It’s easy for Will Trent, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, to sympathize with victims. Left in a trashcan when he was seven months old, Trent spent his youth in and out of foster homes before being raised in state care. His body bears evidence of the abuse he suffered – cigarette burns, knife cuts, battery burns – which he covers up by wearing three piece suits, even in the sweltering Georgia heat. Trent manages to solve crimes while battling dyslexia, using a small tape recorder and computer software to decipher what appear to him as scrambled letters. Hiding his disability, is a challenge, but Trent refuses to seek treatment, worried that revealing his weakness might result in a demotion or, worse yet, dismissal.
Erika Christensen and Jake McLaughlin (Photo Credit: ABC/Danny Delgado)
From the time Trent was eight, he formed a friendship with another lost child, 11 year-old Angie Polaski, now a detective with the Atlanta Police Department. Drawn together by their troubled history, the two maintain a sexual relationship, while true commitment remains out of reach.
Ramón Rodríguez (Photo Credit: ABC/Danny Delgado)
Karin Slaughter’s best selling Will Trent series is now a series on ABC and Hulu. Ramón Rodríguez is perfectly cast as the brilliant yet tortured investigator. A life spent being on guard for any danger makes Trent zero in on clues that are overlooked by other detectives. His empathy for the victims is on display, whether he’s questioning a live one or promising a dead one he’ll find the killer. When his elderly neighbor dies, Will find himself inheriting her Chihuahua, Betty, refusing to take the dog to a shelter, the animal equivalent of the state home he spent so much time in.
There’s real chemistry between Rodríguez’s Trent and Angie, played by the talented Erika Christensen. While Trent’s scars are visible, Angie’s are hidden. Flashbacks reveal that she was sexually abused, became pregnant and had an abortion. That Trent drove her to and from the clinic is further evidence of their long and deep dependence on each other.
Ramón Rodríguez and Iantha Richardson (Photo Credit: ABC/Danny Delgado)
Supporting roles are filled with a terrific cast. Sonja Sohn plays the tough as nails GBI head Amanda Wagner, who recognizes Trent’s abilities, but does not ignore his shortcomings. Iantha Richardson is Trent’s partner, Faith Mitchell, who begins by resenting Trent’s methods for investigating a crime, then does her best to learn from him. Michael Ormewood (Jake McLaughlin) is Angie’s partner, who often risks violating the law to nab a perpetrator.
Fans of Slaughter’s mysteries will not be disappointed in this screen adaptation. The scripts reflect some of the best plots from her books while continuing to develop the characters. And, if you haven’t read any Will Trent mysteries, this series will have you going to Amazon to order them.
Top photo of Ramón Rodríguez – Credit: ABC/Danny Delgado