By Karin Slaughter
July 20th, 2021
Published by William Morrow
448 (amazing) pages
My favorite authors are those whose stories I would pick up, no questions asked. The books I wouldn’t wait for at the library.
The ones for which I would pre-order.
And pay full price.
For the hardcover.
No need to even tell me what the story is about; if you say “Karin Slaughter”, here’s my card number and the security code on the back. Do with it what you must. She is in town for a book reading? I’m there, buying 2 copies and fangirl-ing all over her when I get to the front of the line.
<——- (At a book signing in teeny tiny Libertyville, IL for the release of “Criminal”. She was HILARIOUS. And I was fangirl-ing).
She is the MacGyver of crime fiction; this woman can take a recipe and turn it into a criminal fictional masterpiece, I am SURE of it.
Read her books. Like, all of them. Like, now.
Her Sara, Jeffery and Will series? Amazing. Her stand-alone novels? I would use PTO to spend a day with one. (And have done so).
Side note: I remember watching an episode of “Bar Rescue” once. The big tough guy who “saves” the bar was educating the viewer on the science of a menu. It is all about placing certain items in certain places that will entice diners and increase the profit margin. Truly. It’s a thing. There have been actual studies where people monitor and research how and where your eyes land initially on a menu. It is in those spaces where a restaurant will place their highest profited item. Actual studies.
Honestly, I think Slaughter invented the science of WRITING.
I don’t know how she does it.
Once again, Karin Slaughter has knocked it so far out of the park, it is super human.
“False Witness” is Slaughter’s new book that will hit the shelves on July 20th. Ever since reading “Blindsighted”, I have been 100% committed to this author. The way she writes is so consuming that time seems to stand still when I am engrossed in one of her stories.
She has a talent of placing her words in such a way that we readers keep ordering and devouring and coming back for more. An amazing talent of giving the reader *just enough* gore (sometimes it is just one sentence!) to hook them; then she is back to telling the story, and we find ourselves catching our breath, frantically trying to simultaneously figure out what the heck just happened and reading to see what happens next. Her gore sneaks up on you; you don’t know it’s there until you feel its hot breath on the back of your neck. (I went there. You’ll see. Read the book).
The number of characters is right on- there are enough players to keep things interesting and allow for different story lines in each book, but not so many that it gets confusing. Her back story on each character is told in such a way that she is not at all “wordy”, but descriptive enough that we can paint a picture of the character, right down to Callie’s small stature, Phil’s Sex Pistols t-shirt and dog collar and Andrew’s curled-lip smirk. The fact that Buddy is a HUGE part of the storyline, yet we only experience him in the very beginning. We feel the Atlanta heat, we feel Leigh’s terror when she is face to face with her past. We feel the sensation of a needle delivering a drug and the restlessness Callie feels while she is waiting for it. I can honestly say I know more about fused vertebrae, shooting up through an abscess on one’s leg and the sound a serrated blade makes when stabbing someone in the stomach than I did yesterday.
So. To recap:
- This is one of my MOST favorite authors;
- Her books are amazing;
- You should read them all. (Start with “Blindsighted”).
<—- Introducing my Book Club to KS!
(They loved it).
Now, onto the story at hand!
Calliope and Leigh Colliers are sisters who grew up in an abusive, poverty-stricken household. As young babysitters, they are abused at the hands of the child’s father, Buddy Walenski.
A horrifying tragic event occurs early on and the residual effects follow Calliope and Leigh into adulthood. One sister moves into a professional role, including a family and child. The other becomes a drug addict, wandering through her life trying to find her next high. Fate brings them together when the child, Andrew Tenant, is grown and proving to be just as dark and depraved as his father. Hired as his defense attorney when Andrew is accused of raping a local woman, Leigh struggles with her choices- help him go free, or protect her integrity and possibly wind up in prison herself, once the truth gets out. Add into the mix that Andrews knows about the events of the past and will use any means necessary to be acquitted, and there it is. The Slaughter Special. Best item on the menu.
The sister connection (one Slaughter uses in a lot of her stories) was back and full steam ahead; Leigh and Calliope fiercely love one another and have done many, many things for the other. And, although she is a bit of a train wreck, I adored Calliope. The girl knows her flaws and tries to do the right things, all the while carrying this (very heavy) monkey (gorilla?) on her back. In one moment, she is shown as a thieving, disappearing addict and in the next, gives a gift so blindingly beautiful to her sister that it almost brought me to tears. Reading the abuse these two girls suffered at the hands of those who should have protected them was heartbreaking.
Slaughter does tie up things at the end, but that doesn’t mean her books always end happily ever after. There is a price to pay to be safe and happy. She finishes things, for now. But I don’t doubt for a second that one of these characters will end up in the background of a future Slaughter novel. (Can’t wait to see ya’ll again!).
Another absolute, without-a-doubt, no-questions-asked 5 star read that I cannot wait for you all to experience.
About the Author!
Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 21 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NYT bestselling stand-alone novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and PIECES OF HER. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project–a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta. Her stand-alone novel PIECES OF HER is in development with Netflix, starring Toni Collette, and the Grant County and Will Trent series are in development for television.