Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Will Trent #9

The Last Widow

Rate this book
New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter brings back Will Trent and Sara Linton in this superb and timely thriller full of devious twists, disturbing secrets, and shocking surprises you won’t see coming

A mysterious kidnapping

On a hot summer night, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is grabbed by unknown assailants in a shopping center parking lot. Vanished into thin air, the authorities are desperate to save the doctor.

A devastating explosion

One month later, the serenity of a sunny Sunday afternoon is shattered by the boom of a ground-shaking blast—followed by another seconds later. One of Atlanta’s busiest and most important neighborhood’s has been bombed—the location of Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC.

A diabolical enemy

Medical examiner Sara Linton and her partner Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, rush to the scene—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. When the assailants abduct Sara, Will goes undercover to save her and prevent a massacre—putting his own life on the line for the woman and the country he loves.

446 pages, Hardcover

First published August 20, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Karin Slaughter

106 books61k followers
Karin Slaughter is the author of more than twenty instant NEW YORK TIMES bestselling novels, including the Edgar–nominated COP TOWN and standalone novels THE GOOD DAUGHTER, PRETTY GIRLS, and GIRL, FORGOTTEN. She is published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe. PIECES OF HER is a #1 Netflix original series starring Toni Collette. The Will Trent Series will air January 3rd, 2023 on ABC and streaming on Hulu. THE GOOD DAUGHTER and FALSE WITNESS are in development for film/tv. 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.

Facebook: Facebook.com/AuthorKarinSlaughter

Website: http://www.karinslaughter.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karinslaugh...

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
16,478 (37%)
4 stars
18,321 (41%)
3 stars
7,393 (16%)
2 stars
1,487 (3%)
1 star
572 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,768 reviews
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,504 reviews24.5k followers
May 29, 2019
Anyone who is shocked by the nightmare rise of the far right Alt-right and their Nazi ideology should read this well researched addition to the Will Trenton series with Dr Sara Linton, both members of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) by Karin Slaughter. Slaughter pokes beneath the surface to examine the rise of this contemporary phenomena with the authentic creation of the kind of unhinged characters, mainly men, that are part of this unsavoury movement, their arrogance, their need to control women, and the depth of their racism and antisemitism. The survivalist and cultish nature of many such groups attracts young lost, naive young men in search of male role models in their lives, attracted by the glamour of military men, and fighting a cause akin to their very own holy war. The author hones in on critical issues such as the large number of disaffected ex-army men returning from war, the scapegoating of immigrants, the private militias, and the political climate that underpins the growth and legitimisation of the far right. Despite me wanting this story of white supremacist domestic terrorism to have no basis in reality, unfortunately Slaughter's chilling scenarios do not feel that far fetched at all, given what has been happening in our real world.

Michelle Spivey is shopping with her 11 year old daughter, Ashley, when she is abducted. Spivey is a vital scientist working at the Centre for Disease Control, and the authorities are struggling to find her and no-one knows why she has been taken. Will and Medical Examiner Sara are virtually living together, although Sara's mother, Cathy, is having problems accepting Will as part of their family. Whilst they are spending time with Sarah's family, bombs go off at critically important sites in Georgia, including the hospitals, leaving many dead and injured. Will and Sara head towards the scene, only to find themselves held up at a apparent traffic accident scenario that feels off, which culminates in Sara's abduction and Will being injured. A devastated and traumatised Will is helped by his close friends and colleagues, Amanda Wagner and Faith Mitchell, collaborating with the FBI to locate Sara and Michelle. Will goes undercover, as he and the GBI race against time to try and prevent a unknown far right domestic terrorist plot indicated in the chatter picked up by the intelligence agencies.

This is a violent and brutal read, including the horrors of paedophilia, rape, child murders and biological warfare, but none of these factors felt out of place in this compulsive and riveting story. For me, there was only a minor issue in the novel that jarred, and that was the retelling of same scenes from the viewpoints of Will and Sara that served little purpose, but this did not really mar my reading experience. Slaughter could not have written a more relevant and informative novel on the unspeakable nightmare that is the rise of Alt-Right groups in the US and elsewhere. She demonstrates her understanding of the kind of people that run these groups, the militias, the involvement of ex-army men, and the huge numbers that are attracted to such groups and their despicable ideology. A brilliant, if desperately disturbing read, that I highly recommend. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
377 reviews1,596 followers
December 3, 2019
Wow! Wow! Wow! Karen Slaughter knocked this one out of the ball park! I loved loved loved it. It was Earth Shattering! It was the bomb!
I can't stop thinking of this book. I just love this series. I would say this is my favorite by her but I say that every time I finish one of her books. I still have Pretty Girls too read by her and I can't wait to read that one. But I am saving that one while I am waiting for her next book. So glad there is going to be another book in this series. I always want more by this author.
Profile Image for Sandy.
873 reviews215 followers
June 13, 2019
I’ll begin by offering a bit of advice. Don’t open this with the idea of just getting a few chapters under your belt. Prepare. Find a quiet spot, break out the emergency reading kit (snacks, beverages, blankie, heart rate monitor, etc.) & get comfortable. Because this author doesn’t so much gently lead you into the story as throw you off a speeding train. In the ebook version we have our first kidnapping at 2%. Then she gives you a bit of a break, holding off til 8% for the second one. At this point you might start digging around for a seatbelt.

Dr. Michelle Spivey was enjoying an outing with her daughter. When a van suddenly pulls up beside them, her first thought is for her little girl. She needn’t have worried. It’s Michelle they want. One month later, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Will Trent & his girlfriend Dr. Sara Linton are spending time with her family when they hear 2 explosions. It’s coming from the Emory Campus & as they attempt to get to the scene, they’re waylaid by a road accident. In the blink of an eye Will is badly beaten & Sara is gone (tip: good time for snack/drink/heart rate check #1).

What follows is a gripping story told by 2 main narrators. In Will’s chapters we follow him & various levels of law enforcement as they try to find Sara & figure out what the hell is going on. His boss Amanda is as cagey & acerbic as ever as she directs the search while sparring with the FBI. Colleague Faith is in the thick of it, running down leads & providing some much needed comic relief.

