I started this series with the book next in line "Indelible". By chance I found this one in the library. Boy was it ever worth the read.
My favorite character is Lena. She is one complicated lady. Her prior history sure makes life difficult for her and she makes a couple of really bad choices, the main one being Ethan. God, what a "horrible little man" he is.
Sara and Jeffrey's thing is OK, but kind of overdone. I can't put my finger on it, but when they go into their "our relationship" mode, I just want them to get over it.
The crime itself was exciting. What a messed up person. Real life probably wouldn't be any different.
The ending was excellent - probably the best part of the book. I love it when authors do stuff like that - fun, fun, fun.
Go get this book or borrow it or anything. Just read it. You might even enjoy it yourself.
on 3 March 2004
I couldn't wait for A FAINT COLD FEAR to be published, having romped through BLIGHTSIGHTED and KISSCUT. As usual, Karin Slaughter takes you through a rollercoaster ride of gruesome deaths and their post-mortems, but there was something missing with this one. I found the murderer's motivation was a little 2 dimensional whereas in BLIGHTSIGHTED and KISSCUT you were gasping for more!
However, saying that, I did enjoy this book. I was intrigued by Lena's relationship with Ethan, but frustrated with Lena's behaviour with Jeffrey. I admire Slaughter for what she has done with Tessa's character, she's not afraid of going to the dark places.
Having enjoyed many Scarpetta novels by Patricia Cornwell, I have enjoyed the Grant County series. I feel that they're filling the gap left between the releases of Scarpetta novels - especially at the rate at which Slaughter releases the novels in the UK. Can't wait for the next one!
Every decade or so writers come along who smash themselves a niche in the bestseller lists (often, some say, regardless of quality). In the 70’s, it was Stephen King, the late eighties John Grisham, the early nineties Patricia Cornwell, and the late nineties saw James Patterson burst to huge almost unimaginable mega-bestsellerdom. Karin Slaughter (only with the right marketing, of course) could possibly be the first name of the 20th century to be added to that list, whether she really deserves it or not. A Faint Cold Fear though, certainly, displays a growing maturity to Slaughter’s work that is pleasing indeed to behold. Gone is the slightly slapdash plotting of Blindsighted, gone is the stark rawness of Kisscut, and even the quality of the writing itself continues to improve bit-by-bit.
It begins with a suicide. A college student is dead, having leaped from a bridge on campus. At first, nothing seems very out of the ordinary to medical examiner Sara Linton, but then someone suffers a horrific attack, and the whole affair is cast in a new disturbing light. Two more suspicious suicides follow, but nothing seems to point anywhere specific at all. There are vague leads pointing to drugs, possibly jealousy, maybe even racial hatred, but nothing very strong or concrete. However, it quickly becomes apparent that Lena Adams – ex-police detective and now part of the college security team – may hold crucial information. But, bruised and bitter from her expulsion from the force, Lena is still very much damaged by the events which led up to her downfall, and even if she were keen to co-operate with Chief of police Jeffery Tolliver, it is clear that she may not even be capable, in herself, of doing so.
One of this series’ most obvious strengths – for me, anyway- is its central trinity, all of whom are fascinating. They’re not always 100% believable (to be honest, they seem to have a few too many “issues”, very interesting to read about though those issues may make them) but they are still entertaining and more than capable of sustaining this series for a very long time indeed. That there are three central characters means that things can remain fresh and new and interesting for a lot longer than in other series’. Sara stays the level-headed moral arbiter, Jeffery remains the sometimes temperamental dispenser of justice, and Lena the damaged and tortured soul who likes to appear strong and who is just trying to cope (badly) in her own confused way. Indeed, Lena is either a character you will love or hate. She can be rather prickly and stubborn, and, admittedly, has a great many woes, but she is slowly beginning to grow on me. Although maybe that’s because Slaughter certainly doesn’t treat her very well at all in this book, and hasn’t really for the entire series!
