From Publishers Weekly
Georgia medical examiner Sara Linton returns in Slaughter's Grant County crime thriller series (Indelible ), and this time she's hot on the trail of a demented killer who buries teenage girls alive. Out in the woods chatting about past infidelities, Sara and ex-husband/lover Jeffrey discover a young girl buried in a grotesque coffin, dead despite a breathing pipe extending to the surface. The victim is soon identified as Abigail Bennett, a member of the Holy Grown soybean farming collective, a group curiously unfazed to learn a daughter was poisoned. Suspicion blooms around Holy Grown's many farmhands, mostly ex-felons on work release, but then centers on the parishioners who congregate at the Church for the Greater Good, a local congregation run by a shifty minister. Another shallow grave, physical violence and another girl's disappearance lead Sara, Jeffrey and assisting detective Lena Adams back to the Bible-thumpers and their unholy dealings. Issues of abortion, domestic abuse and forgiveness afford these recurring female characters three-dimensional humanity, nicely offsetting Slaughter's patented grim forensic detailing. Slaughter's fifth Grant County case offers tough love, suspenseful spadework and life-affirming vigor.
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Slaughter's dark, forensic-driven Grant County series of crime novels has always drawn a thin line between the members of the law-enforcement team and the victims of the crimes being investigated. The title of the fifth entry in the series reflects both the marital difficulties of coroner Sara Linton and her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, and the label affixed to certain willful members of a religious cult. Jeffrey makes a grisly discovery in the woods when he stumbles over a metal pipe. A young woman was buried alive in a wooden crate for several days and appears to have died of asphyxiation. But Sara's autopsy reveals a far different scenario. Jeffrey and officer Lena Adams' investigation leads to a farm owned by the Church of the Greater Good, which appears to have used burial as a form of punishment before. Meanwhile, Lena finds her own sick relationship with an abusive lover mirrored in the marriage of a former cult member who has damning information but is too afraid to disclose it for fear of provoking another vicious beating from her husband. Slaughter cannily incorporates any number of women's issues--from the difficult work of rebuilding a ruined relationship to finally figuring out when to call it quits--within a compulsively readable narrative. Joanne WilkinsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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