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Indelible: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 27, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Medical examiner Sara Linton and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver make their fourth appearance in this riveting new back-and-forth thriller that grounds a brutal attack by two young men on the Grant County, Georgia police department in a twelve-year-old Alabama murder case that occurred while Sara and Jeffrey were just beginning their tumultuous romance. En route to a beach vacation shortly after they meet, the couple takes a detour to the small town where Jeffrey grew up and began his law enforcement career. But their carefree holiday is interrupted when his best friend from childhood, a fellow cop, is charged with murder after killing a man who broke into his house. Despite his subsequent confession, Jeffrey believes there’s more to the story than Robert is telling him, and when the skeleton of a young woman with whom both Robert and Tolliver were once involved is discovered in a secret cave only they knew about, and Robert admits to her murder too, Tolliver must again confront a past he thought he had long since put behind him.

Slaughter unravels a convoluted story deftly and smoothly as the action moves between those long-ago events and the siege of the police station by two young men who are determined to make Jeffrey pay for a crime they believe he committed. Threatening to kill whoever stands between them and their target--including eight children on a school field trip at the station house when the bloody siege begins--they execute a deputy they mistakenly believe is Tolliver. Skillfully blending past and present events and illuminating the equally convoluted relationship between Sara and Jeffrey (who have married and divorced in the intervening years) without interrupting the breathtaking pace of the action or dropping a beat, Slaughter takes this series to a new level of excellence. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Complex characters with credible relationships underpin this gripping prequel to Slaughter's Blindsighted (2001). Georgia pediatrician/medical examiner Sara Linton is visiting her ex-husband, Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver, when two malevolent strangers, hauntingly familiar to Sara, pull out guns at the station house, where several schoolchildren are on a class trip, and bloody mayhem ensues. The action shifts to the past, when new lovers Sara and Jeffrey detour to his hometown on their way to a beach weekend. A nostalgic tour of Jeffrey's youth turns sinister as buried secrets and injustices slowly come to light. An ugly midnight encounter with Jeffrey's sloshed mother sends Sara outside in time to hear gunshots from the neighboring house of Jeffrey's childhood friend Robert, a cop, who's found bleeding, gun in hand, across the bedroom from his dead victim. Sara is grateful to perform the autopsy, knowing there's more than meets the eye in this puzzling crime scene. The couple's budding romance is put to the test as Sara tries to coax answers from tight-lipped Jeffrey, whose silence and suspicious actions nourish her doubts. Slaughter's tightly disciplined rhythm and occasional sly humor keep readers hooked right up to the end.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (July 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060567104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060567101
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #757,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Karin Slaughter is a New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author. She is a native of Georgia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
There's nothing much more frightening than a hostage situation. Leave it to Karin Slaughter (who has been compared to Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs) to open her latest Grant County crime opus with a wide screen scene of blood and carnage.

Two men with guns ablaze have burst into the Georgia police station and shot one officer to death, wounding others. They've taken hostages, among them is Sara Linton, part-time pediatrician and medical examiner. She's come to the station for a conversation with her ex, Jeffrey Tolliver, who is now the police chief. There's no room for talk among in this bloodbath.

Slaughter then pulls a fast one and does a flashback to when Sara and Jeffrey first met, thus creating two story lines. On one hand you have the death struggle between the hostages and two apparently psychotic captors and the blossoming love affair between our two protagonists. A challenge for any reader, but not Broadway and TV actress Becky Ann Baker who segues beautifully between the young Sara and her physical attraction to Jeffrey despite his reputation, and the older, wiser Sara who finds herself in what might be a fatal countdown.

Suspenseful listening!

- Gail Cooke
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on August 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Today began like any other day, until the shooting started.

Medical examiner Sara Linton, tagging along with her lover, police chief Jefferey Tolliver, is at the police station when two young men with masks and guns barge in and start shooting...leaving one officer dead and Jefferey wounded.

As the tense hostage situation builds, Sara begins to unravel the mystery of the two men who hold them captive only to discover their plan is one of revenge based on the sins of the past.

`Indelible' was a good read. I enjoyed the present day plot of the hostage situation, but the alternating chapters of the earlier years plot got in the way of pacing. The two separate plot lines did come together to tie everything up, but I am not a fan of books that alternate plot lines and time periods between chapters and this novel did it throughout. On the plus side there are some genuinely surprising twists and several tense action scenes. Karin Slaughter is a good writer and her dark, gruesome thrillers are some of the more enjoyable to come out over the years, but her newest in not on par with her previous books.

Nick Gonnella
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By avidbookreader on July 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I think Karin Slaughter is the real deal. She writes believable characters, great dialogue and great suspense. INDELIBLE just proves once again that Slaughter knows how to write a mystery novel and has plenty of surprises in store for the reader. What I enjoy most about Slaughter's novels is that there are always disturbing issues that are in your face and realistic. Implausible? I don't think so. This woman writes about the ugly side of life that many people don't either know about or don't want to face. No matter how graphic or disturbing, her books are captivating reads. I like her voice and she is original and again, the real deal. She deserves blockbuster status for continuing to write and improve with each new book. I applaud you Ms. Slaughter for your consistent characterizations, realistic dialogue and an all around great read. I highly recommend this novel if characterization is important to you as well as realistic dialgoue and realistic plots/actions/scenes. One of the best female suspense writers around. Read her. You won't be disappointed. As for trying to compare her to other established writers - don't. She's in a class all by herself.

Other authors I enjoy: Julia Spencer Fleming, Michael Connelly (who has praised Slaughter as well), Clinton McKinzie and last but not least, Anne Frasier.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on August 10, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Karin Slaughter is known as a something of a "blood and guts" thriller novelist. Her books are typically filled with tons of graphic and sexual violence, usually perpetuated against women and children. This fourth book, INDELIBLE, is pretty much more of the same. If you like her prior books, this novel will pretty much meet your expectations.

This book is essentially two stories, one that takes place in the present and one that takes place around 12 years earlier. The present story deals with a hostage situation at a police station involving pediatrician/small town medical examiner Sara Linton and her ex-husband chief of police Jeffery Tolliver. The past story involves Sara and Jeffrey when they were first dating, and a murder that takes place when they visit Jeffrey's childhood town in Alabama.

Both the past and present stories are filled with Karin Slaughter's signature themes: graphic violence, rape, sexual and physical abuse against children, dysfunctional sexual relationships, bigoted Southerners, and Sara and Jeffrey's love/hate relationship (which has grown pretty tiresome to me). Most of this is portrayed in a melodramatic, over-the-top fashion throughout the novel. Characters are briefly introduced, then terrible things happen to them shortly thereafter.

This book isn't badly written, but in the end, I just found it more unpleasant than thrilling. Part of the problem is Sara and Jeffrey -- neither of them is particularly likable, in my opinion. I also got tired of the sheer volume of dysfunctional behavior in this book, which became gratuitous after a while. The plot is also based on a wild set of coincidences, where certain characters have to be in exactly the right place at the right time to move the plot forward.

If you want to try Slaughter, I suggest reading her first book, BLINDSIGHTED, instead. That book was pretty graphic also, but I felt the characters at that point were fresher and more likable.
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