Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Criminal, Karin Slaughter

O. M. G!!

This was fantastic!

We finally get to learn more about Will's past.

So, Will and Sara are still going strong. Unfortunately, he spirals into despair when he finds out his father was released from prison.

We know is father killed his mother, but not much else.

Actually, there's another reason this is an awesome book: not only do we learn more about Will's past, we learn more about Amanda's.

Now, in Fallen, Faith's mom tells Will that Amanda is more like his mom that he thinks. As soon as she said that, I figured Amanda had found him when he was a baby. Still, now we get to see the whole story play out.

So, as much as I love that we learn about Will's origins, I love that we get to see young an naive Amanda.

Yes, Amanda was naive. Sheltered even.

See, the book primarily takes place in the past, when Amanda is a rookie. Little more than a secretary. She's such a hardass now, I think it was an especially effective choice by Slaughter to make her the opposite when she was starting out.

I definitely think of Amanda as we know her as a feminist character. She's a hardass, to be sure, but you kinda gotta figure she had to be to get where she is at the time she was fighting for her position. Amanda of old is the kind of woman who thinks rape and abuse happens because the woman is asking for it.


Her father is also a cop who expects Amanda to cook and clean for him. She is a woman, after all. She also write reports for the men. Her nickname is Wags because when men are around she sits up an wags her tail. Which is pretty hilarious imagery for the Amanda we know now.

Also, the "old gals network" we saw in Fallen gets it's origin here. I loved seeing it come into being.

See, Amanda and Evelyn, Faith's mom, know something's up, but aren't allowed to work homicides or investigate real cases of any kind. That's work for the men folk. But they do anyway. Because they're not allowed to investigate it officially, they have to use back channels. Hence, the old gals network. Men overlook women back then (still do to some extent), so they got where they needed to through the secretaries and assistants of the world.

It was really well done.

So, back to the case. Poor Will. Will's dad kidnapped, raped, and tortured his mother. His uncle knew the killer and used him to kidnap his bosses daughter so he could blackmail his boss for a job, promotions, etc. His mom was a meth addict who worked as a prostitute to support her habit.

Poor Will doesn't exactly come from prime stock. Which just goes to show, you are who you want to be.

Anyway, Amanda and Evelyn figure out who did it, and take him out. Physically, which is awesome for 2 women who aren't even "real" cops (using the standards of the day, though they are definitely investigators using any standard). They find his mom right before she dies and right after giving birth to Will. He last words are "love him," meaning Will - though they don't realize that until they find him. His aunt, the daughter of his uncle's boss, is the one who puts Will in the trash. Either to save him or get rid of him, I'm not really sure. She's a cold hearted bitch.

Amanda falls in love on sight. She actually gets jealous when Evelyn picks Will up. (all together now: awwww) But, as I said in Fallen, it was a "different time," and there was no way they were going to let a single woman adopt a kid, let alone a woman who wants to "play at" being a cop.

Amanda joined the GBI right after the case and made sure to help care for Will. Will's supposed inheritance to send him to college was from her. Amanda also makes sure Will believes his mother was a student instead of a hooker and that he knows she loved him.

Like I said, I loved this one. I loved seeing a young Amanda and learning more about Will. I also loved seeing Will come to understand Sara and what it means to really be in love. Specifically, what it means to have Sara love him.

He also learns what love means to Angie.

See, when they were kids, Will and Angie would talk about their parents. Fantasize about what their parents were like or would have been like, or what they'd like to do for revenge against their parents. When Will talked about his father, it was revenge by death. When his father reappears and starts killing/kidnapping again, Angie shows up. They talk about these old fantasies. Will manages to get her out, not before kissing her, but he's a hot mess, so I'll forgive him.

Conversely, Sara figures out what he's planning and stops his from trying to kill his father. She protects him - even from himself. She gives him what he needs, even if he doesn't know what that is.

Angie poisons his father. And his reaction is not relief, but rage that his father got to just slip away. That he didn't suffer. It's unclear if Angie will pay for that death. Will and Sara know she did it, but it doesn't seem enough evidence to put her in jail for it. I'm not even sure Will would want to. Guess I'll have to wait for the next book to find out.

Anyway, where Sara brings love and safety, Angie brings destruction and pain.

God, he needs to get rid of her!

Criminal, Karin Slaughter

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