Detective Biography: Will Trent
Name: Special Agent William ‘Will’ Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Overview: Will Trent worked in the Major Case Squad of the GBI, before being drafted into the Special Crime Apprehension Team – a new unit headed up by Amanda Wagner. He has the reputation for being a good agent but a loner. Under Amanda Wagner he’s been partnered with Faith Mitchell – previously a homicide detective with the Atlanta Police Department. Will is based in Atlanta but the GBI’s jurisdiction covers the whole state.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA
Marital Status: Separated from Angie Polaski, his wife and one-time Vice detective with the Atlanta Police Department. Will and Angie met at the children’s home and they have a very destructive relationship, Angie turning up unexpectedly every so often, neither one quite letting go. Until now. Will is with Dr Sara Linton, former Grant County medical examiner and currently a doctor at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial hospital. Will loves Sara – and she him – but Will doesn’t really understand how relationships work and is constantly in fear of losing Sara but unable to help himself from getting things wrong.
Physical Description: 6′ 3-4″, broad shouldered, lanky and strong with short sandy/dirty-blond hair and large hands. He has a scar on his upper lip where it was split so badly it couldn’t be sewn back together properly, another running from his ear down into his collar and another on the back of his head. He has scars from a whip, electrical burns, cigarette burns, and an open fracture. He also has a self-inflicted scar on one forearm from a suicide attempt. In spite of all the scars, he’s good-looking and many women find him attractive. He is usually to be seen in a three-piece suit. He’s not very comfortable in his body and tends to fidget a lot when he’s nervous.
Case(s) of Note: Will is a phenomenally good agent with an 89% clearance rate. He’s intuitive but also a puzzle solver and one of the best agents in the bureau. He’s also dyslexic. His partner Faith holds him responsible for her mother’s downfall but they had to bury their differences in a shocking murder/kidnapping case involving some of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Atlanta.
Personal Assessment Notes: Will Trent, real name Wilbur – although only a few people know this and that’s how he wants it to stay – was found in a trashcan when he was a baby and grew up in the Atlanta Children’s Home. Will never gave up hope of being adopted, but it didn’t happen and he left the home at eighteen. Despite his challenging start in life, Will is a survivor. He isn’t self-pitying and has succeeded through his own hard work and determination. He’s very much an outsider, with no family.
Though he struggled with dyslexia, Will finished high school and got a college degree. He also obtained higher degrees through correspondence schools. He sees his dyslexia as a personal failure and has never sought help for it – although he does have voice recognition software on his computer and uses various tricks to disguise it – eg. colour-coded folders to identify his cases, using his wristwatch to tell his right from his left, purchasing items based on pictures on the packaging. He has a love/hate relationship with his boss Amanda who knows about his dyslexia and needles him about it – she likes to tease and control him but deep down she knows she’d be lost without him on her team. Faith, his partner also knows and so does his girlfriend, Sara. Sara doesn’t see it as a failure and wants him to get professional help for it. What he can do without any problem at all is take apart, repair and reassemble most mechanical items including cars.
Will is controlled and rarely if ever impulsive or spontaneous. Although he’s buried the mental scars he can’t hide the physical ones from his time at the home. His body bears witness to them. He is endearingly easy to tease. He’s steady, methodical, fair, thoughtful, sensitive, reliable and responsible.
He has poor social skills, but those who know him like and respect him. He’s devoted to a Chihuahua called Betty, who he inherited and barely registers the comic potential of a very tall man with a very small dog – he regularly takes her out running with him.
He works best alone but he’s learnt to work with his partner, Faith Mitchell. After initial wariness on both sides (at one point Faith even hated him for what he did to her mother), they are now fiercely loyal to one another.
Take a look at all Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent books in order here.