Book Review: Kisscut (Karin Slaughter)


Dr. Sara Linton and her ex-husband finally seem to be moving on from his infidelity. Sara is still messing around with him some, unsure if she really wants to start a relationship. Sara and Jeffrey meet at the ice skating rink for a date, and they make plans for him to sleep over. Sara heads to the bathroom, and Jenny Weaver bumps into her. Jenny, one of Sara’s patients at the Children’s hospital, seems stressed and disappears before Sara can act on her instinct and check what is wrong. Sara is startled to see blood on her shirt, somehow transferred from Jennie’s person. Sara heads into the bathroom and makes a gruesome discovery.

Outside the rink, Jeffrey finds Jenny Weaver pointing a gun at Mark Patterson, a teenage boy. She is threatening to shoot him. When Jenny notices Jeffrey she tells him to either shoot her, or she will shoot Mark. Sara arrives, telling Jenny that the person in the bathroom is fine, but Jenny doesn’t believe her. She yells at Mark, telling him it is his fault, and he viciously tells her that he will see her in hell. No matter what Sara and Jeffrey say, Jenny won’t let the gun drop, and Jeffrey is forced to shoot a teenage girl.

Jeffrey is shattered and suffers from the knowledge that he shot a child. Jeffrey and Sara’s night is spoiled and they are both miserable. Sara is heartbroken by her autopsy of the baby that was left in the rink’s bathroom – the baby could have lived even if it was premature but it was murdered. Her biopsy on Jenny reveals horrific mutilation, and Sara and Jeffrey need to find out what happened to Jenny and why she so desperately wanted to kill Mark Patterson.

Lena Adams, a detective on Jeffrey’s police force, is still recovering from her horrific rape ordeal that just topped her exceptionally bad year. She is unable to forget the horrors she went through, and it is only through her uncle Hank’s determination for her to live that she is still functioning. He wants her to talk to a Pastor in their church, Dave Fine, to get some counselling but she constantly finds excuses to not go.

Jeffrey and Lena head to Mark Patterson’s house to talk to him about the incident. There is something in Mark that immediately calls to Lena, but she is unsure what it is. Mark’s father, Tom, is obviously a bully and has no patience for his son. They are open about the fact that Mark attacked his sister Lacey, who is away until the shooting drama is resolved, and that the police had to intervene. Mark is a strange boy, at times sad about Jennie’s death and her hatred of him and at times cocky and insolent. He seems very sad that his mother Grace is about to die from breast cancer, but that is mostly it. Lena and Jeffrey leave without any clear answers.

Jeffrey sends in Lena to talk to Jenny’s mom, correctly thinking that she wouldn’t want to talk to the man who killed her daughter. The interview starts off well, with Lena getting the trademark county sympathy from Dottie for her rape ordeal. Lena starts asking if maybe Jennie was involved in some scandals at school, because her promiscuity had by then started to reach the ears of the police, and Dottie gets very angry. She starts screaming when Lena shows her Jennie’s autopsy results and Sara is very angry because of Lena’s cruelty.

Jeffrey and Lena start searching deeper and deeper and they only get more questions. A big, nasty net of child pornography and molestation is found in Grant County, and it seems every single person is guilty. Lacey Patterson is abducted outside the clinic when she tries to tell Sara what is going on, and Mark soon thereafter tells Lena the horrific things he is being subjected to and then attempts suicide.

With Lacey being held captive somewhere and Mark comatose will Jeffrey be able to find the ringleaders and bring them down? Is there hope for him and Sara? Who else is in on the sick pornography ring?

Rating: 7/10

Kisscut made me so angry I had to put the book down and take a deep breath every few pages. It is sickening and I wanted to find every single child molester in the world and hurt them very badly and laugh at their anguish. I couldn’t put the book down eventually and had to finish it. I found the ending very unfair but sadly reflecting on things really turns out in cases like that. I thought some people didn’t deserve to die the way they did; it should have been much, much worse. There are certain people who don’t deserve kindness or empathy, and the character I’m talking about certainly qualified.

Kisscut explores avenues that people can’t even comprehend, and that made it very compelling. The more I read of Karin Slaughter the more I enjoy, and I personally feel she outstrips Patrcia Cornwell by far because she can actually write. Slaughter tells it like it is, highlighting how bad people really are. She has a lot of nerve writing about the scenes she creates, and I can’t help but feel a grudging respect for her while I read with one I closed hiding under my blankets.

Well worth the read if you can stomach it!

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Kisscut (Karin Slaughter)

  1. Whoop! Success! I have almost got a total convert I am sure. Pfffff, Patricia Cornwell isn’t even in Slaughter’s league, in my honest opinion. Reichs either.

    Another excellent review, as always! This was a very difficult book to work through, I wholeheartedly agree!

    • Reich is manageable, but really nowhere on Slaughter’s level.

      Thanks for putting me on her! She is such a good writer and her books are very original.

      • Exactly!

        They are different, and the characters are great. I love the way you read about something from one character’s perspective and then see how it was from another person’s perspective, and the levels of miscommunication. This becomes more evident as the novels progress.

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