In alternate chapters, we’re with Sara. Here we learn exactly what a secretive group are up to & why she & Michelle were selected. What they endure, witness & hear makes for a disturbing read at times but one that keeps you glued to the pages. Ms. Slaughter has a tendency to punt you out of your comfort zone but for me, the most unsettling parts were those that reflected the sad truths of real current events. The premise is frighteningly plausible & clearly she’s done her homework.

There is some minor repetition of scenes that seemed unnecessary but that’s nitpicking. Initially you’re swept up by the pace & need to know how all these players fit in. Then there’s a dawning sense of dread as it becomes clear what the bad guys’ agenda is.

To the squillion or so Will Trent fans out there, you can rejoice. It’s been a long wait for this instalment & it doesn’t disappoint. Although it can be enjoyed as a stand alone, there is a boat load of history among these characters that adds depth to the present situation & it was a pleasure to catch up with them. The ending leaves the door open for a book #10 & we can only hope it won’t be a long wait. Maybe use the time to deep breathe & replenish your reading kit.
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
771 reviews12.1k followers
September 19, 2020
“You will be the last widow of your kind.”

The Last Widow is book #9 in the Will Trent series. This installment is gripping, thrilling, and suspenseful. I could not put it down!

The plot is multilayered and complex. It involves a domestic terrorist group that commits a horrific act of violence. Will and Sara find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Both of their lives are in danger, but both will do whatever it takes to save the other.

The narrative is split between Sara, Will, and Faith. All share their perspectives from the same timeline, which was a little repetitive at first, but made more sense as the book progresses. One must pay close attention to the dates and times listed at the start of each chapter or they might be lost.

I loved this installment. From the get-go, it is non-stop action. There are some sick and twisted characters, and it was a bit much having to spend a significant portion of time reading about their ideologies, which hit too close to home, but at the same time, I was also intrigued and riveted by all that was happening.

There is no Angie, which made me happy. There are some sweet moments with Betty and lots of Faith, which I appreciated. I would have loved to see some chapters from Amanda’s perspective, as I always want to know what’s going through her mind.

This is a timely and horrific read, but the characters got me through it. I am starting book 10 asap! I can’t wait any longer.
Profile Image for Holly  B (busy month catching up).
789 reviews1,746 followers
September 9, 2019
Sara Linton and Will Trent are back!

This is book 9 in the popular series and my first. I know, I'm super late to the party, but this worked for me as a stand-alone. I still felt like I got to know and love Sara and Trent.

This was a super-charged, action-packed adventure that had my emotions rocked. I'm pretty sure I was even holding my breath with worry at one point. Sara and Trent are such a wonderful team and I was aware of their feelings for each other. I'm not sure what other obstacles they have faced in the past, but they had many to overcome in this nail-biter.

Some of the themes involve very sensitive triggers and some graphic details which was nightmarish and pretty brutal at times.

Some scenes in the beginning were retold, but in different viewpoints. I had to pause and let it sink in and I'm not sure if this is something new or her style of writing.

Looking for an intense read that will have you wondering what else could possibly go wrong? And it will! This one will surely keep you turning the pages.

Recommend to Slaughter fans and those who enjoy a gripping, high octane charged story.

Thanks so much to William Morrow for my review copy.

 
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,008 reviews3,518 followers
October 5, 2019
4.5*
Karin Slaughter has such a true gift for writing raw thrillers that no matter how dark and foreboding, you are completely immersed in her nail-biting reads!

I’ve been reading Karin Slaughter’s books for years. Both stand-alone and series books, and I love both equally!

Dr. Sara Linton is in the process of moving on....and perhaps moving in with GBI Agent Will Trent. It feels like it’s time to take that next step. Unfortunately, that dream will have to be put on hold temporarily. Two massive explosions have just rocked a near-by university that has her and Will running to assist. When Sara is abducted by the killers, Will vows that no matter what it takes he must bring Sara home!

Though I enjoyed this book cover to cover it wasn’t one of my favorites from this series. I wish all her books could be 5 stars for me! Close....but just fell a bit short! I wanted more of the relationship between Sara and Will! The ending was just a bit too abrupt! Yet, I’m a devoted fan and already waiting for her next release!

A buddy read with Susanne!
Profile Image for Alan Cotterell.
497 reviews164 followers
June 4, 2019
Before you start this the latest book in the Will Trent series, make sure you have enough time to finish it. You will not want to put it down. Karin Slaughter is a master (or should that be mistress), when it comes to storytelling. She somehow moves the story on at such a pace, but at the same time builds up the tension. I don’t think there were any extraneous words in this. Every one of them was needed.

Her books can sometimes be criticised for including too much violence and not particularly, politically correct. Personally I feel that is quite refreshing in the current climate when a small minority complain about any deviation from what is considered the social norm. This story certainly deviates from the social norm. It is based around a white supremacist group that will stop at nothing to eradicate non-whites, including, child murders, paedophilia, rape and biological warfare, but as distressing as these topics are, they didn’t feel out of place in this compulsive and engaging story.

Sara and Will feel like friends this far into the series, yet their characters continue to develop and evolve, along with the usual other characters from the series. A very emotive ending. Cannot wait for the next in the series.

Overall this is a fantastic book that has obviously been extremely well researched, developed and adapted to fit scenarios that worryingly do not feel impossible, with all that is going on in the real world. A strong contender for my book of the year, at least.

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,218 reviews334 followers
August 28, 2019
446 pages.. has anyone noticed how inaccurate the page count is on Goodreads?

This book is a fantastic read! The views are unlike any other reads I have experienced. Three views are told in parallel and at the same time. I don't have to wonder what the other person is doing or thinking because it will be explained when I read that person's view. It's like a 360 degrees birds view. I love the intensity of the situation when Will and Sara are surrounded by the possibility of many bad guys with guns! Definitely at the edge of my seat reading this book!! I love that all three main characters are likable and have such interesting personalities. I like the references to real life drama such as iPhone, pedophilia, white supremacists, etc. I'm completely tuned into this story and I couldn't put it down.


