Select one of the keywords
A Faint Cold Fear    by Karin Slaughter order for
Faint Cold Fear
by Karin Slaughter
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I enjoyed the first in this series (Blindsighted) very much, somehow missed the second (Kisscut), and was happy to open up this third episode. It begins when Dr. Sara Linton (coroner for Grant County, Georgia as well as the local pediatrician) is called to a death scene by her ex-husband, police chief Jeffery Tolliver. I was glad to see progression in their relationship's intimacy since I last spent time with them.

It looks like a troubled college student has jumped off a bridge, all the signs pointing to suicide. But horror hits the scene when Sara's very pregnant sister Tessa (who tagged along for the ride and wandered into the woods) is stabbed multiple times. Other student deaths soon follow, staged as suicides. Is a serial killer on the loose? A racist motivation seems likely.

Lena has many demons to deal with and an unusual, difficult, almost daughter/father, relationship with her ex-boss Tolliver. She left his employ when he insisted that she seek counselling, after her kidnapping and abuse by the murderer who also killed her sister in Blindsighted. Now Lena works on campus security for a boss she despises.

While investigating on her own, Lena develops a relationship with a very angry, violent young man, Ethan, who comes from a strong white supremacist background. Soon Jeffery suspects both of them of involvement in the crimes, and his actions to try and solve the case anger Sara, who is also coping with her parents' stress and anger over Tessa's situation.

I especially enjoy the strong tension between the characters in this series, the clever, intricate plots, and the credible technical details - and this author does gruesome as well as Cornwell or Reichs. There are several surprises in the ending (one quite astonishing), which still left some of the main players at odds with each other. I look forward very much to #4.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews