Amanda Wagner and her partner Evelyn fight sexism and racism of the 1970s in the Atlanta police department as they investigate a particularly vicious murder of a prostitute in “Criminal” (Delacorte, $26), by Karin Slaughter.
While their mostly white, male co-workers have written off reports of some missing prostitutes, the two young women discover links that eventually lead them to some important people in Atlanta. As fellow officers begin to fear they may be upstaged by the two novice investigators, Amanda and Evelyn confront the killer and come close to being his next victims.
Forward to the present. Amanda is deputy director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation when she learns the killer imprisoned years before has been paroled. And then there is a murder similar to the one that launched her on her long crime-fighting career.
One of her first acts is to order Will Trent, a top investigator under her command, to stay away from the case. Trent, born the year of Amanda's first big case, is hurt and angered at being kept off the investigation. But he is kept up on events by the girl he's living with, a doctor assigned to the medical examiner.
Slaughter is adept at mixing elements of horror as well as humor from the budding feminists in a tale that's full of suspense.
— Kay Dyer