Review: A Faint Cold Fear – Karin Slaughter

a faint cold fear cover

Grant County #3

SYNOPSIS: Sara Linton, medical examiner in the small town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is called out to an apparent suicide on the local college campus. The mutilated body provides little in the way of clues — and the college authorities are eager to avoid a scandal — but for Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, things don’t add up.

Two more suspicious suicides follow, and a young woman is brutally attacked. For Sara, the violence strikes far too close to home. And as Jeffrey pursues the sadistic killer, he discovers that ex-police detective Lena Adams, now a security guard on campus, may be in possession of crucial information. But, bruised and angered by her expulsion from the force, Lena seems to be barely capable of protecting herself, let alone saving the next victim… – via Goodreads

I promise, Karin Slaughter does an absolute bang up job of maintaining a fast paced, well written story, with a plot to boot. Following Lena’s story is both sad and frustrating, though you can understand how she ended up where she is. But I think it is bad that her situation is so messed up and she is not willing to change a thing about it, but completely prepared to worsen it. Let’s not even forget how she could get involved with white supremacist scum like Ethan. Ugh! Anyway, her self destructive behaviour is highlighted excellently here.

The grief was almost palpable at times in this one, and I think Tessa suffered a terrible injustice, and I found it very difficult to follow how mad the Lintons were with Sara and Jeffrey, though I understand fear makes you strike out and blame whoever is the nearest in the vicinity, whoever can bear the mantle to quell your emotions is the one that bears the brunt.

Sara and Jeffrey’s relationship is one of the more realistic ones I have read of in a novel, because it is not all lust and perfection, and being the perfect partner. Real emotions come in to play here, and the dynamic they share is more believable; they both have their selfish moments together, yet they both also have a selflessness that comes to the fore sometimes, because every now and then no matter what you feel about a situation or your needs, they have to take the backseat to your partners needs and requirements. I absolutely love reading about these two together, though I do feel Sara is a touch harsh to Jeffrey sometimes. A lot of times. She yanks him around too much and should just get her crap together. He deserves better.

Also, some fights between Sara and Jeffrey in this one were (again) about Lena, but the one time that Sara’s defending Lena and I am with Jeffrey on this. Lena has made her choices. There was a lot of fighting going on all over the show in this book, tensions running high and all of that. I am glad to see Nan and Lena getting along better though, seriously.

A Faint Cold Fear is well written and engaging, drawing you in and feeding you more of the story concerning some amazing characters. There is a lot of development going on, too, and I like that. Slaughter is amazing, and this series hooks me every time without fail. Worth the read.

Review: Blindsighted – Karin Slaughter

karin slaughter blindsighted cover

Grant County #1

SYNOPSIS: A small Georgia town erupts in panic when a young college professor is found brutally mutilated in the local diner. But it’s only when town pediatrician and coroner Sara Linton does the autopsy that the full extent of the killer’s twisted work becomes clear. Sara’s ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, leads the investigation — a trail of terror that grows increasingly macabre when another local woman is found crucified a few days later. But he’s got more than a sadistic serial killer on his hands, for the county’s sole female detective, Lena Adams — the first victim’s sister — wants to serve her own justice. But it is Sara who holds the key to finding the killer. A secret from her past could unmask the brilliantly malevolent psychopath .. or mean her death. – via Goodreads

I have been reading Karin Slaughter’s work for years. My love affair with her books and her characters started with this book, something I randomly stumbled upon years ago, totally by accident, and then I was hooked. Just like that, it was all over for me. Blindsighted is one of the best debut novels I have ever read from an author.

Slaughter wastes no time setting up her characters, and before you know it, you are invested in them, their lives, their everything. She has an earnest way of writing, and it makes the characters real, bringing them to life from the pages, and that is not an easy thing to do. The novel also doesn’t suffer from stiff writing, like some debuts do. The story flows, and Slaughter also does not hold back the punches, and is not scared of getting her hands dirty. She does not shy away from heinous details, and they are also not just thrown in to shock. They are there to serve a purpose .

The book is fast paced, bold, brutal, and is written in a way that is flows effortlessly. It makes for an intense, albeit quick, read. Slaughter really is one hell of a storyteller. The tales she weaves and the characters are strong and well presented. The story had the perfect balance that simulates real life intersecting a terrible tragedy. For a debut novel, this truly blew my mind. I also appreciate that the situations were not too far out there like usual for some novels, so strong points for her there as it gives it a feel of the events being viable. Also, she deals with real issues, from romance, relationships, friendships, to issues still riddling the South.

Blindsighted is a fantastic debut novel, and I have been hooked from this very first book. Dark, brutal, violent, with characters that are so real that you get invested in, I cannot recommend Slaughter’s work enough. The Grant County series is a fantastic series, and would definitely say that this is worth the read if you are into gritty, nasty crime thrillers that have darkness and guts.