This book started out with a prologue, told in the third person point of view following Michelle, scientist. She is out shopping with her 11 year old daughter and worrying about losing her to pedophiles, kidnappers, and boys when a van pulled up and instead of taking her daughter, they took her. The story then begins with Sara, Pediatrician/Medical Examiner, as she visits her mom Cathy and aunt Bella. They are talking her into settling down with her boyfriend Will. Sara is aware of Michelle's abduction, though it has been a month and she hasn't been found or rescued. The second view is Will Trent, Special Agent/Detective. He's volunteered to help mow the grass for Sara's aunt. The third view is Faith, Will's partner. She's currently in downtown attending an important meeting about the notorious bank robber Novak. They all heard two explosions coming in the direction of Emory University. When Will and Sara raced to the crime scene, they were held up in an auto accident surrounded by armed and dangerous men. Sara then becomes the hostage in her own car while Will ended up injured on the street. The hunt begins now for Sara and Michelle.


The Last Widow is beautifully written and a fast paced read. The author sure has a way with words. I love how well she play with her words to make it sounds funny, cool, and beautifully executed. I couldn't help re-reading many of my favorite lines in this book: "Sara had actually heard the squeaking groan of his testicles retracting into his body. It had taken a hell of a lot of suction to get them back out again." And "At this rate, the only way she was going to get laid was to crawl up a chicken's ass and wait." And being cramped in a helicopter is like being trapped in an overloaded washing machine! This book is my first read from this author and I am forever grateful to William Morrow's Publicist for inviting and introducing this author to me because now I just want to binge read all of her past books! The ending is excellent and I highly recommend everyone to read this book!

Pro: fast paced, page turner, hostage, close calls, intense, couldn't put down, at edge of my seat, adrenaline rush, smart characters, mimics reality


Con: none


I rate it 5 stars!

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to William Morrows Paperback for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.
xoxo,
Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details
Profile Image for Debra .
2,130 reviews34.9k followers
September 19, 2019
A kidnapping...an explosion (or two) ...and a dramatic showdown - Karin Slaughter style

1. A scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is kidnapped while out shopping with her daughter. No ransom is asked, and her body has not been found.
2. A month later and two explosions go off
3. Hearing the explosions, Will Trent and Sara Linton rush to the scene...

What happens next sets the stage for the book and introduces the reader to a world of evil, where a seemingly charismatic leader shows his true face as being a racist, pedophile, extremist and domestic terrorist. If you have read Slaughter, you know she does not shy away from showing the harsh realities of life. Bad and horrible things do happen, and they happen in this book - thankfully we are not given vivid description to them - we are given just enough to know they happened.

As with her previous books, Slaughter continues to shine in the writing of these two very likable and engaging characters. Plus, I loved seeing Amanda and Faith as well. This book has a lot of action, a lot of heart, a lot of sad parts and some that may be hard to read. It was a pleasure to see Will and Sara together again even though most of this book they spent time apart.

This was a well written though provoking (and emotion provoking) fast paced book that I couldn't read fast enough. Slaughter is a favorite of mine and she has added another solid book to this series. This book was intense and captivating. Reading this book had me thinking of some of the well-known cults around the world and feeling sad for the innocent victims.

A page turner which did not disappoint. If you haven't read Slaughter before, what are you waiting for?

Profile Image for Natasha.
3 reviews1 follower
June 27, 2019
Okay, I'm probably going to get a lot of hate for this...

I used to be a die hard Karin Slaughter fan, but her last 2 books have really failed to hit the mark with me. When I first listened to the audiobook version of Triptych (my first Karin Slaughter book), I was absolutely blown away by the story and narrator (Michael Kramer). It is a book that stayed in my thoughts for a long time after I first listened to it. The first 3 Will Trent Series books became my all time favourites and I listen to them all at least once a year. But honestly, since Sara and Will became an item it's ruined the series for me.

The Last Widow just doesn't gel. Karin used to have a great way with words, laying down the foundation of the story for the reader, weaving her little web around you so that you are totally ensconced in the story. Her last 2 books (Pieces of Her and even The Kept Woman) and now this book are just far reaching. It feels like they are long just for the sake of being long with "twists and turns" thrown in for content rather than because it adds to the story. I found myself really not caring about Sara's predicament or whether she was going to be ok or not. I just don't like her as she has developed as a character since the Grant County Series.

Will started out as an interesting, multi faceted person who overcame a traumatic history of childhood abuse and neglect to become an intelligent and successful GBI Agent, in spite of his dyslexia. You understood his vulnerability and always rooted for him against whatever adversaries he came across. Since he and Sara got together, Will just seems like a caricature of a moony, love-sick teenager and it's such a 180 turn in the wrong direction that I can't stand him anymore. I find myself skipping over the chapters with Will and Sara because I just find myself rolling my eyes and getting annoyed. From the moment they got together, Sara has been moony in love with Will but always reflects on the things about him that she doesn't like - his (ex) wife even though she knew he was married when she became interested in him. His difficulty to communicate like a "normal person" (because - HELLO! - he was abused as a child!). She gets upset with him and flounces off, only to call him back again because she doesn't want to give up. They've been together a while now and they're both still insecure about how the other feels about them - it's ridiculous and pathetic. It seems like in every book they're together their relationship is in some kind of turmoil. Then there's the cringe worthy descriptions their sex life and them getting hot for each other. Ugh. It's exhausting and irritating and isn't what relationships should be like. I honestly preferred it when he was with Angie. Come to think of it, I am totally on Angie's side against mealy-mouth Sara.
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
1,999 reviews15.7k followers
August 31, 2019
The Hype IS Real!!!

 This was my very first Karin Slaughter and I have to say... I get it! Dark, disturbing, and oh so delicious! This is the ninth book in the Will Trent series, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as a standalone. I'd definitely go back and read the previous books I'd like to learn the history between these characters especially Will and Amanda (his boss/pseudo-mother). Will was quirky and likable, I'd love to witness how his character has evolved through the course of the series.

