The Kept Woman: A Novel - Karin Slaughter

Ms. Slaughter took a time out from this series to write some stand alone novels but she's finally brought these characters back. Boy, are they back.


Will's still fuming over the result of his last case when he & partner Faith Mitchell are called to the scene of a murder. Not just any scene & not just any murder. It's the site of a future nightclub owned by none other than Marcus Rippy, the basketball star Will was investigating for rape. As for the victim, he's ex-cop & all around sleazeball Dale Harding. It appears to be death by.....doorknob?


But the biggest shock is found amidst the pools of blood. Everything points to Angie Polaski, Will's estranged (& completely psycho) wife. She got away but is she still alive? It's enough to bring Will to his knees, with girlfriend Dr. Sara Linton looking on.


It's the start of a journey that will turn Will's life upside down & change him forever. Figuring out what happened & if Angie is alive takes up the bulk of the first half. The plot is positively gordian, full of twists you never see coming. There are several returning characters & we also have the "pleasure" of meeting Rippy's entourage who have more in common with reptiles than humans. They can sniff out weakness & exploit it in a heartbeat. Their only loyalty is to self preservation & they lie like they breathe. Ms. Slaughter has many strengths but perhaps her greatest is to create villains who make your blood boil.


Case in point: Angie. In the second half the story goes back to a week before the murder & we get the 411 on how she ended up in the nightclub. She is despicable, a character you'll love to loathe. But Angie has one weakness & we're not the only ones to spot it. 


My favourite character may be Faith. She's smart, strong & fiercely protective of Will. And her private thoughts & snarky comebacks provide comic relief from the tense drama.


But everything revolves around Will. This is not only a taut police procedural but also a deeply personal story that touches on his past & complicated relationship with Angie. With all he's been through it's easy to understand his attraction to Sara who...let's be honest a bit of a Mary Sue.


Great read. It's fast paced, tightly plotted & an emotional story you'll resent having to put down. And you'll gain a whole new respect for doorknobs.