** TRIGGER WARNING **
Blurb: The sleepy town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is jolted into panic when Sara Linton, paediatrician and medical examiner, finds Sibyl Adams dead in the local diner. As well as being viciously raped, Sibyl has been cut: two deep knife wounds form a lethal cross over her stomach. When a second victim is found, crucified, only a few days later, it becomes clear that Sibyl’s brutal murder wasn’t a one-off attack. What Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver are dealing with is a seasoned sexual predator. A violent serial killer…
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publisher: Arrow, an imprint of Cornerstone, owned by Penguin Random House
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
This book centres around a sleepy town in the South, caught up in the atrocious acts of a serial killer. Residents are turning up dead and mutilated in public settings, showing signs of religious markings. Police chief, Jeffrey Tolliver, and paediatrician/coroner, Sara Linton, must reunite, putting their own feelings for each other aside, to figure out who the killer is before it’s too late.
This book came highly recommended to me by my nan, who is a big fan of thrillers and this series of books in particular. I had never read any of Slaughter’s books before so didn’t really know what to expect but had, wrongly, assumed that they would be fairly tame. I’ll start off by saying that these books are definitely not for anyone who is easily triggered by descriptions of violence and sexual abuse.
Despite the story being more intense that I had anticipated, I couldn’t put it down! There were definitely themes in the book that are not my usual scene but I found myself so drawn into the plot that I read well into the early morning (something that I haven’t done for a long time!). Key clues as to the killer’s identity were revealed slowly, keeping the reader guessing and, in my case, unable to figure out who it was. The characters were complex, not breezing through the events like robots or breaking down every few seconds and stopping the plot from advancing. The scenes between the victims and the killer had such a creepy edge to them that I was torn between being gripped and being too uncomfortable to continue!
As for what I disliked, and I’m aware that this is nitpicky, the characters don’t seem to use contractions in their speech (choosing to use ‘will not’ instead ‘won’t’) which, to me, didn’t feel inkeeping with the Southern accent they have. Other than that, there were some parts of the attacks on the victims that didn’t make a huge amount of sense to me which had me rereading sections. Now, this may be because I’m thinking into it too much but I felt that this confusion took a little bit away from the flow of the book.
Overall, I did really enjoy this book and will definitely be checking out more of Slaughter’s work. I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a gory thriller that really leads you on a wild goose chase and has you on the edge of your seat as long as you don’t mind graphic descriptions of injury and talk of abuse.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you read any of the books that come after this one? I’d love to know!