 The book starts with a BANG! Dr. Michelle Spivey a scientist at the CDC is abducted from a Walmart parkinglot. The book then jumps forward a month, will and his girlfriend Sarah(Who is also a medical examiner) are at her parents house when they hear an explosion. The explosion appears to have happened at Emory university home of the CDC and several hospitals. Will and Sarah immediately start heading to the bomb sight knowing they will be needed, but they never get there. There is a car accident, a gun fight, and then another kidnapping. Chaos ensues ...we are then caught up in the dark world of white supremacy, terrorism, rape, and pedophilia. Most of this was so timely, so real, it made the book all that more frightening. The book jumps around between the perspectives of Will, Sarah, and Will's partner Faith. This was extremely impactful because we were always privy as to what was going on, there were even a few times we got the same scene from both Will and Sarah's perspectives. This book was action packed edge of your seat thrilling from first page to last. Never a doll moment! Karin Slaughter has a new fan right here! 

This book in three emoji's: 💣 🔪 👩🏼‍🔬 
*** Big thanks to William Morrow for my copy of this book ***
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
685 reviews4,625 followers
February 14, 2020
Michelle Spivey, a scientist working for the CDC, is kidnapped while out shopping with her daughter. Weeks later bombs go off and Will Trent & his girlfriend Dr. Sara Linton attempt to help when they’re waylaid by a car accident. In the wrong place at the right time, Will is badly beaten & Sara is taken by the same people who have Michelle. Suddenly Will and Sara find themselves embroiled in a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. Will is forced to go undercover to save Sara, putting his own life on the line for the woman and the country he loves.

This is a relevant, frightening and brutally honest read which includes cults, pedophilia, rape, child murders, prejudice and biological warfare. The story centers around Alt-Right groups and the kind of people that run these groups including militias of ex-army men. I found the story disturbing at times because of how plausible it all is.

This is only the second book I have read in this series, yet I never felt lost. Slaughter gives enough back story to fill in any blanks and the story was so engrossing and fast paced that I was glued from the first to the last page. If you've ever wanted to experience Slaughter - this would be a heck of a book to start with!
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,165 reviews885 followers
September 10, 2019
A woman is mysteriously abducted from a shopping mall. A month later, a bomb goes off in one of Atlanta’s neighborhoods housing Emery University and it's hospital, the FBI and the CDC. Then, GBI Special Agent Will Trent and Medical Examiner Dr. Sara Linton find themselves in the middle of a dangerous confrontation on their way to assist with what they know is a catastrophic event. You just know these three situations are somehow connected but it is in no way obvious. What follows is one heck of an exciting story.

We waited three years for the follow up to the last book and I’ll wait another three if it’s as good as this one. The writing is astonishingly brilliant, perfectly paced with precision and so exciting I was almost too amped up to keep listening. The procedural element is one of the best I’ve ever seen and the scientific aspects were well researched. The bad guys weren’t just villainous but well characterized and relevant to current headlines. I’ve saved the best for last and that’s the relationship between Will & Sara. Slaughter didn’t just “tell” us about the depth of their feelings, she illustrated it in the most unique ways that sometimes took my breath away.

If you haven’t figured out yet that I loved this story, then the last bit I’ll share is about the narrator. I’ve listened to her deliver this and the Grant County series, so for me, she’s the voice of the stories. Even so, Kathleen Early outdid herself in this one. I don’t reread books (only one series to date) but I think I’ll be re-listening to this one. It’s that good and a fine piece of writing. It didn’t just live up to the hype, it far surpassed my exceptionally high expectations.
Profile Image for Bridgett.
Author 18 books405 followers
July 11, 2020
My rating hurts my heart--2.5 stars rounded up.

I have been reading Karin Slaughter novels since my college days...I'm now in my early 40s. Not only have I purchased every single book, I've recommended them to countless friends and family over the years. Karin has, quite literally, been my #1 favorite author for a large chunk of my adulthood...which is why it pains me so much to write this review. It's been so long since our last Will Trent story, The Kept Woman...which I rated 5 stars, a rarity for me...that I was absolutely giddy to have won a free copy of The Last Widow through a Goodreads giveaway.

As usual, the writing was impeccable. There was a bit of repetitive overlap at the beginning of the book, where Sara and Will cover the exact same events...even down to a repeat of the dialogue. It certainly messed with the story's flow, but thankfully, didn't last long. Having said that, readers definitely need to pay attention to the dates and times listed at the start of each chapter, as some go back in time mere minutes...trust me, it can get confusing if you're not paying attention.

The plot, though intricate and with many competing elements, is expertly executed. It just covers so much--biological warfare, white supremacy, rape, pedophilia, racism, antisemitism, and child murder. I realize many readers claim Slaughter's books are too violent, but I contend that's what makes them so gritty and real. All you have to do is watch the news to know there is nothing far-fetched about her work, particularly in our current political climate. The Last Widow is non-stop, blood boiling action. Told from two perspectives, those of Sara and Will...Sara's chapters give the readers a glimpse of life at a Neo-Nazi compound. Will's chapters cover what the various government agencies are doing to find Sara and bring this horrific militia group down. I think most will find the conclusion satisfying.

And now the part I've been avoiding...the reasons my rating isn't higher.

1. As much as I hate to admit it, Sara and Will are becoming tiresome. This is the 9th book in the series and neither character has demonstrated any growth whatsoever.

2. I get tired of reading how Amanda knows everything going on, always, but never shares with her team. It's like she's this omniscient, all-knowing, stingy being.

3. I'm not sure where some of the medical information in this book is coming from, but narcotics should NEVER be given to a severely concussed individual.

4. Tuberculosis is NOT part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule in the United States. In fact, they're really only given to high risk children in third world countries, so I have no idea why Faith's daughter, Emma, would have had a Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine.

