Criminal by Karin Slaughter is the seventh book in the “Will Trent/Georgia” thriller series. Publisher: Delacorte Press, July 2012

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 Will’s father was imprisoned for murder—this was his home.

Flash back nearly forty years. In the summer Will Trent was born, Amanda Wagner is going to college, making Sunday dinners for her father, taking her first steps in the boys’ club that is the Atlanta Police Department. One of her first cases is to investigate a brutal crime in one of the city’s worst neighborhoods. Amanda and her partner, Evelyn, are the only ones who seem to care if an arrest is ever made.

Now the case that launched Amanda’s career has suddenly come back to life, intertwined with the long-held mystery of Will’s birth and parentage. And 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.

WOW! When the past comes back, it strikes both Will and Amanda hard in their latest case for the GBI. What a riveting rollercoaster ride this story took me on. The author knows how to spin an emotional and suspenseful tale in this fast-moving, action-filled drama that I could not put down. How all this is connected leads to a finish that was well-worth the wait. I especially liked how this engaging story took us back to the past and the present that enable us to gain insight into Amanda Wagner and the relationship she has with Will. With superior writing, an outstanding storyline and electrifying characters, this is one of the best books in this series and I look forward to more thrilling times with Will and the gang in this wickedly captivating series.

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