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A Faint Cold Fear

Karin Slaughter

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Century

Published : 15th Sept. 2003

Copyright : Karin Slaughter 2003

ISBN-10 : HB 0-7126-2907-6
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-7126-2907-2

Publisher's Write-Up

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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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (290703) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This is the third Karin Slaughter novel to feature Sara Linton and Jeffrey Tolliver. It opens with the scene of what appears to be the suicide of a young man from the local college and Sara is called to examine the body. From there, there is a horrific incident which plunges Sara and Jeffrey into a case where they do not know whether the two incidents are related or what they may find next.

More deaths occur, centring on the local college, where Lena is now living and working as a campus security guard. Lena is still smarting from having to leave the police force. She is still a very damaged young woman struggling to come to terms with her experiences at the hands of the madman in Blindsighted.

Once again, Karin Slaughter has written a complicated, detailed thriller in which the personal experiences of the characters maintain a coherent thread throughout the narrative. This makes for compulsive reading although I was disappointed that the relationship between Sara and Jeffrey did not develop much further from where we left them at the end of Kisscut.

Lena, however, takes a much greater lead and almost makes you want to scream at her for her self-destructive behaviour. We see her entering a relationship with a student, Ethan, who has a “past”, and to the end we are unsure whether she is becoming involved with another madman who will push her past a line from which she might not be able to return.

In A Faint Cold Fear it is possible to see the development of Slaughter as a writer, building more into her plot development and taking her characters yet closer to their own personal demons. It makes them more real, but at the expense of some faint feeling that they are being lead by circumstances beyond their control. The abilities of Jeffrey and Sara are not supernatural, they are both normal people doing their job, and as such, you are willing them to make an intuitive leap to solve the case.

My own guess was, however, wrong on several occasions. It is not until the very end that we find the killer and I think that that was how Slaughter planned it. I suppose this how thrillers are supposed to be, the killer is either obvious from the start, but obscured with red herrings or he pops up at the end, Scooby-Doo style. To find out which she chose, you will have to get a copy when it is published, but be prepared for a harrowing read, this lady pulls no punches and you will feel like you have been through an emotional wringer by the time that you finish it.
Chrissi (29th July 2003)

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