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on 18 August 2007
I never thought I'd be disappointed by an instalment in one of my favourite crime series but that's how I find myself feeling tonight. It sounds very melodramatic, but I feel almost betrayed by the ending of the book. I know awful things happen to people in real life every day and the author's letter explains she wants a realistic portrayal of crime, but lets be honest now - if we wanted that much realism we'd all be reading a newspaper not crime fiction!

We've all invested time and money in these characters (and grown to love some of them), and for one of them to be treated so shabbily at the end - with less than 2 pages devoted to the ending - has somehow cheapened the whole series for me.

Okay, deep breath, it's just a book! I actually felt that the book was the weakest in the series before the ending - perhaps because there was just too much of Lena for my taste. I'm glad to see from other reviews it's not just me! I would have given it 3 stars but it lost one for the ending. I didn't find the story as interesting as the others although I did like the way the past and present storylines unfolded side by side. I love the way Karin plays around with timelines and slowly weaves separate strands together.

I'm looking forward to her new book next year, if it's half as good as Triptych it'll be well worth the wait. I'm not sure if I'll return to Grant County, but perhaps I'll have forgiven her by the time Genesis is published!
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on 19 July 2007
I really enjoy Karin's books but this one is by far the best. I read this in 3 days. I had an inkling who the "baddie" was, but was stunned at the ending. I can't stop thinking about it!!! I would definetly recommend this, sometimes it was a bit gruesome but that is to be expected.
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on 18 January 2010
Yes, this is a good Karin Slaughter book but it is not a new one. It is just a different title. It is also known as 'Skin Privelege'. So don't be fooled into buying it. I am told that Genesis is also sold under a different title as well, so be careful.
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I have included below my review of the book under the title Skin Privileges:

Karin Slaughter grew up in a small south Georgia town and has been writing novels and short stories since she was a child. She currently resides in Atlanta.

There are few authors, if any, who can write a crime suspense thriller better than Karin Slaughter and this one is no exception. It is about murder in a small town in Georgia, with a trouble woman police officer at the centre of it all, and secrets that keep a murderer just beyond the reach of the law.

Detective Lena Adams sits bruised and angry in the jail of a small Georgia town. She is the one and only suspect in an horrific murder that left a woman burned beyond recognition. Cops are usually on the other side of the bars and Detective Adams is not at all happy with the role reversal. She is going to have to do some quick thinking and even quicker talking to get herself out of this situation . . .
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After the stand-alone of TRIPTYCH we're back in the more familiar part of Georgia called Grant County and the characters who make up the series that now numbers six and revolves around the lives and careers of paediatrician and medical examiner Dr Sara Linton, local Chief of Police Jeffrey Tolliver and his assistant Detective Lena Adams. Actually the majority of this tale takes place in a small Georgia town in Elawah County where Lena has got herself involved with swastika-tattooed crystal meth traders while she tries hard to reconstruct the life she was given to believe was her own and which mainly involves her `user' uncle Hank, her late parents, her late twin sister Sibyl and her now imprisoned ex-boyfriend Ethan. While Lena's mission forms the backbone to the story, it's really the relationship of Sara and Jeffrey that is right at the front of the reader's conscience as they attempt to find the missing Lena and help the local police track down the perpetrators of a number of horrific murders.

The emphasis on Sara's love for her husband Jeffrey - slightly over-cooked throughout the novel - is eventually justified at the very end. Apart from one or two autopsies, when the writer always seems to shift into an altogether more professional and page-turning gear, on reflection this tale is really about Sara's love for Jeffrey, and to a lesser extent Lena's quest for the truth regarding her roots and upbringing. Compared to the other novels in this series, I would suggest that this is more of a romantic thriller than others which have focused rather more on acts of crime and the solving of them; in this tale the bad guys are almost always in the background and there is little in the way of justice or redemption. But just before I was about to complain about that, there was the most unexpected of endings, one which made most of what had gone before almost irrelevant, and it is that which will linger in my mind over the next few days. As a complete story it took a long while to get going, and to be honest I even considered giving up, but the pace picked up just in time about midway through, enough to carry things along to the explosive conclusion. I think it fair to say that it would be best to read the previous five novels in the series to get the greatest pleasure out of this latest one, as there is a heavy dependence upon knowing, understanding and caring for the three primary characters.
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VINE VOICEon 4 July 2007
This well paced novel of the next installment in the lives of Sara Linton, Jeffrey Tolliver and Lena Adams, begins right in the middle of an intense situation which rapidly turns grotesque.

