by Karin Slaughter
Read: June 25-July 6, 2013
Challenge: Off the Shelf 2013
Yearly count: 29
Source: Personal copy
Blurb: A small Georgia town erupts in panic when a young college professor is found brutally mutilated in the local diner. But it’s only when town pediatrician and coroner Sara Linton does the autopsy that the full extent of the killer’s twisted work becomes clear.
Sara’s ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, leads the investigation – a trail of terror that grows increasingly macabre when another local woman is found crucified a few days later. But he’s got more than a sadistic serial killer on his hands, for the county’s sole female detective, Lena Adams – the first victim’s sister – wants to serve her own justice.
But it is Sara who holds the key to finding the killer. A secret from her past could unmask the brilliantly malevolent psychopath … or mean her death.
Review: For whatever reason I have never started this series. It’s definitely a series that I’ve wanted to give a go for quite some time … and now I can say that I’m very glad that I started it (even if the last thing I need is another series!)
Overall I thought that this book had a very good storyline. I really liked how everything unfolded as the book went on. And while I had guessed who the killer was about halfway through (there are some pretty obvious clues), it was still interesting to see how Sara and Jeffrey solved the case.
So let me talk about the characters now. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I am huge on character development. It’s a must for me. And it’s probably why I read so many books that are part of a series … you really get to know the characters when they are featured in numerous books. But I have to say that I really liked Sara’s character. Here you have a woman who has a dark secret in her past. A terrible thing happened to her and she’s done nothing but try to move on from it. But she really hasn’t dealt with it, actually, she’s just tried to put it out of her mind and only her family knows about it. That’s really a sad way to live, but understandable at the same time. I was just shocked that she had been married to Jeffrey and never felt the courage to open up to him. I can’t imagine keeping such a part of your life from your spouse. But then again, having never experienced that kind of pain, who knows how someone would really react. Either way, I really enjoyed seeing how Sara and Jeffrey interacted. You can tell that there’s still a lot of feelings on both sides, but who knows if they will ever really work out as a couple. Whatever happens, I’m interested in seeing how it works for them.
I don’t think I could ever have imagined a pediatrician also being a local coroner. The two just don’t mix for me. But for some reason, I really think it works. I think it provides a good balance for Sara’s character – she gets to have the easy, but busy, office work while at the same time gets the challenges of doing autopsies and solving murders … sounds like a good balance, right? I know it sounds funny, but I actually really liked it for some reason! Maybe I’m just that macabre, ha!
There is one thing that I was a little confused about. There was a whole lot of emphasis on the restaurant owner and his employee, and then all of a sudden that whole storyline disappeared. I didn’t ever feel like there was any conclusion to that part of the story. I know it wasn’t the main storyline, obviously, but I just felt as if things were left hanging in some way. It’s hard for me to really describe my feelings on that, but like I said, something didn’t feel wrapped up in regards to those characters.
Overall, a very good first book in what I hope will be a very good series. Highly recommended.