5. And finally, this is the reason I literally felt like putting the book down without even finishing...it would appear my long-time favorite author, when describing measles symptoms, took a page out of pharma's fear-mongering handbook. It's as though she chose the worst possible side effects...those which are so rare, they're never seen...and gave them all to the children in this compound. Why? Apparently so she could berate parents who make well-educated medical decisions for their children. She even brought up the "Playboy model."

::face palm::

Really, Karin. Really?

Worse, that story line went absolutely nowhere, so it's clear she was trying to make a point...which is interesting since she's not a parent herself.

Well, here's my counterpoint:
Go to the CDC website and look up the number of measles deaths in the United States in the past 20 years.

Then, go to the VAERS website (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System), and look at the number of deaths and injuries from the MMR vaccine itself, within the same time period.

Let me know what you find.


I am so extremely tired of authors forcing their political leanings onto their readers. It needs to stop. I read as a reprieve...not so I can be preached to in the name of good citizenry.

My final thoughts: This is a good story (with a few really aggravating elements), that is worth reading. Does it live up to her previous works? Nope.

**Many thanks to the publisher and to Goodreads for my free copy.**
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,801 reviews457 followers
September 2, 2019


Talk about being at the wrong place and at the wrong time!

Michelle Spivey, a CDC scientist is shopping with her daughter, when she's abducted by a man in a van.

A month later, Sara and Will are at her aunt Bella's home to enjoy lunch when an explosion is heard. Will and Sara run to the rescue but they are derailed when they find the scene of a car crash. Sara's instinct, as a doctor and as a medical examiner, is telling her something is wrong. She tries to alert Will but things go from a DEFCON 1 to 5 real fast. The end result is that Sara is abducted in front of Will (who's severely injured) and her mother, Cathy.

Will is not himself without Sara. He will do anything to bring Sara home back to her family. He will break any rule necessary to get her back. Amanda Wagner and Faith Mitchell will be by his side and help him in any way necessary. The GBI will work closely together with the FBI. When the investigation leads to a white supremacist group involved in bioterrorism and pedophilia, Will will go undercover. There are some harsh scenes to read but not as bad as some from other Karin's books.

There are so many things I liked about The Last Widow. As you know from my prior reviews, I'm in love with Will Trent. I just love him so much. I love his 3 piece suits, his scars, his dog, his intelligence. Sigh!

Faith said it best: "Will was a missed opportunity." or like Maggie told Faith: "You should've locked that down before Sara entered the picture."

Karin made me love Will even more on The Last Widow:

"Then there was his sweet side.

He marked his calendar with a star on the days Sara got her hair done so he would remember to compliment her. He was constantly finding ways to say her name. He listened to her, respected her, thought she was smarter than he was, which was true, because she was a doctor, but what man admitted that?"


I could continue loving on Will but I need to talk about the other characters. Sara as always is phenomenal. She's a strong, resolute and resourceful lady. Amanda always has something up her sleeve and she loves Will in her own way, after all, her friends call Will, "her boy".

Faith, I love her. She's a tough cookie, very smart and determined. May I hope that agent Aiden Van Zandt and Faith will become something in a later book? He was intriguing and I thought they had chemistry in this one.

The Last Widow was a fast-paced, gripping, nail-biting thriller. I couldn't put it down. I read and listened to it alternatively. The POVs come mostly from Will and Sara, some by Faith.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,017 reviews654 followers
October 13, 2019
This one grabbed me right by the ying-yang and it was off to the races.  A despicable, yet charismatic man leads a group of homegrown military types.  Domestic terrorism is his game, and his plans are truly terrifying.  There is plenty of Southern grittiness to be had, and the sticky heat is almost palpable.  Action packed, I didn't even take notes while reading. This is my first acquaintance with Will Trent, and I look forward to retracing my steps and reading Slaughter's other novels featuring him.
Profile Image for Sandra Hoover.
1,150 reviews180 followers
August 19, 2019
The Last Widow is one of my most anticipated books of 2019. After reading it, I can say it's a powerful, relevant story that I won't soon forget. Slaughter clearly spent a great deal of time researching social and political issues of our time as well as the radical, militia style groups that emerge, along with the idealistic views of people who tend to join them. The author captures the atmosphere and essence of a cult group practicing segregation as they believe it their duty and right to do whatever it takes to keep their bloodlines pure. This is the type group that is at the center of the story in The Last Widow.

First let me say, The Last Widow is part of a fantastic series, but this author includes everything you need to read and enjoy this book as a standalone. However, the character and character relationship development are huge in this series so I highly recommend you read them in order. The setup is clear from the blurb so I'll only touch briefly on it. A month after a scientist working for the Center of Disease Control is kidnapped, Sara and Will are spending an afternoon with her family. Some of these early "domestic" scenes play out through both Will and Sara's eyes which fascinated me as it clearly demonstrates how they still have different views and manners of coping with their developing relationship. Well done, KS! When their afternoon is interrupted by explosions in a nearby city, Sara and Will race toward the scene to assist, running straight into a situation that results in Will being badly injured and Sara being kidnapped by a group of radical domestic terrorists. In a race against time, Will works with his partner Faith Mitchell and other law enforcement led by Amanda Wagner to find and infiltrate the group to free Sara and save society.

The Last Widow is intense, graphic, and rich in detail as can be expected from this author. It emphasizes the practice and horrors of pedophilia, the superiority of males over females, senseless murder, and biological warfare as well as the dangerous atmosphere that breeds militia-style cults. The suspense builds at a frantic pace as the story unfolds from two narrators - Will and Sara. Through Will's eyes, the focus is on the efforts of law enforcement to find the cult, the dangers of going undercover, and his panicked frame of mind which includes major guilt over what he perceives as his failure to keep Sara safe. There are interactions with Will and Sara's mother/family during this time that are priceless gems for readers of the series. Fantastic, telling scenes! Through Sara's eyes, readers view life within the terrorist camp, and it's there that the depravity of their leader and horror of their plan become apparent.

