The author of Pretty Girls returns with an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges its fascinating protagonist into the darkest depths of a mystery that just might destroy him. 

With the discovery of a murder at an abandoned construction site, Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is brought in on a case that becomes much more dangerous when the dead man is identified as an ex-cop. 

Studying the body, Sara Linton--the GBI's newest medical examiner and Will's lover--realizes that the extensive blood loss didn't belong to the corpse. Sure enough, bloody footprints leading away from the scene indicate there is another victim--a woman--who has vanished...and who will die soon if she isn't found. 

Will is already compromised, because the site belongs to the city's most popular citizen: a wealthy, powerful, and politically connected athlete protected by the world's most expensive lawyers--a man who's already gotten away with rape, despite Will's exhaustive efforts to put him away. 

But the worst is yet to come. Evidence soon links Will's troubled past to the case...and the consequences will tear through his life with the force of a tornado, wreaking havoc for Will and everyone around him, including his colleagues, family, friends--and even the suspects he pursues. 

Relentlessly suspenseful and furiously paced, peopled with conflicted, fallible characters who leap from the page, The Kept Woman is a seamless blend of twisty police procedural and ingenious psychological thriller--a searing, unforgettable novel of love, loss, and redemption.

FICTION: Mystery & Detective | The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow & Company, 9780062430212) | BUY FROM AN INDIE

It’s 1939, and the federal government has sent USDA agent Virginia Furman into the North Carolina mountains to instruct families on modernizing their homes and farms. There she meets farm wife Irenie Lambey, who is immediately drawn to the lady agent’s self-possession. Already, cracks are emerging in Irenie’s fragile marriage to Brodis, an ex-logger turned fundamentalist preacher: She has taken to night ramblings through the woods to escape her husband’s bed, storing strange keepsakes in a mountain cavern. To Brodis, these are all the signs that Irenie—tiptoeing through the dark in her billowing white nightshirt—is practicing black magic.

When Irenie slips back into bed with a kind of supernatural stealth, Brodis senses that a certain evil has entered his life, linked to the lady agent, or perhaps to other, more sinister forces.

Working in the stylistic terrain of Amy Greene and Bonnie Jo Campbell, this mesmerizing debut by Julia Franks is the story of a woman intrigued by the possibility of change, escape, and reproductive choice—stalked by a Bible-haunted man who fears his government and stakes his integrity upon an older way of life. As Brodis chases his demons, he brings about a final act of violence that shakes the entire valley. In this spellbinding Southern story, Franks bares the myths and mysteries that modernity can’t quite dispel.

FICTION: Literary | Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks (Hub City Press, 9781938235214) | BUY FROM AN INDIE