wife is, at its heart, a romance story. An admittedly gritty, depraved, disturbing romance story...but a romance story, nevertheless.

    So, let's talk about #10 in the Will TrenT series step-by-step, shall we?

    First, while this could certainly be read as a standalone, I wholeheartedly recommend going back to the very Grant County with Jeffrey, Sara, Lena, and the gang. Start with Blindsighted and go from there. Once you've finished the Grant County series, start Will's series with Triptych. I assure you, you won't be disappointed. These two series are some of the best I've ever read. No, I didn't love book nine, The Last Widow, but this novel felt much more like the Karin Slaughter I know and love. Even Amanda was mostly tolerable in this story.

    Second, the characters are beautifully rendered. Yes, Sara is on my last nerve and has been for awhile. I also wasn't particularly fond of her dialogue during chunks of this novel...sentiments like my love, or my darling, just do not fit with the woman we've come to know over the years. Sometimes I wish Will would ditch Sara and go for Faith, who is hilarious and heartfelt. And yes, fellow Slaughter fans, it's true...Jeffrey Tolliver is back. I just can't help but love him, warts and all. Of course, with Jeffrey comes Lena...and Lena is yuck.

    Third, the novel offers two follows Jeffrey and the Grant County police force as they navigate their way through some very twisted, gnarly crime scenes. The second trails Will and the rest of the GBI team as they are led to re-investigate the very same 2001 transgressions.

    Fourth, the red herrings are expertly accomplished. Although I had my suspicions, I wasn't positive who the antagonist was until it was revealed in the book's final pages. I did end up guessing correctly (a single sentence gave it away), but not once was I absolutely certain.

    Finally, I have to tell you...this book is heavy. The subject matter is real, it's timely, and it's important...but it's so damn heavy. Please be aware of the numerous triggers before attempting to read this story.

    TRIGGER WARNINGS: violent rape, forcible sodomy, necrophilia, and mutilation of a corpse

    I deducted half a star due to many instances of repetitive material and several long-winded passages. The first 25-30% of the book is, unfortunately, pretty slow. I also have to mention...other reviewers have probably already discussed it...but there is a fairly long passage devoted to one character's menses.

    Was it a little odd? Most definitely.
    Was it also amusing? Most definitely.

    I couldn't help but chuckle, as so many of the character's thoughts mirrored my own. Having said that, if reading about menstruation makes you uncomfortable, you could easily skip those pages, as they don't add any context to the story except, perhaps, a bit of humor. But let me tell you...a bit of humor was genuinely welcomed, as this was not an easy read.

    Overall, 4.5 stars

    Available August 4th

    **Many thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

  10. Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ says:

    Spoiler Free Review:
    Eight years ago, most Grant County authorities were confident they had locked a serial rapist and murderer away for life. Recent brutal cases of misogynistic attacks on women bearing the same horrifying MO suggest the serial killer is still out there preying on women. The convicted inmate's declaration of innocence and disturbing accusations of dirty cops add fuel to the flame indicating a deadly mistake and gross injustice may have occurred. In a race against time, GBI Agent Will Trent and team, including girlfriend Medical Examiner Sara Linton, begin the monumental task of sifting through disturbing past GC cases in search of an illusive missed detail that links past with present. As a result, ghosts from the past escape, old wounds flare, and painful memories surface straining the fragile relationship between Will and Sara. That is all I can say about this story without huge spoilers. Do yourself a favor by going into this story blind. It'll spear you straight through the heart if you do!

    The Silent Wife is another raw, gutsy, graphic, glorious addition to the Will Trent series. The riveting story unfolds through alternating periods of past and present that served to keep me burning through pages to reach the end. I admire and appreciate Slaughter's gift for setting scenes that pull readers in via all five senses, but consider yourself forewarned that graphic crime scenes may be disturbing to read as they are brutally realistic leaving no doubt the author has once again done her homework right down to the most meticulous detail. This author's signature sharp prose and intimately woven plot lines propel characters and readers forward at a frantic life or death pace. Readers can count on being plummeted into the chaos of characters' minds while finding themselves charged with unmasking a deadly predator hiding in plain sight . . . before he kills again. Those familiar with the Grant County series will recognize past characters they love . . . or love to hate. There's not much more I can say about this author's characterizations without sounding like a broken record. They're amazingly accurate, detailed, dimensional, and alive with main characters who are deeply flawed, vulnerable and so unbelievably real that my heart aches for them whenever I'm back in their world.

    The Silent Wife is everything I hoped it would be and more. I started it with anticipation, read with trepidation, and finished it with cautious optimism. It's gritty, graphic, emotional, heartbreaking, and what does it say about me that I can't wait for the next book? I applaud Slaughter for shining a light on assault survivors who struggle to escape the darkness and overwhelming sense of loss and grief to find their path forward again. Their strength and will to live are an amazing inspiration to all. Needless to say, The Silent Wife has a place of honor on my All-Time Favorites Shelf. I'll even venture to say it's the best of the series thus far! This story embodies everything I love about suspense thrillers . . . and complicated love stories. Highly Recommended!
    *Special thanks to publisher William Morrow for an arc of this book via
    **Review posted at: Cross My Heart Reviews