Triptych (Will Trent #1) – Karin Slaughter

four stars black
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Delacorte Press 
Pages: 512
Release Date: August 15, 2006

From Atlanta’s wealthiest suburbs to its stark inner-city housing projects, a killer has crossed the boundaries of wealth and race. And the people who are chasing him must cross those boundaries, too. Among them is Michael Ormewood, a veteran detective whose marriage is hanging by a thread—and whose arrogance and explosive temper are threatening his career. And Angie Polaski, a beautiful vice cop who was once Michael’ s lover before she became his enemy. But unbeknownst to both of them, another player has entered the game: a loser ex-con who has stumbled upon the killer’s trail in the most coincidental of ways—and who may be the key to breaking the case wide open.

In this gritty, gripping firecracker of a novel, the author of the bestselling Grant County, Georgia, series breaks thrilling new ground, weaving together the threads of a complex, multilayered story with the skill of a master craftsman. Packed with body-bending switchbacks, searing psychological suspense and human emotions, Triptych ratchets up the tension one revelation at a time as it races to a shattering and unforgettable climax.


Triptych is the first book in the Will Trent series. I previously read the third novel and loved it, so I decided to go back to the beginning.

I didn’t enjoy Triptych as much as Genesis, but I’m glad I have some backstory for Will and Angie. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Will Trent from the GBI helps on a case where the killer cuts off a piece of the victims body. Will is forced to work with Michael Ormewood, a detective not interested in receiving help from Trent. Will reminds me Holden from Mindhunters. They’re both soft spoken, fact driven, and sometimes oblivious to things around them. Will is the reason I will keep coming back to this series.

Angie Polanski is a character I’m going to love to hate. She’s broken, jaded, and hard. Her relationship with Will is unhealthy in all the best ways. My first impression of her in the third novel has definitely changed to something more positive.

I spend more time talking about the characters rather than the mystery because Slaughter’s characters at just as complex and interesting as the mystery itself.

The reason I rated Triptych four stars instead of five is because I figured out a general sense of what was going on in the mystery without the specifics quickly. So, for a portion of the novel I was waiting for the characters to catch up. There was also a long stretch of the novel where readers get a lot of backstory and information about a single character. It’s a little slow and seemingly unimportant until the bigger picture emerges. If it wasn’t for Slaughter’s compelling writing, I would have been tempted to DNF the novel.

As with all Slaughter novels, trigger warning for almost everything.

Overall, Triptych is a great introduction to these characters with a well plotted mystery.


Have you read triptych? What did you think?

8 thoughts on “Triptych (Will Trent #1) – Karin Slaughter

  1. Fantastic review Nadine! I love that the characters are complex because I feel like in mysteries writers rely so much on plot that sometimes the characters are pretty flat. These sounds great!

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