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on September 24, 2004
There is a cluster of suicides at a college in a small town in Georgia. Dr. Sara Linton is a pediatrician and part time medical examiner for the county and her ex-husband is the police chief. They begin the investigation, then Sara's sister is viciously attacked and the suicides are starting to look suspicious. They may be homicides. Some of the characters that people this book are pretty strange. I didn't realize this was a continuation in a series until I was well into the story. Maybe I would have had more sympathy for the reoccurring characters if I had read the previous books. I had a problem believing in Sara Linton as a doctor. I may be unfairly comparing her character to that of Gwen Hunter's Dr. Rhea Lynch who seems to me a very competent doctor. There are several very graphic descriptions of the crime scenes and some fairly explicit sex scenes, that might not be for everyone. This was not a comfortable read. But, like a particularly bad car accident, it was hard to look away.
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on May 4, 2005
When a story begins with two sisters, Sara and Tessa, going for ice cream to the Dairy Queen, don't be misled that this book will be different from Karin Slaughter's previous tales!!

A Faint Cold Fear is another story centering on Sara Linton, a practicing pediatrician and also the town's Medical Examiner, as well as the ex-wife of Jeffrey Tolliver, the Chief of Police.

When questions are raised over a death that looked like an obvious suicide and when someone close to Sara is attacked, you know that the mystery is only beginning. A second suicide/murder (?!?) leads into an intricate web of deceit.

Along with the investigation, Sara's relationship with Jeffrey becomes more defined, even as an old boyfriend of Sara's pops back into the picture.

Lena Adams is now working security for the local college, no longer an investigator for the Police Dept. Lena's dysfunctional life places her squarely in the center of a major murder investigation.....and only a few people will see the whole picture.

New unsettling characters are introduced into this series!!

Murder is not a pretty picture. Karin Slaughter writes with a vivid pen revealing the gravity and despair that surround the victims and their families and the graphic details that bring a horrifying reality to the crimes. Don't expect her to pull her punches!!
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on January 10, 2012
So I gave Karen another shot even though I wasn't overly impressed with her previous book "Blindsighted" which presented the backdrop to this book. First of all, I found Blindsighted to be grotesque to say the least. Now that I have read this book, I am convinced that author Karin Slaughter has sexual related issues and uses her books as an outlet. I have never read a series so dependent on rape and sexuality to carry the story through.
The main character in this book, Lena, was also a constant annoyance throughout. Once again, we read about a too tough for her own good cop with a traumatic issue that makes it impossible for her to have normal human relationships. Boy am I over that. But Karin really rubs this character in. I actually was hoping that Lena was next in the series of strange suicides among campus. End Lena's undoubted and exaggerated suffering Karin.

I also had a problem with this books sense of reality. There are too many instances that call to question whether Karin thought these interactions through at all. If someone grabbed my wrist and broke it because they didn't want me to leave the coffee date, then continued to intimidate and stalk me for two days straight all while trying to get into my pants, I don't think I would be apt to keep hanging around just to find some unreliable information that MIGHT exonerate me. Really?????

