BOOK REVIEW – Genesis (Will Trent #3) by Karin SlaughterGenesis (Will Trent)
by Karin Slaughter
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Synopsis:

This is the third Will Trent novel, from the No. 1 Bestseller.

Three and a half years ago former Grant County medical examiner Sara Linton moved to Atlanta hoping to leave her tragic past behind her. Now working as a doctor in Atlanta's Grady Hospital she is starting to piece her life together. But when a severely wounded young woman is brought in to the emergency room, she finds herself drawn back into a world of violence and terror.

The woman has been hit by a car but, naked and brutalized, it's clear that she has been the prey of a twisted mind. When Special Agent Will Trent of the Criminal Investigation Team returns to the scene of the accident, he stumbles on a torture chamber buried deep beneath the earth. And this hidden house of horror reveals a ghastly truth - Sara's patient is just the first victim of a sick, sadistic killer.

Wrestling the case away from the local police chief, Will and his partner Faith Mitchell find themselves at the centre of a grisly murder hunt. And Sara, Will and Faith - each with their own wounds and their own secrets - are all that stand between a madman and his next crime...

TW – the so-called “hero” is a rapist, and everyone hates women because why the fuck not

Alright. It’s way too late for me to write a 10,000+ review, but I’m so fucking disgusted that I have to talk about it or I’ll never sleep. Let’s go to the point, okay?

So. Genesis. Or Undone, whatever it’s named. I’m so angry I can’t see straight. So, so angry because I’ve been enjoying this series so far, including the beginning of this one, I’ve made excuses for the rampant sexism pouring through every page, and now I’m feeling so sick, I want to unread this book.

The thing is, there’s a tiny limit between picturing realistic, flawed characters and making me loathe every one of them. God, I had hopes for Will!

However, that was before I knew that he was a fucking rapist.

Yes, you heard me. You won’t change my mind with the “Angie is a manipulative bitch” narrative, because you know what? Of course she is, I hate the woman, but that’s very dangerous to draw lines when it comes to rape. There’s NO woman on earth who deserves to be raped. I don’t CARE if the book is telling us that oh, actually, she enjoyed it. SHE SAID STOP. SHE FUCKING SAID STOP. I will NOT feel sorry for Will. Was she on the verge of forcing his hand? YES. Would she have been an awful human being if she had managed to do it? YES. But why would Will be let off the hook? There’s no such thing as “eyes for an eye, and teeth for a tooth” as far as I’m concerned, because then why would I care for him?? Why would I root for him? He’s accountable for his actions all the same, and as much as I liked the guy, now he’s like a itch I want to scratch. GO AWAY.

Things go like this : she’s trying to force his hand and manipulate him, he (understandably!!) tells her to leave. She doesn’t. He then starts pushing her. She fights back. She pushes him on the floor. He holds on and pulls her down with him. He uses his force to keep her under him. And then :

“He grabbed both her hands in one of his, squeezing them together so she couldn’t fight him. Without even thinking, he reached down and ripped away her underwear. Her nails dug into the back of his hand as he slid his fingers inside her.
‘Asshole,” she hissed, but she was so wet Will could barely feel his fingers moving in and out. (…)
‘Stop it,’ she demanded, but she was moving against his hand, tensing with each stroke. He unzipped his pants and pushed himself inside her. She tried to tighten against him, but he pushed harder, forcing her to open up.

In the end, she enjoys it and has an orgasm. I don’t care. The fact that she’s wet, that she has pleasure, doesn’t change a thing, because we really don’t need more scenes like these in medias, scenes in which no means yes. What the hell. Do I really have to explain why? WHY THE FUCK DO WE LET PEOPLE IMPLY THAT THE BOUNDARIES BETWEEN ANGER AND DESIRE ARE SO THIN? They aren’t. Why are we excusing this kind of behavior?

We need to stop dismissing this as ‘rough sex’ : that’s not rough sex, that’s rape.

And THEN the guy dares think,
“He was so sick of this, so sick of the way Angie drove him to extremes”
Oh, no no no, you don’t. You don’t get to feel sorry for yourself and find excuses. Angie is bad news, but she’s also been abused in the past. This doesn’t excuse her behavior, but it doesn’t excuse Will either because guess what, jerk, you are always responsible for your own actions. Again, I hate Angie, but no. No you don’t. Even if she enjoys it after, it doesn’t change a thing. Will is still this guy who forces himself on her and who doesn’t stop when she asks him to and I don’t want to read about that fucking guy.

Yes, she wanted to have sex with him before their argument. But that’s not how consent works. Consent can be withdrawn at ANY moment. That’s sex 101 for crying out loud.

The issue is never addressed after because Will never acknowledges that what he did wasn’t right. The narration implies that it’s all Angie’s fault, and I’m not here for that. Oh no I’m not.

Secondly, what is IT with Faith’s internalized misogyny? Amanda’s? Is there ONE person in that entire book who doesn’t act like a sexist pig? Actually, yes, there’s Will. Right. Too bad he’s our resident’s rapist. I said before that I understood the need to picture a realistic world. But again, you can portray flawed characters without creating a world entirely filled with complete assholes. You can use your narrative to help dismantling stereotypes.

It’s called talent.

Here it was sometimes done, but way too rarely for me. This is rape culture at its finest, where everyone including women think of women as petty bitches. The whole thing felt dehumanizing and that was very lazy storytelling.

Finally : the victims. The way anorexia was handled felt very offensive to me, and I’m not sure why the parallel between their bitchy attitude and their eating disorder was drawn so tightly. I understand that it revolved around the killer’s reasons for choosing them, but it still did not sit well with me.

I just can’t believe no one called Will out on his rape. I’m just – I’m feeling sick and I want to cry.

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