The novel is written in the usual style of Slaughter; starting with characters at different points on the timeline of the story drawing the reader into when both timelines converge. The focus is on Lenas past and the relationship between our three main characters whilst they are thrown into a town and situation riddled with corruption, hate, greed and deceit. However, I did find the constant referral to Sara's BMW quite tiresome, I understand she loves the cars they make, but must there be such shameless endorsement?

Slaughter presents many possibilities of where this story may end, not allowing you to trust your instincts as to where the story may go next, and then reveals the truth. The ending is quite spectacular and she does hint at it throughout the book, it does however leave you reeling for the next one. I hope we won't be kept waiting too long by this extraordinary writer. This book gives you all the gore and thrill you need from a book of its genre.
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on 11 July 2007
I am a huge fan of Karin Slaughter, although I do find her books a bit gruesome. Skin Priviledge was no exception. It was the continuing story of main characters Sarah Linton, Jeffrey Tolliver, and Lena.

Although very well written, I did find the back and forth between the present and several days prior a bit difficult to follow and slightly confusing.

For all those who have ever wondered what makes Lena tick, everything will be so much clearer. It does make you wonder how much one character can take though.

Unlike many other authors in the genre who have ongoing character lines which fall apart as the series goes on, I think Skin Privilege is as good as the first book and each one inbetween. Slaughter is able to keep the story line fresh and unpredictable and I was often surprised with each new twist and turn.

The ending, however...stunned is the only word I can think of. I actually swore outloud even though I was alone and had to re-read the last few pages several times to be sure I got it right.

I can't wait for someone I know to read this so I can discuss it. I may need therapy.
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on 8 August 2007
The same as other reviewers here, I have read all the Grant County novels and as crime novels have enjoyed them immensely, although I have to admit that Sara in the earlier novels just got on my nerves, yes she had reason, but I would sit while reading thinking "Just get over it or move on".

The crime part of this novel was not as interesting as previous books in this series and I know that "meth" is a problem in our society, but I didn't find it as engrossing a subject as in previous Karin Slaughter novels.

In the last novel Faithless, of which the crime part of the novel was extremely well done, by the end of the book Sara and Jeffrey had finally got happy, but the character of Lena I had lost all patience with "Is this woman ever going to help herself?". However even with characters who test my patience, I was still prepared on Saturday to purchase the book and read all day.

It was nice to see Sara and Jeffrey finally being happy, and Hank (Lena's Uncle) even at his worst I have always had a soft spot for, he always tries to look after Lena and he does it tough in this book. For Lena herself, again nothing positive happens with her character in this book her only saving grace is in the most awful way she attempts to protect Jeffrey and Sara and in holding Hank's hand towards the end of the book.

The ending was a great surprise and not of the pleasant variety, but all in all I've come to the conclusion in this series, that if any of the characters (including Lena in this novel reminiscing with a friend about her sister Sybil) have a glimpse of happiness, that it is fleeting and not allowed by the author.

It is for this reason I won't be reading any more Karin Slaughter novels and having read "the letter" after reading the book, which did not change my opinion of this book, even if the next Grant County novel has Lena winning lottery and marrying Brad Pitt it just doesn't matter any more. I'm through.
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on 26 July 2007
I have to say yes she's a fabulous writer, but at the end of the last book I have to admit I was starting to think their getting too dark, I mean the lives of these people it's like if it were real surely they would have shot themselves!

This book - I won't give away the details, it was starting to get on my nerves, I kept thinking oh for gods sake how much more can these poor sods endure!

After finishing it, well I just thought, I've had enough, there's absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel, that may sound a bit dramatic and girlie lol, I love drama and death and crime in general, and I adore Horror, but there's got to be some light to it! So I think this may be the last of Ms. Slaughters I'll read.

I know! I'm cutting off my nose to spite my face, but it's gone beyond exciting, and's getting a little depressing, after all there's always the news!
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on 2 August 2007
I have read all of the Grant County series and I think that this is definitely the weakest. It was a big disappointment compared to the other novels and given the ending to this one I have no idea where the series will go from here, surely these peoples lives could not get any worse.

If you decide to start reading Karin Slaughter, don't start here as her other novels are great and whilst this one was poor, her novel before this called Tryptch, which is not set in Grant County, was very very good.
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