When I saw the commercials for the new Will Trent TV show, I got excited because of the Chihuahua he was holding. Dog + mystery + drama = good in my view. However, when I realized it was the Will Trent of the Will Trent series of books by Karin Slaughter, I became apprehensive. I’m not a fan of turning books I love into movies or television series as the results are usually disappointing.
I watched the first episode and I liked it — particularly Betty the Chihuahua. Betty the dog is introduced in the first Will Trent book, Triptych. If you are a big dog lover and can’t wait to read the series to get even more of Betty, let me warn you: There’s not much Betty in the book series. Honestly, I had even forgotten he had a Chihuahua, and I am a hard-core dog lover. This is because the books focus on Will and the investigations, which can be mind-blowing, and not so much of when he’s home with Betty. Will is a special agent of the Bureau of Investigations, investigating the worst of the worst, and he’s pretty fascinating on his own — grew up in a foster home where he was horribly abused, has dyslexia and the ability to notice things others don’t.
I absolutely love that the TV series embraces Betty. You are introduced to the adorable Chihuahua right away at the beginning of the Pilot. In Episode 2, Betty pretty much steals the scenes at the end of the episode — her cuteness bursting into overload as she watches Will paint a ceiling. Dog lovers do need to remember that Will is not a dog lover and doesn’t know anything about dogs and isn’t even good at human relations, so you’ve got to give him some slack. I’m hoping the dog walker we meet in Episode 2 I’m a Pretty Observant Guy becomes a regular character.
In real life, Betty is played by Bluebell, the Chihuahua. Her trainer is April Mackin, who you can follow on Twitter here, to see more of the cute Bell.
If you’re a fan of the series, there are a lot of deviations, particularly with the character of Angie Polaski. However, author Karin Slaughter told reporters that the “book is the book and the show is the show” when questioned about these deviations from the book. It had been many years since I read the first book, so I went back and read Triptych, published in 2006. Will and the other series’ characters change a lot from book 1 through the latest book, The Silent Wife, and I had forgotten what it was like in the beginning where the television series begins. Karin Slaughter believes in complicated characters.
Just a note that the Grant County series by Karin Slaughter, which focuses on Sara Linton and Lena Adams, who later show up in the Will Trent books and I believe will be added to the TV series, start with Blindsighted, published in 2001. You don’t need to read those books first but you may want to in order to avoid spoilers. Sara is a dog lover and has a couple of dogs, so I look forward to them joining the cast too.