Book Review: A Faint Cold Fear (Karin Slaughter)

A faint cold fear book cover


Sara Linton 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 Karin Slaugter)

Rating: 7/10 

Well, 2015 is already a highly successful year for me because I’ve finally managed to finish A Faint Cold Fear. This book has probably sat on my bookshelf for the last year, judging me constantly, but I finally picked it up and finished it like it was nobody’s business.

Okay, no for an actual book review and not a brag about HOW I FINISHED THIS MOFO BOOK:

I enjoyed it. It is well written, something I’ve come to expect and enjoy about Slaughter. I never even considered reading material (hint: her name is SLAUGHTER) but my best friend in the universe kept telling me how amazing this woman is and I knew I had to try. This is the third book in the series and you can read the first two here and here.

Slaughter is always highly imaginative in her ways of killing victims. Her killers are ruthless and very insane. I found what happened to Tess so horrible, and eventually for the most insignificant reason, but other than that I found the murdered way tamer than Kisscut and Blindsighted.

Slaughter writes characters that are realistic, so realistic that you may not always like them. There are times that I just want to shake Sarah and Jeffrey so that they can get over their childish bullshit and focus on each other. Jeffrey is too proud and Sarah too stubborn for anything to really work between them in my opinion. Lena makes me want to cry in frustration. I truly get why she is reacting the way she reacts but it feels like you have a friend that is in a toxic phase and you can’t get her out no matter how hard you try.

I do think that there were questions not completely answered at the last final pages – I mean would Jeffrey realistically believe Lena after all she’s been up to? Ethan White clearly needs some help – maybe that comes at a later stage or he becomes a villain again? Was Richard responsible for all those deaths except the one? I was a bit confused for a few seconds, to be perfectly honest.

Overall, A Faint Cold Fear is a good book, but you do need a strong stomach to deal with what goes down.


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!

Book Review: Blindsighted (Karin Slaughter)


Book: 94/100

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?

Rating: 7.5/10

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.

Thoroughly recommended!