By Karin Slaughter
Grant County #1
Source: Purchased eBook from Amazon.com
Sarah Linton is a pediatrician and the coroner for the town of Heartsdale in Grant County, Georgia. If that wasn't a weird enough combination, her ex-husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, is the town's police chief. I knew from the start this was going to be a different kind of story.
Sarah goes to the local diner for lunch with her sister. She's a little late and the lunch crowd is pretty much gone. When she goes to the restroom, she finds Sibyl Adams, a professor at the local college who is also blind, covered in blood in one of the stalls. She's been brutally stabbed and assaulted and Sarah tries but can't save her. During the autopsy, she discovers just how demented her killer really is.
There's quite a bit of inbreeding in this town. Sibyl was Detective Lena Adam's sister and she's difficult to deal with under good circumstances. She insists on being part of the investigation and Jeffrey doesn't have a deep investigative bench to keep her on the sidelines. When another woman is assaulted in a similar manner, it's clear that they've got a possible serial killer to deal with.
The mystery and suspense
There are a lot of angles, including an overlay of bigotry and insubordination amongst the police ranks. Jeffrey is also trying to get back into Sarah's life while trying to work with her to solve the cases. She's withholding some major stuff that could possibly impact the case but doesn't want to revisit her troubled past. When a third person goes missing, it strikes even closer to home.
The bottom line
This is the first book in the series and it is chilling. All those involved in the case, while talented, have some major issues in their personal lives that resurface throughout the course of the investigation. That just made the story even more exciting and frustrating. It wasn't all that easy to figure out whodunit but it wasn't impossible either. If this first book is a measure of those to come, I'm in for an incredible journey. The book is not without its flaws but they're not significant enough to detract from your overall enjoyment. Oh, and it's not for the squeamish.
Karin Slaughter is the #1 internationally bestselling author of several novels, including the Grant County series. A long-time resident of Atlanta, she splits her time between the kitchen and the living room.