After That Night by Karin Slaughter



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. 

And it seems the past isn’t going to stay buried forever.


After That Night is the eleventh novel in the Will Trent series and one of the best ones in the series as it hearkens back to the night of Sara’s rape and the consequences it has had on her emotional and physical wellbeing.

A young woman, Dani Cooper, who has been brutally beaten and raped manages to get herself to Grady where she becomes Sara’s patient but her injuries are too extensive and she dies despite Sara’s efforts to save her life. Three years later, Sara is called to testify in a civil case brought against the alleged rapist, Tommy McAllister, who comes from wealthy family. However, Sara also knows the young man’s parents from her time as a resident and she is horrified when the boy’s mother cruelly hints that Tommy’s case is somehow connected to Sara’s own rape fifteen years previously.

The emotional trauma of that night have never left Sara and we learn a little more about the harrowing aftermath of her ordeal, including her family’s efforts to bring her back from the brink. Sara, dumbfounded by this new information, shares it with her soon to be husband, Will Trent, and his partner, Faith Mitchell, who help her investigate the possible connections without making it an official GBI investigation. Sara is horrified when the clues all lead towards a group of doctors who were training alongside Sara at Grady but she is still mystified as to how they are linked to her rape as she identified the perpetrator and he was imprisoned.

Realising these doctors are all members of an exclusive country club, Will is forced to get help from his Aunt Eliza who is also a member. Eliza and her deceased husband chose to abandon Will to the foster care system and even being in her presence is harrowing for Will who is deeply angry at her. However, a dying Eliza wants to makes amends in her own vile way and tells Will he had a better life without them. Will manages to put his own pain aside because it is the only way to help Sara get the answers she needs. With Eliza’s help, Will pretends to be an old acquaintance of the group and builds trust with them them to the extent they invite him to be part of their other club. A club that stalks, abducts and rapes women while hiding behind their own power and wealth.

Karin Slaughter’s novels are always a harrowing read but this was particularly so due to the cruel actions of a group of medical professionals who are supposed to dedicate their lives to help others. Yet, they abuse their trust to commit despicable crimes and it makes you believe you can’t trust anyone. Then our main protagonists are all going through their own traumas: Sara is reliving the most traumatic incident in her life; Will is dealing with his complex feelings for aunt and Faith is not only dealing with PTSD but also the recent revelation her son wants to join the police force. Despite that, they work together as a team and is it nice to seem them all in sync with each other.

Sara and Will are also planning their wedding although it takes a backseat to the investigation but the trauma of past events makes them realise they have each found their forever person. It’s taken a while for them to get to that stage so it is nice to see them happy even though we don’t get the wedding.

The plot is tightly controlled as you would expect with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. Some aspects of the storyline are hard to read because of the dark subject matter, however they are lightened by the more humorous and loving scenes between the characters. Even Amanda shows her more sentimental side by offering her heirloom pearls to Sara as her something borrowed. The tight relationship between Sara, Will and Faith goes a long way in making you believe that there are still genuine people out there who will bend over backwards to fight for the disadvantaged.