Everyone is just so damn lonely.
This is the first book of the Will Trent series. Now, I mentioned in my review for Beyond Reach we were leaving the Grant County series for a bit. This is why. See, Slaughter merged Grant County into Will Trent, but not until the 3rd book of the Trent series. So, I have a bit of catching up to do before we get more news about the Grant County folk. I'm not sure if there will be any more Grant County only books, to be honest. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
So, a triptych is one of those art pieces that's in 3 panels. Likewise, this book is written in three parts, from 3 points of view. We don't get into Will's head until the 3rd part actually.
The first part is that of a cop who seems perilously close to burnout. He doesn't seem to care much about the job - and a police work is not the kind of thing people do for the money. And his home life is pretty much a shambles. He and his wife can't stand each other and their son is stressing them and their bank accounts out due to his special needs.
Then there's John - he gets part 2. Man, his loneliness seriously kills you. He was arrested and convicted of rape and murder when he was 15. Sentenced as an adult. At 16 he was thrown into a prison where he was fresh meat. He's out on parole now and his life is pretty shitty. He got his college degree in prison, but the best job he can get is a car wash. His sister can't stand the sight of him. And he lives in constant fear of being sent back. That's not even taking into account what a bastard his father is.
Now, frankly, if I thought he was guilty, I probably wouldn't have any sympathy for his life. Well, besides what happened to him in prison - no one deserves that, especially not a 16 year old kid. Regardless of what he's done. But the constant fear, the shitty job, the way people hate him? Nope, wouldn't feel bad at all. But it's pretty evident he'd not guilty at all.
Fair warning: It is not easy to read what happens to him.
I would like to see what his life is like later - what happens to him after the book.
I didn't not see the killer coming though.
I'm not going to ruin it here. That's not really what I want to talk about here anyway. I want to talk about our new main character: Will Trent.
Will grew up in an orphanage. He's a survivor of some pretty horrendous abuse. He's also dyslexic, though he worries/thinks he's just stupid or that the abuse he suffered damaged something in his brain. Like most people with an undiagnosed learning disability, he's learned to hide it. Which means he doesn't get help for it - even though he's an adult and could get private tutoring no one would know about. Despite that, I'm a fan of Will Trent. (Check out the National Center for Learning Disabilities for more info on Dyslexia and other issues.)
Then there's Angie. Angie and Will grew up in the same home. They've known each other since they were 8. They know everything about the others life - all the dark moments, all the internal and external scars. Plus, they're both cops - though Angie is local and Will is state.
This is where that loneliness comes from. The cop is lonely because his marriage is a sham and his dad left him as a child. John is lonely because he's ostracized. Will and Angie are lonely because even though they have each other, even though they love each other, they don't know what a healthy relationship is. Will was left in a trashcan at 5 months, and Angie's mom pimped her out for drugs from an early age. Not exactly strong foundations. I hope they can figure it out. I hope they can make it.
And yes, even the killer is lonely. Though, that's no excuse, of course.
So, yeah, lots of feels in this one. Lots of loneliness and heartache.
Triptych, Karin Slaughter