James Thane's Reviews > Triptych

Triptych by Karin Slaughter
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Sep 22, 2012

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bookshelves: crime-fiction
Read in September, 2012

Will Trent, an agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, is teamed with Atlanta detective Michael Ormewood to investigate a series of brutal crimes in which someone is killing women and cutting out their tongues.

Everyone in the book is damaged in some way. Oremwood has a troubled marriage and a child who is mentally challenged. Trent, who is severely dyslexic, had a very troubled childhood. His best friend, Angie Polaski, is a vice cop with a troubled past of her own. Added to the mix is John Shelly, recently released from prison after being convicted of murdering a girl when he was only a teenager. Coincidentally, her tongue was bitten off as well.

The book alternates between the cops' view and that of John Shelly, and it has a very split personality. The scenes from Shelly's view are vivid and engaging and bring home in a very realistic way the horrors of prison and the way in which a parolee is totally at the mercy of the system. Any misstep can send him back to a cell. The scenes from the cops' point of view seem dull and plodding by comparison, and it was hard to work up much enthusiasm for any of those characters.

Shelly insists that he was innocent of the crime for which he was convicted, and he fears that someone is attempting to frame him for the current murders and send him back to prison. There are a number of twists and turns that amp up the suspense a bit, but this could have benefitted from being a tighter, leaner book with more appealing characters among the cops.
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