A worthy follow-up to The Last Widow, The Silent Wife is the tenth book in Slaughter’s Atlanta GBI series, featuring Will Trent, Faith Mitchell, Sara Linton.
The story switches back and forth between two alternate times and places – modern day Atlanta, where we find Sara, Will and Faith investigating a murder committed during a riot at Phillips State Prison, and eight years previously in Heartsdale, Grant County (just before Blindsighted), where Sara and her ex-husband and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver are dealing with the murder of a young female jogger.
Whilst at the prison, an inmate – the man who was convicted of the murder of the Grant County jogger – asks to speak to Sara. He claims that he is innocent of the murder, and that he can prove it. With evidence from sent to him by a mysterious outside benefactor, he claims the attacks are still going on, and that he was framed for the murder by two crooked cops – Lena Adams and … dun dun duhhh … Jeffrey Tolliver. If Will and Sara will investigate and clear his name, he will tell them who killed the prisoner who died during the riot.
All of this happens right at the beginning, and I’m not going to give any spoilers away. The book is excellent, and you can probably get away with reading it as a standalone novel. However, having read the previous books, I got to fall in love with Will all over again, and was reminded how I could never understand why Sara relented and forgave Jeffrey.
I don’t normally give trigger warnings, but I can’t stress this strongly enough – The Silent Wife deals with violence against women, and it doesn’t pull any punches. The violence is graphic, and some will find it extreme. Having said that, it may be dark in tone, but Will’s utter cluelessness about women is completely endearing, and Faith’s brand of chaotic Faithness adds a much-needed contrast to the darkness.
If you’re wondering how only eight years have passed since Blindsighted (published in 2001), Slaughter clears up the discrepancy in an afterword, but it essentially comes down to the fact that they’re her books, real time was inconvenient, so she’ll damn well do what she wants. You can’t really argue with that!
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.