Will Trent Books In Order: A Complete Guide

Discover the riveting world of crime-solving, where the complexities of human nature meet the grittiness of criminal investigations. This is the essence of the Will Trent series, penned by the acclaimed author, Karin Slaughter.

Trent, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, navigates through chilling crimes, personal traumas, and intricate relationships, all while battling dyslexia. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the chronological order of this gripping series that has captured the hearts of thriller enthusiasts worldwide.

Will Trent Series In Order

Will Trent Series In Order

Will Trent Series In Order
Will Trent Series In Order
  1. “Triptych” (2006)
  2. “Fractured” (2008)
  3. “Undone” (2009)
  4. “Broken” (2010)
  5. “Fallen” (2011)
  6. “Criminal” (2012)
  7. “Unseen” (2013)
  8. “The Kept Woman” (2016)
  9. “The Last Widow” (2019)
  10. “The Silent Wife” (2020)
  11. After That Night (2023)

Please note, there are also two novellas “Snatched” (2012) and “Busted” (2013) that take place between ‘Fallen’ and ‘Criminal,’ and between ‘Criminal’ and ‘Unseen,’ respectively.

As a newcomer or a loyal fan, the Will Trent series offers a captivating journey through the darker corners of humanity, resonating with suspense and emotion. With every book, you dive deeper into Will Trent’s world, growing ever more attached to this brilliantly flawed hero. Happy reading!

What are the books about?

The Will Trent series by Karin Slaughter is a thriller crime series that revolves around Will Trent, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Atlanta. Trent isn’t your typical protagonist he has dyslexia, a complicated past, and struggles with social norms.

Each book in the series presents a new case, usually involving serious crimes such as serial killings or kidnappings, which Trent and his partner, Faith Mitchell, work to solve. The narratives delve into detailed police procedures, but they also deeply explore the characters’ personal lives, relationships, and traumas, resulting in a rich, layered storytelling experience.

Do I need to read Karin Slaughter’s books in order?

While it’s not strictly necessary to read all of Karin Slaughter’s books in order, it is beneficial for her series, such as the Will Trent and Grant County series. The main reason for this is character development and storyline progression. Throughout the series, characters evolve, relationships change, and past events are often referred to in subsequent books.

While each book generally focuses on a different case and can stand on its own to a certain degree, you’ll get a richer and more satisfying reading experience by reading them in order.

In what order should I read the Will Trent series?

As per the publication order, the Will Trent series should be read as follows:

  1. “Triptych” (2006)
  2. “Fractured” (2008)
  3. “Undone” (2009)
  4. “Broken” (2010)
  5. “Fallen” (2011)
  6. “Snatched” (2012, novella)
  7. “Criminal” (2012)
  8. “Busted” (2013, novella)
  9. “Unseen” (2013)
  10. “The Kept Woman” (2016)
  11. “The Last Widow” (2019)
  12. “The Silent Wife” (2020)

Expert Tip: You’ll get the most comprehensive understanding of the characters and overarching storylines by following this sequence.

Which Karin Slaughter’s book is best?

This largely depends on personal preference, as different readers might connect with different aspects of Slaughter’s storytelling. However, two books often appear in discussions about her best work:

“Triptych” (2006)

"Triptych" (2006)
“Triptych” (2006)

This novel introduces us to Will Trent, a brilliant but dyslexic detective at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. A series of brutal murders begins to surface around Atlanta, eerily reminiscent of an old case that was supposedly solved years ago.

The prime suspect is ex-con John Shelley who insists he is innocent despite the mounting evidence against him. As Will Trent digs deeper into the case, he uncovers a sinister conspiracy that shatters the city’s peace and puts his own life at risk.

“Fractured” (2008)

"Fractured" (2008)
“Fractured” (2008)

A young girl is murdered in one of Atlanta’s most privileged areas, and her mother finds her just in time to see the murderer escape. Will Trent, working with Detective Faith Mitchell, is tasked with solving this high-profile case. As they start investigating, they uncover a web of secrets and deceit within the seemingly perfect neighborhood.

Tensions rise as they unravel the truth, and they find that things are much more complex and dangerous than they initially seemed.