The bottom line is that this is a successful, satisfying novel with enough forensic detail to give it that Cornwellesque edge and a good, involving, twisty story. Oh, yes, and it does have a shocking last-paragraph sting in its tail that’ll have you gasping. Slaughter appears to have hit her stride.
on 18 November 2003
A great fan of "Kisscut" and "Blindsighted", I ended this book with a "... so what...?" rather than the "Wow!" of the other two novels. It had neither the power nor the punch of the earlier books. I figured out early on who the killer was, and I found the characters rather formulaic, 2-dimensional and undeveloped. Ethan, for example, could have been very interesting - but what a lot of loose ends were left about him! (I don't want to say too much for people who haven't read the book but I imagine that when I say "sat in van while girl was attacked" and "tattoos" you might know what I mean.) As for the ending - I was confuddled because I thought that particular murder had been confessed to, and found it frustrating. Usually the motive behind the murders are deeper, and this time they're not, which I felt cheated the reader - and some of them were unexplained.
I also found it hard to like the characters in this book. How Sara can be so nice to the woman who bonked her husband is beyond me, and rather than a bit of healthy vengeance her passivity is irritating. I found myself disliking Lena INTENSELY, even though I felt sorry for her after what had happened to her. Her behaviour was bizarre and not explained. These are people I warmed to in the previous novels, so I'm not sure what happened here - but they weren't developed properly and I found myself pulling faces at them.
Slaughter is working on the next Grant County novel, and it will definitely be on my reading list - but on the strength of her previous novels, not this one.
on 9 October 2007
This is the third novel in the Grant County series. The plot in this one, revolves around the investigation of a number of apparent suicides, in the local university campus.
I felt the storyline was pretty good, if not quite unputdownable. There is quite a bit of a 'whodunnit' about it. I thought the the books main characters of Sara Linton, and Jeffrey Tolliver, along with Lena Adams were quite believeable. The dialogue between them was good, as well. The book is certainly worth a read, if you are interested in the thriller genre.
on 25 November 2003
Having recently discovered the Sara Linton series I was caught up from the first pages in the story. ALthough as a European I sometimes have a bit of difficulty with the apparent naiveté of the average American I quickly get over that and enjoy the fast pace Slaughter sets her readers. The escalation of violence makes it a real page turner. Maybe a negative ramrk: Ms Slaughter a bit less of the deep psychological problems , a bit more of the detective work!
Sara Linton is still not sure about her relationship with Chief Tolliver and sometimes shows little comprehension for his position, the Lena Adams character gets more compplicated by the page and leaves the reader with an unfinished feeling...I could see the next book taking shape at the end of this one!
on 8 November 2003
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end and was gripped after a few pages!
I was still guessing "whodunnit" until it was finally announced in the last few chapters of the book. A surprising ending which nobody would suspect aswell as a shocking twist in the last page!
I can say that i like slaughters work, she is getting to be on parr with the Cornwell and Patterson leagues, her characters are warm and likeable with emotions aswell as charisma and intrigue, her stories are packed wih entertainment and mystery making you want to stay up to finish it! Praise for this 21st century writer may there be many more!
on 27 December 2011
Halfway through the book I wanted every male character to die a violent death (yes, including the male lead) and was convinced I'd never touch another Karen Slaughter book ever again. Then I made it to the end and now I'm really curious what will happen next. I'm not sure if I have it in me to sit through another couple of hundred pages of rape, murder and casual misogyny though.
on 31 December 2010
Well-plotted, well-paced and difficult to put down. What more could we ask for in a crime novel? Well...... perhaps fewer soap opera style intrusions into the plot. The characters are strong and nicely drawn but the series is developing a tendency to create situations in the characters' private lives that are not only unnecessary but somewhat intrusive - it's a mild irritation, though, when the stories are so good.
Lena figures largely in this book and adds a different dimension to the plot, lifting some of the narrative burden formerly shared by Sara and Jeffrey. The novel is not expansive but this is no bad thing; at least we can easily keep tabs on the characters. Another Slaughter book that's hard to put down!