Karin Slaughter | After That Night (Will Trent #11)

The Book: 

After That Night by Karin Slaughter (Will Trent #11)
Published August 22, 2023 by William Morrow
Date read: June 12, 2023

The Characters: 

GBI Special Agent Will Trent and Dr. Sara Linton; GBI Special Agent Faith Mitchell

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buy it on Bookshop.org | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

Fifteen years ago, Sara Linton’s life changed forever when a celebratory night out ended in a violent attack that tore her world apart. Since then, Sara has remade her life. A successful doctor, engaged to a man she loves, she has finally managed to leave the past behind her.

Until one evening, on call in the ER, everything changes. Sara battles to save a broken young woman who’s been brutally attacked. But as the investigation progresses, led by GBI Special Agent Will Trent, it becomes clear that Dani Cooper’s assault is uncannily linked to Sara’s.

How did After That Night end?

Click here for book spoilers for After That Night
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read After That Night, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

“The Gang” from Sara’s residency days had created a terrible rape club that had attacked a girl every quarter for 16 years. They would work as a team, with one person choosing the victim, one stalking, one texting, one abducting, and one raping. Mac was the leader. Cam, Chaz, and Richie were the most involved. Mason, Royce, and Bing knew about it but didn’t participate or dropped out early. Mac and Chaz also brought their sons into the club.

Britt was the one organizing everything behind the scenes. She did it to get Mac to love her still. She was the one taking the shoes as trophies. Most of the victims were Mac’s former patients and all had matching surgery scars.

Britt had told John Allen Wright to rape Sara and had set it up to be easy for him. She wanted to make sure that Mac got the fellowship instead of Sara. She drugged Sara and told Wright where to be and when.

Most of this was discovered when Sara went to speak to Britt to try to get her to turn on Mac in exchange for protecting Tommy (Chuck had showed Jeremy the video of Tommy raping Dani, and it was recorded by the GBI). Britt shot herself with Sara’s gun after confessing (this is a trend in this series–the perp always kills themself in front of one of the main characters!).

Britt’s Rape Room had enough DNA to convict all the members of the club. Sara got closure, as well as the parents of the other victims.

The Ending:

The book ends with a happy family barbecue at Sara’s house. No wedding yet, but Will and Sara talk about their relationship and confirm it will be forever. They decide to ask Amanda to be a part of their wedding (Why doesn’t Sara want to do a father/daughter dance with her dad? I thought she loved him?). Faith is dating Aiden Van Zant from the FBI.

The Review: 

This is Book #11 in the Will Trent series. Sara’s complicated backstory has been teased since this first Grant County book and in After That Night, we finally get the details. Unlike the other books in the series, this book is all about Sara rather than a case that the GBI is working.

This story is a delightful slow burn. It’s hard to tell how the different pieces fit together, but it’s so satisfying once everything is explained. I liked learning more about Sara pre-Jeffrey, seeing Will go undercover as a rich asshole, Faith’s willingness to fight for her friend, and Jeremy’s role in this investigation. I did miss Amanda, who didn’t appear until the end. After That Night is a very different feel from the previous Will Trent/Grant County books, but a thrilling read nonetheless.

If you’re a Sara fan, I don’t need to tell you to read this book. If this is your first book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone. Karin gives enough information about the backstory to keep you in the loop. I always recommend reading the whole series starting with Blindsighted, but I think if you start with After That Night you’ll be hooked and want to read them all.

As with all of Karin’s novels, the story is disturbing, so it won’t be for everyone. Check trigger warnings or DM me!

Can After That Night be read as a standalone?

The good news is that it can read very much like a standalone. I always recommend reading the whole series to get the backstory, but if you haven’t read the previous ten books in the Will Trent series, you can still enjoy After That Night. Slaughter provides enough context to keep you in the loop. There’s no reason to read spoilers for the previous books if you’re new to the series, but you might find yourself wondering why readers care so much about Sara’s history.

Best of all is that After That Night doesn’t spoil The Silent Wife. (I would recommend that you read the whole Grant County and Will Trent series before reading The Silent Wife). If you’re addicted to popular new books like I am, you can absolutely read After That Night, get hooked on Will and Sara, and then go back and binge the whole backlist. In fact, I highly recommend it.

If you have read the Grant County/Will Trent series and need your memory refreshed, there are a few books you’ll want to read summaries for. The first is obviously the previous book, The Silent Wife. The events from The Silent Wife aren’t detailed in After That Night, but it’s always good to remind yourself where the main characters left off.

You’ll also want to review the events of Criminal and Blindsighted. Certain elements of both books are brought back in After That Night.

I’ve also posted spoilers for all of the Grant County books, so check this link or the search bar to find what you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for a matching set of the Will Trent books, most of them are included in this set, which I purchased recently and love!

Will Trent books in order

*Once again, I do recommend starting with the Grant County books. See this post.

Undone (also titled Genesis)
Snatched (novella)
Busted (novella)
The Kept Woman
Cleaning the Gold (novella)
The Last Widow
The Silent Wife
After That Night

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