Mat's Reviews > Criminal

Criminal by Karin Slaughter
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's review
Sep 20, 2012

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Criminal: A Novel is Karin Slaughter's dark crime novel. Criminal is interesting in many ways. First, the story is told during two different time periods--the story switches back and forth between 1974 and the present day. Although the two timelines are separated by 40 years the story is not fractured. By involving two different time periods the dimensions of her characters are very deep. The reader not only understands what the character is about but you see how they came to be that way. Slaughter also has a way of describing situations that is quite picturesque. Not always a pretty picture, but details are plentiful and scenes are easily pictured in the readers mind. The story's character development is not only deep, but the characters are all intertwined in relationships one might not expect; this makes the reader curious about how things are going to turn out. The conclusion of the story wraps up nicely and is very satisfying.

Slaughter's gift for description offers a very realistic story but some of her subject matter is very disturbing. Her description of certain characters decent into the lowest dregs of society is graphic. The lifestyles of prostitutes come alive with her words and those lifestyles are not pretty.

Overall the book is compelling due to the realism but is not for everyone. For those who enjoy crime dramas, its creative timeline and intertwined characters make for an entertaining read. I would rate it higher if not for the graphic nature of some of the material.

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