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on 18 November 2011
Only read this book if you like a police procedural of the darkest and most explicit sort.
A shocking discovery during the post mortem that follows a teenage shooting launches an investigation that uncovers a murky world of paedophile rings, infanticide, child trafficking, mutilation, incest, torture, rape and porn. It's all plot, there's no time for subtleties or character development, but the story is told clearly and efficiently, and there are plenty of shocks, twists and races against time to keep you on your toes.
It's a grim and relentless tale, which is what I expected from this author, but was it really necessary for her to pile it on quite so thickly? As if all the unpleasant details of this particular case weren't enough, she also makes us re-live crimes from a previous book as a policewoman tries to come to terms not only with her own kidnap and rape, but also her blind sister's murder. It's all a question of taste, of course, but this seemed a bit of a gratuitous wallow to me - and isn't there a bit too much going on in this small southern town (where everyone knows everyone else yet no-one notices a thing) to be entirely credible?
And when the wrongdoers in a book are absolute monsters, cold and evil beyond belief, I really need a warm and sympathetic protagonist to redress the balance and act as the story's moral centre. Not a superhero, just someone to identify with and bring a touch of humanity and normality to the proceedings. Unfortunately Dr Sara Linton and her police chief ex-husband were too lightweight to do the job for me: I found I didn't care about either of them very much.
I like detective stories, and usually have a strong enough stomach for the harrowing sort, but only if they're very well done and they make me think (like the film Seven [DVD], for instance). Once started, I had to finish this book, but the story wasn't surprising enough, and the characters weren't interesting enough, to justify spending all that time reading about such vile people.
Someone should tell her that less is sometimes more. Still, that's not what she's about, and with the right cast this could make a good tv series.
One final question, which perhaps tells you more about the book's subject matter than you might want to know: does any other reader think that she's mixed up the words 'castration' and 'circumcision'?
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on 12 January 2005
I'm still not sure where I stand on this book. I commend the writing- it is gripping, fast- paced and well researched- but the subject matter was harrowing. It's all a matter of personal taste of course; I am not easily shocked but there were times I had to put the book down. I was left feeling rather raw and sad, knowing that Slaughter must have had to do research into the evil,horrific little world the story is centred upon. Parts of it made me want to cry knowing that somewhere, now, it could be happening. Having said all that, if you are willing to see the black- hearted side of humanity it is a compelling read.
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on 6 October 2003
I bought this book without many expectations of reading anything too new but once I picked it up I couldn't put it down! It has definitly put a new lease of life into the crime/thriller genre! Disturbing in parts I don't recommend you read it if you are easily upset, but if you are a true crime fan then this is a definite read. I won't give away any plot lines as so many do in some of these reviews all you need to know is in the synopsis. There are references to her first book-Blindsighted-but it is not necessary for you to have read that first as I hadn't and still thouroughly enjoyed this one. As I said if you are a fan of this genre than this one is a must! I read it in just a couple of days and can't wait to read the next book!
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on 15 April 2012
I like Karin Slaughter and her creations, and I like he way that she can twist them and the story line about unexpectedly so you never really know where you are. But having read some of her later books first I found this one something of a disappointment.
She fails to give depth to even the central characters, although her scenes between Sara's family are perfect and
totally uncontrived (?)She has many light touches like that and it is masterful. Which is all the more dismaying when she veers offf and turns up a load of cardboard cut-outs to look at. For example the boy who was going to be shot in the opening chapter of the book - neither he nor his family are developed into real people - instead they remain as vapid wraiths, incapable of explaining their existence. How much more chilling their existence would have been had they but taken the stage as more than puppets.

She also makes far too much milage over the same two issues - Sara's willingness to forgive Jeffrey and to live with him again, and Leah's ability or not to deal at some level with her rape ordeal. To keep making something of both these issues at the same level all the time is dishonest. And she DOES go on! Move on or put up!

She does much better with later books so maybe some lessons werelearnt here.
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on 4 December 2011
I very much enjoyed the first book in the Grant County series, even though I didn't think it contained a big mystery.

It is nice to check in with Sara again here, while the book's opening is terrific.

That pace keeps up through most of the story with plenty of twists and an excellent ending I won't spoil.

I'm looking forward to the third.
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on 20 February 2003
Back again to Sara and Jeffrey still somewhat off and on but eventually straightens itself out in that area. The subject matter of the novel is very disturbing as it concerns paedophilia - in saying that it brings home the fragility of the world we build around us and not everyone is what they seem. I almost felt as if every child who refuses to listen to their parents about the dangers out there should read it. This is far more skillfully written than Blindsighted and although we stillhave some of the violence it is not as excessive or graphic.
Jeffrey is still, to me, a rather insipid character and if I was the chief of police I would sack his female police officer because she is very unstable and the fact that she could be employed as a police officer and would be on active duty actually scares the living daylights out of me.
Much of the sensitive side of the plot is dealt with extremely well and there appears to have been a great deal more thought put into the actual characters rather than repetitive gore.
It's very fast paced but somehow I can't help feel that there is something missing, perhaps it is because the ending was really quite unsatisfactory - for me anyway - but I do like all the ends to be tied off and a book to finish. I have serious problems with 'baddies' reappearing in further books.
All in all I enjoyed the read and the complexity of the plot was dealt with well, hopefully both Sara and Jeffrey will grow next time and become more rounded.
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on 10 May 2009
Second book in the series and yep, I'm definately hooked. Taut, crisp writing and excellent characterisation.

The characters themselves can be infuriating as well and endearing, complex as well as dim, but in a very realistic way. They appear to be real people handling terrifying crimes, and sweep the reader along with them.

Grisly, but not too grisly for comfort, I couldn't put this book down. Which is an excellent sign. I'm off to get the next in the series now, and hope the standard coninues as high!
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VINE VOICEon 11 October 2003
Kisscut is the second book of Karin Slaughters with the first being Blindsighted. This book once again has the same detectives and characters as the first however a totally different story line. She creates her characters in such a way that you can feel that you are there with Sarah and Jeffrey solving the latest crime. I wont give away the story other than to say that it is crimes of teenagers. Excellent reading material!
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on 6 November 2003
I started to read karin slaughter's books as a stop gap in between books by another author, but boy am i glad that i picked her books to read! I am totally hooked! it is easy to place yourself in the book with the characters,to hope and pray that they find who it is and why it happened! but at the same time you don't want it to end!I would recommend to all.If you don't read her books you will be missing out big time!
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on 20 August 2004
If you want a book that will keep you entertained and turning the pages then this is for you. There's enough action and plot for you to read right through.
The characters are well drawn and very human. The storyline is ok but somewhat unrealistic, you can't help but feel there are better and more interesting crime novels to read.
I wouldn't recommend this book if you want a story that will make you think and make you feel. It's good enough to pass the time, no doubt you will get through the book very quickly, but there's better out there.
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