Dr. Sara Linton works as both a paediatrician and coroner for Grant County. She is known and respected by all her colleagues, although she hates it when she has to work with her ex-husband, police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver. They are forced to work alongside each other again when Sara discovers the brutally murdered Prof. Sibyl Adams, a blind chemist while having lunch with her sister Tessa. She calls Jeffrey after she unsuccessfully tried to save Sibyl, and Jeffrey knows that it will be his job to tell Sibyl’s sister, detective Lena Adams, the news.
Lena takes the news obviously hard and initially blames Sara for her sister’s death. After the first stage of grief passes, she becomes determined to be in on the investigation. Jeffrey has his misgivings, but understands that it is part of Lena’s healing process.
Sara has been tentatively dating Jeb, a chemist in town. He seems genuinely interested but she knows she won’t ever fall as madly in love with him as she once was with Jeffrey. He seems to take her cancelling their dates because of her work really well, but she still doesn’t really connect with him despite his affable charm.
The next missing person is Julia Matthews, a university student who resembles Sibyl. The police arrest her ex-boyfriend Ryan Gordon, but it quickly becomes obvious that although he is a highly unsavoury fellow, he isn’t the serial rapist.
Julia is found naked and dying on Sara’s car and although Sara manages to stabilize her, Julia kills herself in front of Lena, saying that she can’t cope with what she remembers of her ordeal. Sara starts to notice that it seems the victims were specifically placed in places where it was inevitable that she would find the bodies. It forces her to remember her own rape – abut since her rapist sends her a card each year on the “anniversary” of her rape it is highly unlikely unable that she will ever be able to. Tessa warns her that if she doesn’t tell Jeffrey, Tessa will. Sara leaves the trial manuscript of her rapist in Jeffrey’s house and he is so shocked and saddened. She is angered when she doesn’t hear from him, but he is merely stunned speechless and heartbroken and doesn’t want to cause more damage by saying the wrong thing.
Lena is taken captive by the rapist and Sara, Jeffrey and the police force are desperate for more knowledge. Will Lena survive? What will Jeffrey say to Sara and will they ever reconcile? Who is the rapist that is terrorizing Grant County?
Zoë has been strongly campaigning for me to read some Slaughter. I put it off for a long time – the woman’s name is SLAUGHTER – but eventually got around to it.
I was really impressed. As a debut novel, Blindsighted was exemplary. My one problem was that I figured out the killer – and it was a rookie mistake in the book that confirmed my suspicions, not some amazing dormant investigative skills.
I really like the writing style of Madam Slaughter. I am always a fan when an author knows how to tell a story without using too many events to make things clear.
The suspense was really well done. It is so obvious that Sara is in great danger that I wanted to scream at the pages for her to run fast and hard. I thought she had amazing survival courage all throughout the book, and was really touched and saddened by how she wouldn’t ever become a victim.