Book Review



  • Author: Karin Slaughter
  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller
  • Publication Date: October 15, 2015
  • Publisher: Harper Audio
  • Series: Grant County #4

CONTENT WARNING: gun violence, gore, blood, murder, violence, alcoholism, domestic violence, mention of rape, infidelity, homophobia

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In Karin Slaughter’s exciting new thriller, an officer is shot point-blank in the Grant County police station and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver is wounded, setting off a terrifying hostage situation with medical examiner Sara Linton at the center. Working outside the station, Lena Adams, newly reinstated to the force, and Frank Wallace, Jeffrey’s second in command, must try to piece together who the shooter is and how to rescue their friends before Jeffrey dies. For the sins of the past have caught up with Sara and Jeffrey – with a vengeance…

Deftly interweaving present and past, Slaughter – dubbed “the new face of crime” by Book magazine – offers another brilliant knife-edge tale of suspense that cements her place among the most outstanding practitioners of crime fiction today.

This story is told in two different timelines, which confused me at first, but then slowly began to make sense. We have a hostage situation in the present-day, but another storyline with Sara and Jeffrey visiting his hometown towards the beginning of their relationship, and where they reveal some long-held secrets. I still don’t quite see what Sara loves so much about Jeffrey — I fully believe that she can do better, possibly because I know what’s in her future.

At some points, I found the time jump a bit confusing, although it only took me a minute or two to situate myself. The present-day characters were the ones who we’re already familiar with — Lena, Frank, Brad, and the rest of the Grant County cast. The Sylacauga cast is basically all new, and it just seemed like such a weird place, even smaller-town America than Heartsdale. Initially, I didn’t see why they were having these flashbacks, until something clicked and then it all made sense. I stopped feeling so impatient to have the flashbacks finish and started getting more into them.

The tension ebbs and flows throughout the story, but it’s always there. We get a bit of a break from Lena’s story, which I felt was a good thing. And while there’s plenty of dark and twisty content, it isn’t nearly as grisly as her books tend to be. Which was also kind of a relief after the first three books. They were fairly heavy, and while this wasn’t exactly a “light” read, it was definitely a bit lighter than usual. 

Speaking of usual, I still struggled to figure out who the bad guy was. Once again, I didn’t see it coming until it basically hit me in the face, and I didn’t mind at all. Who wants to read a book that’s easy to predict? This is part of what keeps me coming back to KS books. She is absolutely a master of this genre, and I have yet to find a book of hers that I haven’t loved.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 5

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