2 Ways to Read Karin Slaughter Books in Order | Ultimate Guide

A queen of gruesome horror, Karin Slaughter writes dark and macabre books that are hauntingly realistic. If you enjoy crime thrillers, psychological thrillers, and books that get under your skin, here is how you can read the Karin Slaughter books in order.

Who is Karin Slaughter?

You might be thinking that the last name Slaughter feels a bit on the nose for an author of horrific thrillers; however, that truly is her last name. Slaughter has said that even as a child she had a interest in the dark and macabre.

She was born in Jonesboro, Georgia. Growing up, her childhood was disrupted by a string of child murders that took place in nearby Atlanta during the 1970s and 1980s.

Carrying on with the theme of the dark and macabre, Slaughter has said that she was expelled from her Christian primary school for tearing a Bible apart. As well, she once dated an undertaker-in-training.

To inspire her writing, Slaughter reads autopsy reports and brings the horror of real murders into her books. She adores research. When writing her Grant County books, Slaughter even interviewed female police officers who served in the 1970s. This was to ensure her depiction of a female officer’s plight during this time period would be realistic.

All of this makes it no surprise that Slaughter has become an award-winning thriller horror author. Her books have sold more than 35 million books worldwide and been published in more than 35 languages. In addition, the rights to multiple of her works are in the process of being adapted for the screen.

Finally, Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project. This is a non-profit organization supporting libraries and library programming.

#1 Karin Slaughter Books in Order of Publication

If you haven’t read any of her books before, here is a list of all of Karin Slaughter books in order of publication date. This list includes books from her popular Grant County, Will Trent, Georgia, and Good Daughter series. As well as including her standalone books.

  1. Blindsighted (2001)
  2. Kisscut (2002)
  3. A Faint Cold Fear (2003)
  4. Indelible (2004)
  5. Faithless (2005)
  6. Triptych (2005)
  7. Beyond Reach (2007)
  8. Fractured (2008)
  9. Undone (2009) (Also titled Genesis)
  10. Broken (2010)
  11. Fallen (2011)
  12. Snatched (2012)
  13. Criminal (2012)
  14. Busted (2013)
  15. Unseen (2013)
  16. Cop Town (2014)
  17. Pretty Girls (2015)
  18. The Kept Woman (2016)
  19. The Good Daughter (2017)
  20. Pieces of Her (2018)
  21. The Last Widow (2019)
  22. The Silent Wife (2020)
  23. False Witness (2021)
  24. Girl, Forgotten (2022)
  25. After That Night (2023)
  26. This is Why We Lied (Expected: August 20, 2024)

Slaughter’s sixth novel, Beyond Reach, is titled internationally as Skin Privilege. Also, her ninth novel, Undone, is titled internationally as Genesis.

#2 Karin Slaughter Books in Order of Series

If that list felt daunting, there is a much easier and more practical way to enjoy the Karin Slaughter books in order. This would be by looking at her oeuvre segmented by series and then her other works separately. The following lists will identify her popular series, her standalone books, and her other works in publication order.

Grant County Books

The Grant County books introduce you to the characters of Sara Linton, a part-time coroner; her ex-husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, chief of police; and Lena Adams, the only female police officer in town. The series begins with Blindsighted, which was Karin Slaughter’s debut novel. It was a huge success and was shortlisted by the Crime Writers’ Association for the Best Thriller debut of 2001.

  1. Blindsighted (2001)
  2. Kisscut (2002)
  3. A Faint Cold Fear (2003)
  4. Indelible (2004)
  5. Faithless (2005)
  6. Beyond Reach (2007)

Slaughter’s sixth, and final, book in the Grant County books is Beyond Reach in the US; however, it is titled Skin Privilege for international publications.

Will Trent Books

Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent series also takes place in her home state of Georgia. This time the books take place in Atlanta. The titular main character Will Trent is a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Trent and his partner Faith Mitchell work to solve the sordid crimes taking place in their city. However, this is a side of humanity that Trent is already quite familiar with. This is due to Trent’s upbringing in a children’s home after he was abandoned as an infant.

The first book in this series, Triptych, reveals Trent to be a man with scars and a flawed long-term relationship with Angie Polaski. Nevertheless, he is a good agent and so is Mitchell. Slaughter receives praise for her realistic portrayal of both characters and setting.

In this book there is a serial killer on the loose who is murdering women in a very specific way. Consequently, it is up to Trent and Mitchell to catch the killer and stop the string of murders.

  1. Triptych (2005)
  2. Fractured (2008)
  3. Undone (2009)* (Also titled as Genesis)
  4. Broken (2010)*
  5. Fallen (2011)*
  6. Snatched (2012)
  7. Criminal (2012)
  8. Busted (2013)
  9. Unseen (2013)
  10. The Kept Woman (2016)
  11. The Last Widow (2019)
  12. The Silent Wife (2020)
  13. After That Night (2023)
  14. This is Why We Lied (Expected: August 20, 2024)

In the above list of Will Trent books in order, the titles marked with an asterisk are part of a crossover endeavor that Slaughter pursued. These three books comprise the Georgia series, which is explained in more depth below.

