I highly recommend Karin Slaughter’s latest mystery, Criminal, especially to those who like reading series. If I can describe the protagonists, the police detectives Will Trent and Faith Mitchell, with one word, I’d choose the word “tough” because, despite constant drama in their personal lives, they overcome all obstacles and come out as winners. In the previous books of this series, Undone, Fallen, and Broken, I was fascinated by two other tough characters, Will’s supervisor and Faith’s mother, a retired police detective, both overachievers with decades of police work, plus doctorate degrees, under their belts. An admirer of strong women, I wished Slaughter wrote about these two friends’ backgrounds in more detail. Well, in Criminal, the author does just that. She alternates the chapters between the present day and mid 1970’s, thus taking us to the time when Amanda Wagner and Evelyn Mitchell start their careers at the Atlanta PD. What they face and deal with is a shocking revelation to me: discrimination based on their gender, misogyny, and blatant sexual harassment not only from the general male population, but from their male colleagues as well. These policewomen are investigating the serial murders of the prostitutes, but they too are treated by men almost as badly as the crime victims by their pimp.
The novel has everything that holds your attention from the very first line to the very last one: a captivating plot, nail-biting suspense, and incredibly well-drawn characters. I can’t wait till Karin Slaughter whips up her next mystery.