Slaughter's ability to manipulate characters through a highly visual, atmospheric setting is key to the rising, menacing tone throughout. Her mastery of plot, character, and character relationship development is brilliant, as always, as she pulls every single thread together by the end. The Last Widow is a taut, fast-paced, graphic thriller with a timely message that people everywhere should heed. And by the way, I read the last page several times over before closing the book with a smile on my face. Great setup for the next book in one of my favorite series ever! May our wait be short! For suspense and thriller fans, this is one you don't want to miss.

*With special thanks to the publisher for an arc of this book!
**Reviewed at Cross My Heart Reviews

Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,010 reviews1,736 followers
September 6, 2019
Favorite Quotes:

Money. That was the real obstacle... She would never forget the look on Jeffrey’s face the first time he’d seen the balance in her trading account. Sara had actually heard the squeaking groan of his testicles retracting into his body. It had taken a hell of a lot of suction to get them back out again.

Sara had explained the science behind these mood changes. During the stages of pregnancy and breastfeeding and childhood, a woman’s brain was flooded with hormones that altered the gray matter in the regions involved in social processes, heightening the mother’s empathy and bonding them closely to their child. Which was a damn good thing, because if another human being treated you the way a toddler did—threw food in your face, questioned your every move, unraveled all of the aluminum foil off the roll, yelled at the silverware, made you clean shit off their ass, peed in your bed, peed in your car, peed on you while you were cleaning up their pee, demanded that you repeat everything at least sixteen times and then screeched at you for talking too much—then you would probably kill them.

Tinder was a no-go. The guys who didn’t look married looked like they should be chained to a bench outside of a courtroom. She’d tried Match.com but not one of the losers that she was even remotely attracted to could pass a background check. Which said more about the type of men Faith was attracted to than internet dating sites.

Her parenting skills fell somewhere between Charlotte’s Web and Lord of the Flies. Jeremy still teased her about the note she’d once left in his lunch box: The bread is stale. This is what happens when you don’t close the bag.

Don’t mess with the US Government. They won two wars and can print their own money.

Dash was a stupid man’s idea of how a smart man sounded.

My Review:

This book was gripping and all-consuming yet it took me twice as long to read, as I had to put it down, take deep breaths, and walk away from it now and then. Not because it was bad, but because it was diabolically brilliant and absorbing, I was sucked right into this complex and fiendish vortex and helplessly engrossed in the chaos. The plot was complex and skillfully crafted while the writing was ingeniously textured and scorched my brain matter while it squeezed my heart and lungs.

This contemptible and monstrous scenario could very well happen, which was intensely disturbing to me as it was heinously realistic. The ever-escalating and highly disturbing climate of arrogance, hate, manipulation, and perversion of information being generated from our current national embarrassments at the top does seem to be empowering the most twisted of the vile and disenfranchised. Karin Slaughter is devilishly clever and a masterful wordsmith. She scared me silly.
Profile Image for Beverly.
775 reviews266 followers
September 27, 2019
The Last Widow is another slam dunk for Slaughter's Will Trent series. Slaughter is a master class in character development as Will faces Sara's angry parents after he "lets" her get kidnapped by a domestic terrorist group. He did no such thing, he almost got killed trying to prevent it, but all they know is the terror and fear of their daughter's disappearance. Understandably, they lash out at Will.

Domestic terrorism is a subject I know little about and I was shocked by the revelations about it in Slaughter's book. Most of these domestic terrorists are white males and white supremacists. They hate women and usually have a background of violence against women. Many of them were or are members of the U.S. military; for example, George Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party in the 1950s, was a naval officer in World War 2, and Korea, Richard Butler, founder of Aryan Nation, was in the Army Air Corps, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols (most infamous because of their Oklahoma City bombing with 200 dead and thousands injured) were both washed out of the military for not being able to hack it. As Slaughter says, "War is the common thread for all these men."

White supremacy groups got a huge influx of members apparently after Charlottesville with the endorsement of the president, which Slaughter says was an organized rally from 35 states and not just a local group of ne'er-do-wells, as I thought. A lot of these groups had been staging rallies in California which is usually thought of as a liberal state, but you can find hate everywhere. I learned a lot and my fear grew a lot too as I realized how many of these nuts are out there.
Profile Image for Brenda.
3,977 reviews2,591 followers
September 26, 2020
Special Agent Will Trent, of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and his girlfriend, medical examiner Sara Linton were at lunch with Sara’s family when they heard a huge explosion. Sara and Will rushed outside, running toward the noise when they came across a car accident. The resulting chaos saw Sara kidnapped and Will badly injured – with the race on by the GBI, the FBI and local police force. As facts were learned, the knowledge that a young mother, Michelle Spivey, who had been abducted only one month prior, was seen with Sara’s kidnappers and the race was on to save the women’s lives.

The radical group that claimed responsibility for the explosions were dangerous; that much they knew. But discovering some of the names within the group, and their backgrounds had both Faith and Amanda, along with Will, determined not to leave any stone unturned. Would the searchers find the group in time, before more bloodshed? Were Sara and Michelle still alive? The clock was ticking…

The Last Widow is the 9th in the Will Trent series by Karin Slaughter and I absolutely loved it! It’s a long time since I read #8 but the characters were just as familiar to me as if I’d read it last week. Fast paced, twisted clues, gripping and intense scenarios – an unputdownable read which I highly recommend.
Profile Image for Jess☺️.
448 reviews80 followers
September 5, 2019
Well Karin slaughter has done it again The Last Widow may be the 9th book in the Will Trent series but this series just gets better and stronger with each book.
This book is darker and more disturbing than the others I found and that's probably the cult aspect to this story (cults freak me out 😲)
It's definitely a fear making,nerve shaking and a nail biter of a book.
There are many moments where you just roll your eyes and say " ARE YOU FOR REAL!!! " 🙄
And then there are the twists and that horrendous ending where your going to be just utterly exhausted (in a good way 😌)
This book I definitely recommend it's also the book to read if you're in a slump 📖
Profile Image for Nadia.
264 reviews175 followers
June 10, 2019
This is the kind of book that will increase your heart beat and if the world was ending, you might notice it, but you will keep reading because you will want to know how the book ends! Having said that, this book might not appeal to faint-hearted as it gets dark and gory in places.

