Triptych by Karin Slaughter

‘Triptych’ was Karin Slaughter’s first non-Grant County novel. It is where she first introduces Will Trent who I have grown to love through some of her later books.

The story begins with the brutal murder and mutilation of a prostitute in Atlanta. Homicide Detective Michael Ormewood is the main investigating officer and right from the start there is something unlikeable about the man. With links to two similar mutilations (this time of teen girls), soon Will Trent from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is brought in to oversee the case.

The attacks seem to have started around the same time that John Shelley was released from prison after serving 20 years for a strikingly similar attack.

The story is told mostly from the point of view of three men – Michael Ormewood, Will Trent and John Shelley.

Ormewood is struggling with his home life. He is drifting apart from his wife, his son is intellectually disabled and his overbearing mother-in-law blames him for any problems. He seeks solace with the pretty teenager next door.

Will Trent comes from a troubled background. He was abused by his mother’s boyfriends and spent much of his childhood in a state-run home. He suffers from severe dyslexia which he does his best to hide. Trent works with his childhood friend Angie Polaski who is now a detective with the Vice Squad.

John Shelley is still claiming his innocence after twenty years. He entered prison as a teenager and was severely abused by the other prisoners. He will do anything to avoid going back to prison and knows that any slip-up will put him there.

And the murders are just completely horrific!

The identity of the killer is revealed fairly early in the book. It then becomes a matter of catching him.


I was on the edge of my seat for most of this book – it was so full of suspense. At times I just wanted to get in there and point the characters in the right direction. I enjoyed the characters of both John Shelley and Will Trent, and I’m looking forward to Trent’s next appearance in ‘Fractured’.


Book Published 2006


See a full list of books by Karin Slaughter

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