Anyways, I can safely say that despite the positive reviews and whatever recognition she receives for her novels, I will make an effort to overlook her books on the shelf next time I'm looking for a good read.
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on September 25, 2003
This is the third installment in Slaughter's Grant County series featuring Sara Linton. The story moves at a fast pace, never letting you go. A page-turner. If characterization and realistic dialogue are key to what you enjoy most out of your fiction, Slaughter is the author for you to try. I found her first book engrossing and her second book was a page-turner. The third is no different. She is an author to watch. I find her style unique and original. She is one of the few authors that I anticipate a new novel from and buy & read without reading reviews.
She is not overrated as some reviewers have stated. I find her voice refreshing and yes, the violence level was extremely high in this book but overall, it did not shadow my enjoyment whatsoever. Lena's still struggling to find peace within herself and might have stepped over the line in this installment. She meets her match in Ethan, who seems to identify with her on some level that only the two of them understand. The friendship and respect between Jeffrey Tolliver and Lena Adams is stretched thin here stemming from events from the previous installment and in this book as well. At times it was exhausting to see Lena's struggle to find herself, to come to grips with her past. Sara Linton and her ex-husband, Jeff Toliver are still together and might even be thinking of marriage again. Their romance is nice.
If this is your first time hearing of Karin Slaughter, this is not the book to start with and I recommend that you read them in order to get a better feel for the atmosphere, the characters. I am amazed that a few reviewers who posted seemed to think that the characters are unlikable. I don't agree. Slaughter is only one of the few writers who puts out thrillers with the emphasis on her characters. She gets great endorsements from authors I've enjoyed and respected like Michael Connelly who I just discovered this year and love.
My grade was an A. Outstanding follow-up to last year's KISSCUT and I look forward to INDELIBLE. If I had any problems with this installment---it was the violence. It was excessive and often I wondered if the author was trying to see how much she could gross us out as there were quite a few gross out moments. Overall, great book Ms. Slaughter. The series is very well written thus far. I only hope that the violence level is toned down in future books. Thank You.
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on December 10, 2015
A FAINT COLD FEAR is the third book by Karin Slaughter featuring Dr. Sara Linton, pediatrician and part-time county medical examiner. Sara is called out by her ex-husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, Chief of Police in Grant County, Georgia, to examine an apparent suicide of a Grant Tech College student. Sara’s younger sister, Tessa, who is seven months pregnant, wanders off to relieve herself while waiting for Sara to finish her examination. Tessa is later found unconscious and bleeding from numerous stab wounds to her stomach and head. Lena Adams, an ex-detective for Chief Tolliver who is now employed as a campus security guard while recovering from a brutal rape and beating injects herself into a string of suspicious campus suicides against her boss’s direct order to stay out. Lena’s previous dysfunctional life provides her with an insight and a clear understanding into what is really happening on campus; however no one seems to listen. Although Slaughter is an excellent writer—I have read more than a dozen of her books—I feel this psychological drama with its savage brutality, its grisly murder scenarios and graphic sex scenes may be a bit over the top. The book is definitely not for the faint of heart. I am hard pressed to give this chilling drama more than a 3-star rating.
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on August 15, 2011
Like several reviewers, I have read 3 other of Slaughter's novels and was willing to overlook some of their less admirable qualities.... Kate's dithering does start to get on my nerves. However, the plots and settings were interesting and unusual. Since I live in Atlanta, I've enjoyed reading about familiar settings for the novels set here. But there are details that just seem wrong:

1. I think of these novels as set in contemporary times but the police keep using polaroid cameras. That just doesn't seem possible.

2. Another reviewer who is a health care professional took on the topic of the unlikely survival of a victim of an extreme knife attack. (Miracles do happen, of course, but maybe Slaughter should be careful about how far she pushes readers to go along with her miracles.)

3. This particular novel features racist messages written around a university campus. The characters say that the university administrators will just ignore the signs. That's just impossible. No university administrator at a university in the State of Georgia would ignore such signs/messages. Impossible. They would have to deal with them and deal with them in very public ways. Or the Black Student Association would be forcing them, too, and the Black community in the area.

4. A character appeared in another novel as Lena's sister's research assistant. He reappears here as an associate professor who is tenured. That's impossible, too. Doctoral students are never taken directly into a tenured position at the institution where they get their degrees. Maybe a genius at MIT or Harvard but a doctoral student at Grant Tech. Never. Never. And the ranks require years of work at very specific levels... assistant professor (for 5-6 years) always comes before associate professor.

Some editor or reader really needs to help Slaughter get her information right.
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on March 30, 2016
Ever since the publication of her first novel in the Grant County series, Blindsighted, Karin Slaughter has been selling thrillers by the millions. A Faint Cold Fear, the third of six books in the series, continues the saga of pediatrician and pathologist Dr. Sara Linton; her off-again, on-again husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver; and the chief’s erratic young detective, Lena Adams. The small rural Georgia town where they live is afflicted by an extraordinary degree of violent crime, which keeps all three of them busy and challenged and affords a generous dose of suspense for readers.