The Last Widow is #9 in Will Trent series but my first one and it felt absolutely fine to read it as a standalone. 

The Last Widow is action-packed and it made me feel as if I was seeing the scenes rather than just reading them. I won't go into the plot details but will just say that the plot is clever and gripping, the characters are well developed on both fronts - good guys are likeable and the bad guys are so twisted and sick that you just want them dead asap.

My first Karin Slaughter book and I am hooked! 😍

Many thanks to HarperCollins UK for an e-copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Profile Image for Jean.
705 reviews20 followers
October 11, 2019
Will Trent fans, if you have been on a waiting list The Last Widow for weeks and weeks like I was, don’t give up! Karin Slaughter’s ninth book in the series is well worth the wait! Trent, a GBI agent in Atlanta, loves the hunt, and suddenly he is thrust into a hunt like no other.

Slaughter begins the saga with the abduction of Michelle Spivey, a gifted physician at the CDC, who had been out shopping with her eleven-year-old daughter. Fast forward to a month later. Agent Trent and his girlfriend Sara Linton, also a physician, are with Sara’s family when they hear the sounds of explosions coming from the area of Emory University. As they rush to the scene, their car is blocked by an accident. Things are not what they appear; Sara is taken. Will tries to fight back and is injured.

The scene at Emory is horrific with scores injured and dead. Will’s boss Amanda and his partner Faith are upset and concerned for Will and worried about Sara and determined to get her back. The FBI and the GBI have agents looking into the backgrounds of the suspects. Faith takes her cues from Amanda and both women are kick a** when it comes to demanding answers from a less than forthcoming FBI agent who only wants to share “need to know” information. Meanwhile, Will considers taking the law into his own hands to get Sara back.

In alternating chapters, we see from Sara’s perspective what has happened to her. Some of the scenes are replayed through her eyes, and these flashbacks seem redundant. What is both fascinating and extremely frightening, though, is the belief system of the men who took her. This is where the author’s research really stands out as she portrays these disenfranchised white supremacists in a very believable way. They preach their own version of the Bible and the Constitution. They use the Bible to justify their hatred. They espouse racism, some practice pedophilia, and misogyny and abuse run rampant in their camp. As they misquote and misunderstand the words and meaning of the Constitution, “Blood and soil” becomes their battle cry.

Readers of this series have likely become accustomed to shocking scenes of violence, but this story feels different. Domestic terrorism is violence on a very different scale. The mindset of these jaundiced individuals is downright scary. They are ex-military men who feel that their government let them down. They are also vulnerable young men without a purpose who are looking for a cause. This is planned, organized hostility that is meant to send a message.

While Sara is “a guest” in the group’s camp, she is put to work treating very sick children. What she sees and experiences is heartbreaking and appalling. As time passes, she learns that there is a terrible plan in the works that will maim and kill hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent people.

What keeps will focused is his need to make amends. He feels responsible for Sara’s capture, despite the reassurances of Amanda and Faith. He feels that he failed to protect her. The “if onlys” torment him. Though he is in extreme pain and suffering from a concussion, he will not rest until he knows if she is safe. Or not. He needs to know. His mind goes to tender, loving moments they have shared together and he reflects on all the things he must do to be better for Sara.

When she is locked in her cabin at nights, what hold her together are thoughts of Will. She tries to sing songs, and when she gets stuck on the lyrics, she wishes Will were there to help her. He is the glue that holds her together. She wonders if he will come to save her.

I love what Karen Slaughter did with Will and Sara’s relationship here. They are an unlikely couple, and they also have her family to convince. I also love the role that Faith plays in this book. She really comes into her own, and she shows remarkable understanding, intelligence, compassion, perseverance, and quick thinking, Will and Sara are lucky to have her! And Amanda is very solid too.

The Last Widow is a timely, contemporary novel that sent chills through me as I contemplated the possibility of a real event such as the one planned in this book. There are far too many extremists with the ideologies similar to those portrayed in this story. I only hope there are also more than enough wonderful law enforcement agents like the ones in these pages who will continue to weed them out.

5 stars
Profile Image for Amanda.
710 reviews234 followers
August 31, 2019
Wow Sara and Will are back and I have to say I have missed them and Karin Slaughter you blew me away with this book!!

Michelle Spivey a scientist who works in disease control, is out shopping with her 11 year old daughter Ashley, when a van pulls up alongside Ashley, fearing for her daughter she runs over to the van but it is Michelle who they kidnap.

Dr Sara Linton and Will Trent are about to have a meal with Sara’s family, when they hear an explosion and go running towards it. They discover a road traffic accident but Sara senses something is not quite right. Sara ends up being taken and Will is left behind badly beaten up!!

Will goes undercover into a world of terrorism and violence, prepared to do anything to get Sara back.

Another gripping book by Karin Slaughter. I couldn’t put this down!! I still have a massive crush on Will but I”m glad Will and Sara are happy together. I feel like I know them as friends rather than characters in a book.

This series just gets better and better. I cannot wait for the next instalment.

I have to confess I’m thinking about starting this series again from the beginning as I’m enjoying it so much. I may have to lock myself away for a week though to enjoy them without interruptions!!

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for Pauline.
722 reviews
May 28, 2019
The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter is the ninth book in the Will Trent series.
A woman is abducted from a shopping centre car park. A month later she is forced to take part in a terrorist attack. Will Trent's girlfriend a doctor is also taken by the terrorist. It's a race against time to stop these men and get the women back alive.
I did not enjoy this book as much as the author's earlier books in this series and found a difference in writing style and the story very slow at the beginning.
Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Gary.
2,554 reviews358 followers
June 8, 2019
This is the 9th book in the Will Trent series by author Karin Slaughter but could easily be read as a stand alone.
Michelle Spivey a scientist from the Centre for Disease Control is kidnapped by unknown assailants and authorities are desperate to find her. One month later, a bomb goes off in the Atlanta neighbourhood that houses Emory University, two hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC. Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and his girlfriend Sara, a medical examiner rush to the scene. Only to run straight into a dangerous conspiracy. Stakes are raised when Sara is kidnapped and Will goes undercover to save her and prevent the deaths of thousands of people.
This is a fast paced thriller that is not for the feint hearted.
I would like to thank both Net Galley and Harper Collins for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Denise.
509 reviews353 followers
September 3, 2019
It pains me to say this, as I am a HUGE Karin Slaughter fan, but this was my least favorite Slaughter book to-date.