Georgia Books

To the delight of fans of the Karin Slaughter books, she has written novels that combine the worlds of her popular Grant County and Will Trent series. This epic crossover begins when Sara Linton moves from Heartsdale to Atlanta. Once ensconced in the big city Linton runs into Faith Mitchell and Will Trent in the hospital.

From there the series takes off with three novels recounting their interactions. This series also gave fans more of Linton after the Grant County series ended with an explosive conclusion.

  1. Undone (2009) (Also titled as Genesis)
  2. Broken (2010)
  3. Fallen (2011)

Slaughter’s first book in the Georgia books is Undone in the US; however, it is titled Genesis internationally.

Good Daughter Books

Karin Slaughter’s final published series is a short one, but riveting and brimming with thrilling emotion nonetheless. The Good Daughter and its novella prequel were published in the same year, and the two works comprise the entirety of this series.

The novel depicts Charlotte Quinn who has followed in her father’s footsteps and become a lawyer – the ideal good daughter. Quinn is plunged into a nightmare, however, when she is the first witness on scene to a horrific crime. It brings Quinn back to the horrific events of her own childhood, which will no longer remain buried.

  1. Last Breath (2017)
  2. The Good Daughter (2017)

Karin Slaughter Standalone Books in Order

In addition to her prolific series, Karin Slaughter has also published a handful of standalone novels. These books evoke the same eerie realistic horror. Her debut standalone novel, Cop Town, was an instant New York Times bestseller. All of Slaughter’s standalone books take place in the south as well.

  1. Cop Town (2014)
  2. Pretty Girls (2015)
  3. The Good Daughter (2017)
  4. Pieces of Her (2018)
  5. False Witness (2021)
  6. Girl, Forgotten (2022)

Karin Slaughter Short Stories in Order

In addition to 21 novels in her popular crime horror series, and as mentioned previously, Slaughter has also published multiple short stories. Here is a list of all of those works in order of publication.

  1. Martin Misunderstood (2008)
  2. Thorn in My Side (2011)
  3. The Unremarkable Heart (2011)
  4. The Blessing of Brokenness (2012)
  5. Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes (2015)
  6. Three Twisted Stories (2015)
  7. Cold, Cold Heart (2016)
  8. Cleaning the Gold: A Jack Reacher and Will Trent Short Story (2020)

Karin Slaughter Anthologies

In addition to her novels and short stories, Slaughter is featured in multiple anthologies. These anthologies are in keeping with her previously established themes of horror and gruesome crime scenes. The below anthologies are a great way to experience Slaughter’s writing and discover similar authors.

  1. Like a Charm (2004)
  2. First Thrills (2010)
  3. Mystery Writers of America Presents Vengeance (2012)
  4. The Library Book (2012)
  5. Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box (2013)
  6. MatchUp (2017)

Books-to-Screen Adaptions

Besides being bestsellers, there are also two adaptations of Karin Slaughter’s popular books.

Initially a Will Trent movie trilogy was planned to be in the works with the rights being acquired by a Swedish film and television production company. However, Will Trent hit small screens in January 2023 with 13 episodes in its first season.

Executive producers on the project included Karin Slaughter alongside Liz Heldens, Paul McGuigan, Oliver Obst, and Ramón Rodríguez.

Rodríguez is also the titular star of the adaptation alongside Erika Christensen as Angie Polaski and Iantha Richardson as Faith Mitchell.

Since Sara Linton isn’t in the first two books, viewers shouldn’t expect to see her in the first season either, although the cast and crew are excited to eventually write her in. Such a possibility seems likely since the show was renewed for a second season just ahead of its first season finale on May 2, 2023.

The show was also the network’s top new drama with a collective 9.9 million viewers across 35 days. While it has been confirmed, there is no official timeline for when fans might expect the next season to air.

The second Karin Slaughter book which has been adapted is a standalone book, Pieces of Her, into a television series of the same name. Pieces of Her premiered March 4, 2022 with eight episodes.

Toni Collette stars as Laura Oliver alongside Bella Heathcote as Andy Oliver, Jessica Barden as Jane and Joe Dempsie as Nick.

There has been no confirmation of a second season, but the show was successful for the platform, jumping into its top 10 overall after its release. As well, the adaptation was not billed as a limited series, despite adapting a standalone novel, so the possibility remains for a second season.

Karin Slaughter’s Popular Series

Karin Slaughter follows the proverb to write what one knows. Most of her books take place in the south of the US where she grew up and still calls home. This familiarity with the setting allows Slaughter to create a world and characters that will feel familiar to anyone who lives in, or has visited, the south.

Spanning four series, Slaughter has written 21 novels and multiple other works.

Her debut novel introduced the world to her Grant County series. This fictional county set in Georgia is the stage for the three main characters. The Grant County books follow a part-time coroner Sara Linton and her ex-husband Jeffrey Tolliver, who is the chief of police in the fictional town of Heartsdale. The books also feature the county’s only female police officer: Lena Adams.

Slaughter’s next popular set of books is the Will Trent series. Also set in Georgia, these books take place in Atlanta. Slaughter’s main characters are the titular character Will Trent and his partner Faith Mitchell. Both are special agents in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the books follow their investigations into heinous crimes in Atlanta.

