I enjoy reading books about places that I am familiar with. But even if Karin Slaughter's "Triptych" (Delacorte, $25) wasn't set in Atlanta, I would have still loved the story.
Slaughter is one of my favorite authors. While I do find that her mysteries are sometimes disturbing, they're never, ever boring. I always read her books quickly because I'm so fascinated by the stories and I can't wait to see what happens.
"Triptych" isn't one of Slaughter's Grant County novels, which are also set in Georgia. Instead, this book tells the intertwined stories of an Atlanta police detective, a man who has just been released from prison and an FBI agent. Michael, the detective, and Will, the FBI agent, are working to find a serial killer who has recently murdered several young girls. John, the former prisoner, was wrongly accused of a similar murder in 1985. Another central character is Angie, a police officer who works undercover as a prostitute.
I liked the way the story was told with a mix of newspaper clippings from 1985 and scenes from the past and the present. The book includes chapters told from the different points of view of the four characters. Slaughter doesn't make it clear exactly who can be trusted among them, which makes the mystery even more intriguing.
The Atlanta setting definitely added to the appeal of the book. It was easy to imagine Michael driving down DeKalb Avenue as he worked on the case. I could also see John as he rode MARTA around town. The books I read usually play as movies in my head, but "Triptych" was even more vivid than usual.
If you're interested in Slaughter's Grant County series, which is about medical examiner Sara Linton and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, be sure to start with "Blindsighted" (HarperTorch, $7.99), the first book. The series continues with "Kisscut" (HarperTorch, $7.99), "A Faint Cold Fear" (HarperTorch, $7.99), "Indelible" (HarperTorch, $7.99) and "Faithless" (Dell, $7.99).
I hope that Slaughter keeps writing for a long, long time. I'm looking forward to not only the next book in her Grant County series, which is scheduled for 2007, but also everything else she's working on.
If there's a book you think I really ought to read, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.