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Karin Slaughter

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (2 Reviews)
Book Details

Publisher : Arrow

Published : 2002

Copyright : Karin Slaughter 2001

ISBN-10 : PB 0-09-942177-1
ISBN-13 : PB 978-009-942177-1

Publisher's Write-Up

First came Cornwell.
Then came Reichs.
Now prepare for Slaughter...

The sleepy town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is jolted into panic when Sara Linton, paediatrician and medical examiner, finds Sibyl Adams dead in the local diner. As well as being viciously raped, Sibyl has been cut: two deep knife wounds form a lethal cross over her stomach. But it's only once Sara starts to perform the post-mortem that the full extent of the killer's brutality becomes clear.

Police chief Jeffrey Tolliver - Sara's ex-husband - is in charge of the investigation, and when a second victim is found, crucified, only a few days later, both Jeffrey and Sara have to face the fact that Sibyl's murder wasn't a one-off attack. What they're dealing with is a seasoned sexual predator. A violent serial killer...

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (010902) Rating (9/10)
Review by Nigel (010802) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 9/10
The cover of this book says, "Don't read this alone. Don't read it after dark. But do read it." I have to say that this is definitely not one for the squeamish amongst us. The violence does not happen often, but when it does, there are few punches pulled.

I picked it up and only a few pages in was assaulted by one of the most intense literary scenes that I had read in quite a while - I know that I would be picking it up and finishing it at the earliest opportunity.

The story is set in the small town of Heartsdale, Georgia, a place that is not large enough to support a full time medical examiner, and so purchases the services of Sara Linton, a paediatrician at the local hospital. Sara has returned to her hometown to take this job in spite of the fact that her ex-husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, is the town Police Chief. The working relationship between them is tense to say the least.

The horror starts when Sara finds a young woman bleeding to death in the toilets of the diner where she is meeting her sister. Sara tries her hardest but is unable to save her. At the autopsy, Sara finds that the attack was not just the knife wound, and the findings become even stranger.

You may think me a bit sick for saying this, but this was an excellent story. The gore is real enough to be interesting, and it kept me guessing right up until the end, well, almost, I had a pretty good idea who it was before the end, after a couple of false starts.

If you read this, beware, it will probably disgust you, even a hardened stomach like mine churned at the thought of the pliers, but do not let that put you off, it is a truly excellent debut, and I look forward to seeing whether the next will be as good.
Chrissi (1st September 2002)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
Heartsdale is a small town where everyone knows everyone else and nothing is a secret for long. When a women is found brutally raped and left for dead in the local diner, Sara Linton, the town paediatrician and medical examiner, is drawn into a series of events that may have more to do with her past than she is letting on.

The story is nicely paced without the need for a body fest, with the characters private lives mixing well with the main plot. There is a quote on the cover of the novel:

'Don't read this alone. Don't read this after dark. But do read it.'

That is quite apt. The descriptions of the victim's ordeals, from the medical examiners point of view when establishing what has occurred, as well as from the victim's, are very graphic. I'm not sure if the modern reader has become numb to descriptions of violence and so publishers/authors feel a need for escalation, but I personally found some of the detail a little too gross. However, if you like your thrillers vivid, no holds barred and blood red then you can't go wrong with this.

This is as good as anything I have read by Jeffery Deaver or Dean Koontz and I for one will be putting Karin Slaughter on my list of authors whose books I buy as soon as they are published... a great debut novel.
Nigel (1st August 2002)

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