To the delight of fans, Slaughter has also written a series that combines these two worlds in an epic crossover. The Georgia series follows Sara Linton moving to Atlanta and meeting Faith Mitchell and Will Trent.

Finally, Slaughter’s last series that she has published so far is the Good Daughter series. It is only short with one full-length novel and a novella prequel. The novel, The Good Daughter, follows main character Charlotte Quinn as she is the first witness on scene to a horrific crime. But Quinn also has dark secrets hiding in her past that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago and won’t remain buried.

Summary of Karin Slaughter Books in Order

Grant County Books in Order

If you’re looking for where to begin with the Karin Slaughter books in order, starting at the very beginning of her journey as a published author is a great option. This will let you start with her Grant County series and become familiar with her writing style.

Blindsighted Karin Slaughter Books in Order

1. Blindsighted

In Slaughter’s debut novel and introduction to the Grant County series, a small Georgia town erupts in panic when a young female professor is brutally mutilated in the local diner. When part time coroner Sara Linton completes the autopsy the full extent of the killer’s twisted actions becomes clear.

Linton’s ex-husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, is the chief of police in the fictional town of Heartsdale and leads the investigation. It takes a darker turn, however, when another woman is found crucified mere days later. Alongside Tolliver is Lena Adams.

The county’s only female detective, and the first victim’s sister, wants to serve her own justice. However, it is Linton who holds the key to finding the murderer. A dark secret in her past will either solve the mystery, or mean her death.

Kisscut Grant County

2. Kisscut

What began as a traditional Saturday night at the local skating rink quickly explodes into chaos with a deadly shoot out. In the second book of the Grant County series, Sara Linton finds herself entangled in terrible tragedy once more.

Her autopsy reveals that this catastrophe has much wider implications. Linton finds evidence of long-term abuse and ritualistic self-mutilation, but struggles to pursue the matter further alongside her ex-husband Jeffrey Tolliver. This is because no one is willing to help with the police investigation. Then a young girl is abducted and it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime.

Meanwhile, Detective Lena Adams is still reeling from her sister’s brutal murder and finds herself drawn to a man who might hold the answers to uncovering this shocking crime. Adams, Linton, and Tolliver must uncover what deadly secrets the children are hiding, or else it is going to happen again.

A Faint Cold Fear Karin Slaughter

3. A Faint Cold Fear

The third Grant County book is just as horrifying as Karin Slaughter’s first novels. Sara Linton, the town’s part time coroner, arrives on scene to an apparent suicide at the local college campus. The college authorities are eager to avoid a scandal, but while the mutilated body isn’t offering up any clues, something isn’t adding up for Linton and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver.

Two more suspicious suicides quickly follow and a young woman is brutally attacked. The violence strikes too close to home for Sara, and as Jeffrey pursues the sadistic killer, he realizes his former colleague may be in possession of information that could help them.

Lena Adams is now a security guard on the college campus following her expulsion from the police force.But with her anger still clouding her mind, Adams doesn’t seem capable of protecting herself, let alone the next victim.

Indelible Grant County

4. Indelible

In the fourth installment of the Grant County series the stakes are higher than ever. An officer is shot point-blank in the police station and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver is wounded. What follows is a terrifying and harrowing hostage situation with part time coroner Sara Linton at the center. Newly reinstated Lena Adams must try to aid the divorced couple from outside the station.

Alongside her is Tolliver’s second-in-command, Frank Wallace. Together they must piece together the identity of the shooter and how to rescue their friends before Tolliver dies from his wounds. The sins of the past have finally caught up with Linton and Tolliver, and with a vengeance.

Faithless Karin Slaughter Books in Order

5. Faithless

In the fifth Grant County book, a young woman is buried alive in the Georgia woods, before being murdered in a horrifying manner. Sara Linton and Jeffrey Tolliver stumble upon the body and become fixated on solving the murder.

Thus begins a harrowing journey that will test their turbulent relationship. As they uncover more shocking surprises and hidden passions surrounding the murder, neither is prepared for the most shocking discovery of all. The identity of a killer who is more evil and dangerous than anyone could have imagined.

Beyond Reach Grant County

6. Beyond Reach

The thrilling conclusion to the Grant County series finds police detective Lena Adams arrested for murder. Sara Linton has plenty of hardship already to deal with, and consequently isn’t sure if she can handle the pressure of aiding Adams.

But Linton and her police chief husband Jeffrey Tolliver work together going over the evidence. They peel back the layers of a dark mystery that threatens betrayal and vengeance. Suddenly, the lives of Linton, Tolliver, and Adams are hanging by the slenderest of threads.

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2 thoughts on “2 Ways to Read Karin Slaughter Books in Order | Ultimate Guide

  1. I just discovered this author and am in LOVE with her writing! So well written… I have a question though. I started with the Will Trent stories and noticed the “Undone” is not on the list above as far as the order. Should I read “Undone” first or “Genesis”? They were both released in 2009 but only “Genesis” is on the list above. Thank you in advance!

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