Karin Slaughter Sara Linton, medical examiner in the small town of Heartsdale, 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 keen 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...
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A Faint Cold Fear shares many of the characters and preoccupations of Karin Slaughter's earlier books about small-town coroner Sara Linton; she is still caught up in a complicated relationship with her former lover, police chief Jeffery, and disapproval of his sometimes brutal methods. Lena, once Jeffery's most trusted employee, is now a security guard at the local college and coping no better with the murder of her sister and her own abduction and rape. This becomes relevant when Jeffery has to investigate a series of murders on campus and one of the main suspects is Lena's dangerous skinhead lover.
Slaughter perhaps relies a little too heavily on a number of continuing story lines, and has constantly to fill new readers in on these characters' personal stories so far. Her principal strength is an absolute ruthlessness with technical detail--she teases out the significance or otherwise of the numerous unpleasant features of, for example, the apparent suicide that is the first of a sequence of suspicious deaths.
These are powerful and effective books because they remind us that death, including murder, is never pretty and that those who deal with it have to develop a hardness that is not always sympathetic; at her best, Slaughter has a convincing emotional grittiness. --Roz KaveneyReview:
"Another brilliant chilling tale from Slaughter" ( Heat)
"Chilling crime writing" ( OK!)
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