“Undone” (2009)

"Undone" (2009)
“Undone” (2009)

When a seriously wounded woman is found in a shipping container, it kickstarts a chain of events that leads to the discovery of a sadistic serial killer. Partnered with Faith Mitchell and doctor Sara Linton, Will Trent is on the case, finding himself entangled in a deadly game with a murderer who is always one step ahead.

As they scramble to save the next potential victim, they uncover secrets that shock even hardened investigators like them.

“Broken” (2010)

"Broken" (2010)
“Broken” (2010)

Will Trent finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation in Grant County after a young woman is found dead in a lake. The local police have arrested the town’s resident delinquent, but as Trent digs into the case, he uncovers a cover-up that extends far beyond one small town.

The case forces him to work closely with medical examiner Sara Linton, who left her hometown after her husband’s death and has now returned for a holiday visit.

“Fallen” (2011)

"Fallen" (2011)
“Fallen” (2011)

Faith Mitchell, Will’s partner, comes home to a horrifying scene her baby is alone, her mother is missing, and there’s blood everywhere. Faith becomes a key suspect, and her involvement in the case presents an ethical dilemma for Will.

As he and Sara Linton work to uncover the truth, they find themselves in a deadly situation involving a major criminal determined to do whatever it takes to stay free.

“Criminal” (2012)

"Criminal" (2012)
“Criminal” (2012)

A series of brutal assaults and a young girl’s murder leads Will Trent to a case from the past that threatens to destroy his future. The investigation takes him back to the start of his career when he was a rookie detective. As he delves deeper, he realizes that the sins of the past are colliding with the horrors of the present.

“Unseen” (2013)

"Unseen" (2013)
“Unseen” (2013)

Will Trent goes undercover to solve a case that hits too close to home? His task is to infiltrate a drug trafficking group, but the case turns out to be much more dangerous than he anticipated. As he gets closer to the truth, he puts the people he loves in danger, including Sara Linton.

“The Kept Woman” (2016)

"The Kept Woman" (2016)
“The Kept Woman” (2016)

Will and the GBI are called to an abandoned construction site where a dead body has been found. The murder scene is particularly disturbing and leads to even more chilling revelations when they discover ties to Will’s troubled past. As they get closer to uncovering the murderer’s identity, Will must face some unsettling truths about his past.

“The Last Widow” (2019)

"The Last Widow" (2019)
“The Last Widow” (2019)

An explosion rocks the city, and within hours, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is kidnapped. Will and Sara must delve deep into a hidden world of drugs and human trafficking, where life is cheap and secrets are worth killing for. The stakes are high, and they must solve the case before it’s too late.

“The Silent Wife” (2020)

"The Silent Wife" (2020)
“The Silent Wife” (2020)

A prisoner in a Georgia jail claims he has information regarding a decades-old murder – information that could help solve a series of recent killings. As Will and Sara investigate, they are drawn into a web of conspiracy and deceit, forcing them to confront their own personal demons.

Please note, these are brief summaries, and the books themselves are complex, with interweaving storylines, character arcs, and intricate crime-solving details that can’t be fully captured in a synopsis. Each book also delves into Will’s personal life, relationships, and struggle with dyslexia, adding additional layers to the narrative.

Who is Will Trent?

Who is Will Trent?
Who is Will Trent?

Will Trent is the protagonist in Karin Slaughter’s series. He’s a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Unlike many other leading characters in crime series, Trent has dyslexia, which adds to his complexity. Despite this, he has an uncanny ability to solve crimes that are too tough for other investigators.

Does the series focus solely on crime-solving, or are there other story elements?

While the Will Trent series is rooted in crime-solving and each book centers around a new case, the series is not solely focused on this aspect. Karin Slaughter invests considerable time in character development, revealing their backstories, and exploring their personal lives.

There are themes of personal struggle, relationships, and overcoming past traumas woven into the narrative. This gives the series a multifaceted nature that extends beyond just the crime genre.

What is the central theme in the Will Trent series?

The Will Trent series consistently explores the battle between past and present, personal and professional. While each book centers on a new crime that needs to be solved, Trent’s personal struggles, including his dyslexia and complicated romantic relationships, are significant plot points.

Each crime tends to bring out new aspects of his character, pushing him to confront his past and grow as an individual.

Who are some other important characters in the series?

Faith Mitchell, Will’s partner, and Sara Linton, the medical examiner with whom Trent shares a romantic relationship, are two significant characters in the series. Both play critical roles in the investigations and also in the evolution of Trent’s character.

