TW: discussion of child abuse and rape
Blurb: When a teenage quarrel in the small town of Heartsdale explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton – paediatrician and medical examiner – finds herself entangled in a horrific tragedy. And what seems at first to be a terrible but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications when the autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse and ritualistic self-mutilation. Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, but the children surrounding the victim close ranks. The families turn their backs. Then a young girl is abducted, and it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime. And unless Sara and Jeffrey can uncover the deadly secrets the children hide, it’s going to happen again…
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publisher: Arrow Books
Genre: Fiction, Crime, Thriller
The second book in the Grant County series sees more trouble afoot for paediatrician and forensic examiner, Sara Linton, and police chief, Jeffrey Tolliver. What starts out as a date night at the roller rink turns deadly when a young girl holds a boy at gun point. But is this a simple disagreement gone wrong? Or is there something much darker going on beneath the surface?
Karin Slaughter books definitely aren’t for the faint hearted, they often contain some form of darkness (murder, kidnap, rape, child abuse) and this book is no different. Yet I can’t stop reading! There’s something about the way that no case is too much for Sara and Jeffrey to take on and the way that they have such prominent moral compasses that keeps me tuned in. The characters in this series only become better as we progress. We get to know even more about them, making them even more believable and three dimensional, as well as giving us familiar faces to link each book together. Coupled with that, the main characters both have intense jobs and it’s clear that Slaughter has really done her research on them. Nothing sounds out of place (to an reader who, admittedly, doesn’t know much about working in forensics or the police) but is easy enough for us to understand and not be left confused by unnecessary jargon. The pacing is perfect with little bits of information being revealed at ideal times to keep the plot moving well, and yet still giving the opportunity for the big reveal at the end.
One thing I do appreciate about this series is that neither of the books that I’ve read so far are the same. The crimes are different, there’s different characters involved and there’s no repeat motive. Sometimes I feel that thrillers of this nature can get a bit samey which puts me off picking them up but this isn’t the case here.
As for what I disliked about the book, there were times when the content got a bit too much for me. The discussion towards the end of the book about what was happening to the children was difficult to read and had me putting the book down for a while. However, if you’re someone who’s not easily bothered by things like this when in a fictional setting, you might not have the same issue.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book, and the rest of the series, to anyone who doesn’t mind dark and gory crime novels and isn’t triggered easily. These books are perfect for any fans of Tess Gerritsen or Jefferey Deaver.
Recommend?: Yes, if you aren’t easily triggered
Have you read this book? Or maybe you’ve read something similar? What did you think? I’d love to know!