When so many top-selling names in the crime genre have been showing signs of exhaustion lately, it's always refreshing to pick up a new Karin Slaughter and find that her writing is as laser-sharp as ever. Faithless
may feature the authors familiar protagonists (police chief Jeffrey Tolliver and medical examiner Sara Linton) but Slaughter consistently finds new challenges for her characters, along with new facets of their ever-fluid relationship.
Those weaned on the grisly delights of such Slaughter outings as Blindsighted and Kisscut will know what to expect. And if the novel starts a tad implausibly (Tolliver and Linton, walking in the woods, come across the corpse of a young woman--what are the odds against that?), we're more than prepared to forgive Slaughter this device, when the ever-tightening grip of the narrative takes hold. The duo looks at the evidence, and concludes that the young girl has been literally frightened to death. But during the course of an autopsy, Sara makes a startling discovery--one that gives even the unshockable pathologist pause. She and Tolliver find that there is a trail of evidence leading to a secluded community in the next county, and decide to call in talented detective Lena Adams to aid them. But as the trio draw nearer to the heart of a grim mystery, a destabilising element threatens to undercut their work: Lenas increasing instability.
While there is nothing particularly groundbreaking in this latest outing for Slaughter, all the customary skills are firmly in place. A particular achievement (as so often with this author) is the faultless pacing of the narrative: the slow, steady accruing of detail has the reader on the point of impatience, when a brilliantly orchestrated set piece will be delivered. Perhaps Karin Slaughter's run of luck will come to an end at some point--but not with this book. --Barry Forshaw
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"Brutal and chilling" (Daily Mirror
"Slaughter has the money-shot gore but her most visceral writing is when she is simply ratcheting up the suspense ... Great cliffhanger ending too" (Observer
confirms her at the summit of the school of writers specialising in forensic medicine and terror ... Slaughter's characters talk in believable dialogue. She's excellent at portraying the undertones and claustrophobia of communities where everyone knows everyone else's business, and even better at creating an atmosphere of lurking evil" (The Times
"Don't read this alone. Don't read this after dark. But do read it" (Mirror
"Brilliantly chilling" (heat