I have always loved the Will Trent/Sara Linton series, but this one just didn't grab me and keep me reading 'til the wee hours of the morning like the others have done. I hate to say it, but Will and Sara's relationship almost bores me now - maybe I just miss trainwreck Angie - but something is definitely missing. In The Last Widow, Will is a bit too lovestruck, and Sara is almost too perfect. At times, I found myself wishing Will would finally see Faith as his better match. I also was not a fan of how this one started out with the same scene being repeated through multiple points of view. The same conversations were repeated multiple times, and it seemed rather a waste of time. The plot moved at a snail's pace throughout much of the book, making it a tedious read at times, and I found myself skimming through the repetitive sections.

Finally, I feel like I am once again beating a dead horse, but I'm so over the over-politicized hot buttons being used in every book lately. There are "bad guys" on both sides of the political aisle; but in this book, unless you are Will Trent, all white males are ignorant, arrogant, ex-military, brain-washers of white females - oh, and not only are they all evil, they're all pedophiles too (eye roll). It was way too much.

Overall, The Last Widow was a major disappointment. Here's hoping that, sooner rather than later, one of my all-time favorite series will return with Slaughter's usual style and substance, because I'm close to saying farewell to this series! 3 stars.
Profile Image for Stephanie Nicholas.
178 reviews120 followers
August 29, 2019
Wowzer! Yes, I just wrote "wowzer," haha. Boy was that book good. It's obviously no surprise to those of you that know what a goddess I think Karin Slaughter is, that I finished this book in two days.

Michelle works at a high clearance position with the Center for Disease Control and is out shopping with her daughter when a van pulls out and abducts her, leaving her daughter behind. Nearly a month passes and she has not been found.

One afternoon not far from the CDC, agent Will Trent and his girlfriend, Dr. Sara Linton are having lunch with Sara's family, when two large explosions go off nearby. They run out into the street to see what happened, chaos ensues, and Sara is kidnapped, leaving Will behind.

The story was filled with well researched scientific expertise, white supremacists, assault, and ultimately murder. We follow Will into an undercover operation to bring Sara home safely if he possibly can, and find out what happened to Michelle. This is the newest installment of the Will Trent mysteries, written flawlessly. Go get it, pronto. You won't be disappointed.
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews150 followers
September 19, 2019
Every time I read a book by Karin Slaughter, including this one, I think it’s her best yet.

Slaughter made Will Trent and Sara Linton “click” in this book more than she ever has before. My heartstrings were pulled! And knowing this author, there was always that niggling little voice in the back of my mind saying, “Don’t get comfortable.”

It was nice spending so much time with Faith, and her thoughts on living with a toddler were hilarious. I didn’t miss Angie at all.

Slaughter also created a very realistic and scary scenario with a group of white supremacy fanatics. It was apparent that her research was extensive. I saw or read an interview with her about her access to the CDC. I hope they have the top-notchest security.
Profile Image for Bkwmlee.
367 reviews230 followers
August 26, 2019
I normally don’t like to jump into a series in the middle without having read all of the previous books, as I’m pretty big on character development and the concern is always that I won’t be able to relate much to the characters due to missing out on so much of their backstory. Given this concern, I was a bit apprehensive at first when I received an ARC of Karin Slaughter’s latest thriller The Last Widow , which is actually book 9 in the Will Trent series and also features characters from the previous Grant County series, neither of which I have read before. On top of that, I’ve also never read this author before, despite the fact that she is one of the most popular writers in the mystery/thriller genre and I’ve had several of her books on my TBR list for a while.

My original intention was to start from the beginning of the series and read my way through to the current one so I could familiarize myself with the characters’ backstories, but of course with the time crunch I was under, that didn’t end up happening, so I made the last-minute decision to jump right into this one and hope for the best. Well, it turns out I needn’t have worried, as the character and relationship development in this particular installment were excellent – Slaughter included enough details from the main characters Will Trent and Sara Linton’s backstories that I was able to read this as a standalone without feeling confused or that something was missing. More than that though, I actually became enamored with both characters and liked them to the point that, by the end of the book, I really wanted to read all the previous installments in this series so I could see for myself how Will and Sara’s relationship evolved as well as understand their respective histories individually before they became a couple.

From a plot and story perspective, this was an intense, action-packed read, one that I found myself unable to put down after starting it. My review will be deliberately vague where the plot is concerned, as the book summary already provides enough information in this regard, plus as a thriller, it’s best to go into this one knowing as little as possible. With that said though, I do have to mention that the story was a lot more violent and graphic than I expected, so if that’s a concern, then definitely be warned. For me personally, the subject matter was also outside the realm of what I usually read, so it would seem that I’d have difficulty getting into the story, but Slaughter is such a powerful storyteller that, a few pages in, I was already drawn into and hooked on the story. One of the things that I still can’t get over after having finished reading this is how timely the story was given the current world we live in — there was a huge “ripped from the headlines” realistic feel to so many of the events that occurred in the story, which is a testament to the astounding amount of research that Slaughter put into her work.

This is a book that I’m sure fans of the Will Trent series will enjoy, though it also works extremely well as a stand-alone, so if, like me, you haven’t yet read the previous books in the series, I still recommend diving into this one sooner rather than later; for fans of fast-paced, intense, well-written thrillers, this one is pretty much a must-read! I know for me, I definitely can’t wait to read the next book in this series, though hopefully by the time the next one comes out, I will have caught up with this series’ backlist first!

Received ARC from William Morrow (HarperCollins) via NetGalley.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,768 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.