Is it essential to read the series in order, or can each book be read as a standalone?

While each book in the Will Trent series has a standalone crime plot, it’s advisable to read the series in order to fully appreciate the character development and overarching narrative. References are often made to events from previous books, and the evolution of relationships is an important aspect of the series.

How does the Will Trent series differentiate from other crime series?

Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent series stands out in its portrayal of its protagonist. Trent isn’t just a smart, hardworking agent but a deeply layered individual grappling with personal demons. His dyslexia, past traumas, and struggles in personal relationships add depth to his character.

Quick Fact: The combination of harrowing crime tales, character depth, and the exploration of human psychology sets this series apart.

Is there any crossover between the Will Trent series and Karin Slaughter’s other works?

Yes, there is. Sara Linton, who is a major character in the Will Trent series, was first introduced in Karin Slaughter’s Grant County series. The book “Undone” (2009), also known as “Genesis” in the UK, serves as a bridge between the two series, bringing the characters of Will Trent and Sara Linton together.

So, readers of the Grant County series would likely appreciate the continuity and evolution of Sara’s character in the Will Trent books.

How does Will Trent’s character evolve throughout the series?

Will Trent’s character development is a significant element of the series. He starts as a reserved, somewhat socially awkward agent who keeps his dyslexia hidden from most people around him. As the series progresses, Will grows both personally and professionally.

He becomes more open about his dyslexia and learns to trust others with his secret. His relationships, particularly with his partner Faith and love interest Sara, add depth to his character and allow readers to see his vulnerabilities and strengths.

What role does Atlanta play in the Will Trent series?

Atlanta, as the backdrop, plays an integral role in the series. Its diverse socio-economic landscape offers a rich setting for the crimes Will has to solve. From high-profile cases in affluent neighborhoods to brutal crimes in rougher areas, Atlanta’s cultural and social dynamics add complexity to the cases and the overall narrative.

What are the main types of crime featured in the series?

The series includes a wide variety of crimes for Will Trent to solve. These range from serial killings to kidnappings, from drug trafficking to conspiracies, each presented with detailed investigative procedures. The brutal nature of the crimes often pushes the characters to their limits, revealing new aspects of their personalities.

How does Karin Slaughter manage to maintain suspense throughout the series?

Slaughter maintains suspense not only through intricate crime plotlines but also through the complexities of her characters. Each character harbors secrets and personal traumas that are gradually unveiled throughout the series. The reader’s investment in these characters’ lives, combined with the suspense of the crime-solving, keeps the intrigue high.

How is the relationship between Will Trent and Sara Linton developed in the series?

Will Trent and Sara Linton’s relationship evolve gradually throughout the series? Beginning from a professional acquaintance, it slowly develops into a deeper emotional connection. Their relationship faces numerous tests, including past traumas, personal insecurities, and the dangers of their professions. Their bond adds a dynamic layer to the crime stories.

How does Karin Slaughter portray the theme of overcoming personal struggles in the series?

The theme of overcoming personal struggles is central to the series, particularly embodied by Will Trent. His fight with dyslexia, his battle with his past, and his difficulties in maintaining personal relationships are consistently explored.

Karin Slaughter portrays these struggles realistically, showing that while they pose challenges, they also contribute to the strength and resilience of the characters.

Does the series end on a definitive note, or is it left open-ended?

As of my knowledge cut-off in September 2021, the series does not have a definitive conclusion. Karin Slaughter continues to develop the narrative and character arcs, keeping readers engaged with new challenges and evolving dynamics. Future books may provide more resolution to ongoing storylines.


The Will Trent series by Karin Slaughter is a captivating blend of intricate crime narratives and deeply drawn characters. With each book, readers are drawn deeper into the lives of the characters, experiencing their triumphs and tribulations along with the thrill of solving complex cases.

The series, while centered around crime-solving, explores themes of personal struggle, resilience, and human connection, offering a rich, multifaceted reading experience. Whether you’re a fan of crime thrillers or character-driven narratives, the Will Trent series is a journey worth embarking on.

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About Ben Hudd

Hi, my name is Ben, and I am part of the writing crew for TheWritersHQ!

I have a roaring passion for books and writing, and have written 2 books throughout my life! I am now excited to share my writing and book knowledge with the world!