Special Agent Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is working undercover on an operation that he, personally, point blank refuses to share with his girlfriend, Dr Sara Linton. She has not pushed for details on his assignment, which so far seems to suit them both well. Will is undercover as an ex-convict and is working in a hospital in Macon. It seems that he is trying to infiltrate an exceptionally sophisticated criminal organisation headed by the enigmatic leader, Big Whitey. He must be a terrifying man because as far as anyone knows the man is a ghost. His organisation is well put together, organised and runs smoothly. While down in Macon on his assignment, detective Lena Adams and her husband Jared Long are attacked in their home. Jared, who is also a cop, is terribly wounded, and Lena sets out to fight back, killing one of the men and is only stopped from killing the second intruder when Will stops her, though she tells nobody that he was there.
Jared is Jeffrey Tolliver’s illegitimate child, Sara’s stepson. Naturally his mother, Darnell Long, calls Sara to fly in to help out, to let her know what is going on. Sara is reluctant, and also guilty because, as much as she loves Jeffrey, he is gone and she needs to live her life. She does not want to spill the beans about Will as of yet, but her past is dredged up when Nell agrees that Lena Adams is no good. Sara carries the bitterness and resentment with her forevermore about the fact that Lena was irrevocably involved with Jeffrey’s brutal slaying. Lena, on the other hand, is selfish and always blameless, everything just happening for her. Sara has no idea that Will is working on an investigation that involves Lena, and he knows that there would be no way she would have allowed it. His partner, Faith Mitchell, is adamant that he should just admit to Sara what is going on, instead of letting her find out the hard way. Things get complicated when Sara is now situated in the same hospital that Will works, due to Jared’s awful injuries.
Lena was involved with a raid that went faulty a few days before the shooting of her husband, though she is pretty tightly locked up about what happened. She has been dealing with a lot of her own personal issues when she discovers she is pregnant and soon after loses the baby. She works her team hard, and is greatly upset when the man that they blew the police department’s budget on, Sid Waller, shoots himself in the midst of the take down. Denise Branson, on the other hand, is still hankering after the Big Whitey story, and Lena is convinced that Will should be called in, and that he will assist Denise, who wants no help from anyone. After being called in, Will tries to track down any leads about Big Whitey, and makes nice with another ex-convict called Anthony “Tony” Dell, who is involved with this drug trade somehow, or will be Will’s stepping stone into the organisation. Will is posing as Bill Black, and makes the acquaintance of Cayla Martin, Dell’s stepsister. Dell seems to be obsessed with Cayla, and when Will meets Cayla at her house for dinner, he is glad that Dell busts in and invites himself. Dell has other plans, and manages to drag Will along with him, Will is horrified when he witnesses the murder of a police officer. Whoever Big Whitey is, he isn’t afraid of anything, not the police and not the other dealers, and it is evident that he will do what he likes, when he likes. Will is also fighting the issue that Sara is going to need to hear about what has been going on, and that she is not going to like the fact that he was working with Lena at all.
Will Sara be as angry with Will as he fears due to the issue concerning Lena? Why were Lena and Jared targeted for in the first place? Who is Big Whitey and what makes him so awfully formidable and scary? Will the ploy Will is working assist to get him into the organisation, or was Tony Dell the wrong move to make to make his way up in the hierarchy?
Karin Slaughter is one of the very few authors out there that can write so consistently, and I love her for it. Her latest book is no exception. It took me forever and three days to locate it here in my country, and when I finally did I was on so many other reading missions (hem hem, Joseph… oki and myself a bit for other books I insisted on borrowing) that this hit the backburner, but the other books were worth the read and this one was worth the wait. It was good to see Lena again, though she still makes my blood boil by being the selfish individual that she is. Strangely, Sara Linton has never been my favourite characters of the books Slaughter has written, but she is excellent for what she is, and you can identify with her and at times you can’t, and other times you can totally understand why Lena feels like she does toward Sara. A big thing for me was Will being involved with Lena’s drama again, like Jeffrey. I actually felt that prickle of fear for Will due to Lena’s selfish disregard, no matter that she feels she is just doing the right thing. On the other hand, Slaughter can’t just get shot of Will now, he is too important. The story was good, though it was not as tightly put together as her previous works, it definitely didn’t lull and kept you there with it the whole way through. I always look forward to any new Karin Slaughter book, and this was certainly no exception. Like I said, the plot was a little funky, but overall it all came together nicely, and watching Sara and Lena have it out after five years was just excellent. Each and every character is brilliant, and I love the way Slaughter can effortlessly switch between them, see the world from each of their perspectives, and get you thinking. Also, I have to congratulate her for so successfully bringing two series together to create a third which is just as good as the predecessors! I would highly recommend Karin Slaughter’s work!