Grant County, where violence abounds

In this installment of the running story, a student at the technical college in town has been found at the base of a bridge on the edge of the campus, dead from an apparent suicide. When Sara arrives to examine the body with her very pregnant younger sister Tessa along for the ride, the story quickly grows more complicated when Tessa is brutally attacked in the adjoining woods, where she has gone to pee. Is there some connection between the attack and what may or may not be a suicide? We suspect as much, of course. And the complications pile up as Lena arrives on the scene along with the head of campus security, for whom she is now working. It develops that the dead boy is the son of the campus shrink, whom Lena has been secretly seeing. The story grows still more complicated as violent incidents multiply, pushing Sara and Jeffrey to the limit and highlighting Lena’s complex and troubled personality.

The events in A Faint Cold Fear take place over six days. The book is divided into six corresponding sections.

About the author

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s best-selling thriller writers. In addition to the six-book Grant County series, she has written ten books about Georgia Bureau of Investigation officer Will Trent as well as six other novels. I was particularly taken with Pretty Girls, published in 2015.
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on March 4, 2016
I've read the entire Will Trent series (plus Pretty Girls, which I loved), so I am familiar with some of these characters. I liked Sara in the Will Trent books, except for the two times Lena was also a character, because she turned Sara into a crazy person. Not sure if I'll read more in this series. I really like Karin Slaughter's writing, but these characters are not nearly as engaging as those in her other books.

Lena is one of those characters that I find fascinating and frustrating at the same time. She's got a huge stubborn streak, but I sort of get it. Why she seems to crave Jeffrey's approval is beyond me, I didn't like him at all. Jeffrey is a huge a******. He's sexist, petty, and has a pretty loose interpretation of proper police procedure (illegally obtaining evidence, physically assaulting suspects, eavesdropping on doctor/patient conversations). On top of that, he cheated on his wife (who inexplicably wants to get back together with him) and acts all butthurt when she insinuates that he might not be a good person.

I didn't figure out who the bad guy was until the end, so that part was well done. But the last chapter made my jaw drop and it left me with more questions than answers.
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on February 24, 2016
A page turner, for sure. I didn't realize this was a sequel and I recommend you read the first two before attempting this one -- lots of background to catch up on. She does a nice job explaining why some of the characters are so incredibly twisted or broken but I'm sure readying the first two books will fill it in better. I'm going back to get them. This book is detailed. I hate it when authors just seem to skip over everything except the crime itself -- these people solving it and involved in it have lives you've got to get a feel for or their just cardboard characters. Karen Slaughter is still fleshing out her books. Hope she keeps doing it if there are more Grant County Books.
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on December 4, 2004
From other reviewers you can get the general jist of the story. I have read Karen Slaughter's other 2 books and this is definitely the best of the 3 (so far). I can definitely feel her growth as a writer in this one.

I know I like to read reviews here when I'm looking for a book to read so I'll put in my two cents worth and respond to some other points made here in these reviews.

I didn't find the characters annoying, I find what you don't know about them intriguing...but should we get to the "end" of the series someday and we know nothing...ok...that would be annoying, but I don't find that in her books. In each book she gives you a little more background on each character. Getting to know "all" about them requires watching them and hearing their thoughts as they go through their experiences. They are confronted with things they never expected to be confronted with in their lifetimes, and don't always respond as you "think" they will or as THEY thought they would.

Slaughters writing (to me) is satisfying but it's not tidy. You get the crime solved but not always totally. The characters stay sometimes in turmoil, or something you think was resolved resurfaces. I believe this all makes her writing and her characters more real...and her writing more interesting.

I don't find the violence excessive. Maybe I just know how she writes, she's detailed and yes, in detailing, it's graphic. You will leave a page with a definite picture of the crime scene. You won't have to use your imagination.

About the only thing about these books that kind of makes me chuckle and seems a bit of a stretch of my imagination, is that this series takes place in a small southern town where everyone knows each other. It's a bit of a stretch to believe that these horrific crimes happen over and over again and noone's got a clue. But hey, I'll get over it. I'm just glad I don't live there. <smile>.

Just my two cents for what is worth.
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