(book one of an anticipated three featuring Grant County, Georgia, pediatrician and coroner Dr. Sara Linton), first-time novelist Karin Slaughter comes out swinging in true medical examiner fashion. That is to say, covered with blood from the get-go.
Without warning, the body jerked violently, pitching forward and slamming Sara onto the floor. Blood spread out around both of them, and Sara instinctively clawed to get out from under the convulsing woman. With her feet and hands she groped for some kind of purchase on the slick bathroom floor. Finally, Sara managed to slide out from underneath her. She turned Sibyl over, cradling her head, trying to help her through the convulsions. Suddenly, the jerking stopped.
Sibyl is, or was, Sibyl Adams, a college professor who had the misfortune of being drugged, savagely raped, slashed, and left for dead in the toilet of the local diner, to be coincidentally discovered by Sara Linton. Coincidences don't stop there, and neither do the rapes and murders. The next is, unimaginably, still more gruesome than the first and it, too, is discovered by Dr. Linton. Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver is Sara's ex-husband, and mercurial detective Lena Adams, another major player in the ensuing drama, was Sibyl's twin sister.
And the monster behind these increasingly more depraved acts? Suspects abound, from the diner's jack-of-all-trades, Will Harris, to Victim No. 2's boyfriend, to Jack Allen Wright who, a dozen years prior, raped Dr. Linton (that rape had been a secret until now). There are other possibilities, naturally, and it soon becomes apparent that Sara's an intended target.
A graduate of the Patricia Cornwell school of mayhem and gore, Slaughter has faithfully stitched together a fast, engaging, and diverting read complete with a strong-yet-vulnerable heroine. Characters are nicely if somewhat obviously drawn, the plot is inventive, and the narrative's pacing quickens the pulse straight to the cliff-hanging denouement. And really, what more can you ask of an ME thriller? --Michael Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
Billed as "Thomas Harris Meets Patricia Cornwell" and heralded by much advance hoopla in industry magazines, this long-anticipated launching of a scheduled three-book series featuring an attractive Georgia university town pediatrician-coroner marks the debut of a promising young author, but ultimately disappoints, partly due to overly-exorbitant pre-publishing claims. As Dr. Sara Linton leaves her pediatric clinic to meet her 33-year-old younger sister for lunch at a campus eatery, she receives a postcard picturing Atlanta's Emory University, where she interned. The enigmatic biblical message reads, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" At the diner, she goes to the restroom and discovers a young blind university professor who has been raped and brutally slashed with a knife. Too late to save her, Sara calls her ex-husband police chief, who, coincidentally, employs the victim's twin sister, Lena, as a detective. The trail quickly leads to a missing co-ed, and suspicion falls upon her druggie boyfriend. The co-ed is found raped, heavily drugged with belladonna and stretched out nude as if crucified on the hood of Sara's car in the hospital parking lot. Soon after, Lena is abducted by the killer. Fighting her attraction to her ex, Sara begins to suspect the rape-murders are tied to her own rape in the Emory parking lot 12 years ago. At the end, little suspense remains. Sara Linton is no Kay Scarpetta and her villain is a mere shadow of the complex, chilling Hannibal Lecter, but forgiving inept, trivia-cluttered dialogue and manifest lack of firsthand fluency in the medical arena the offbeat characters and setting are engaging enough to leave readers awaiting a sequel. (Sept. 17)Forecast: The hype including a blurb from George Pelecanos plus major advertising and a 5-city author tour should sell this early on, but the uneven execution may weaken demand for Slaughter's next book. Blindsighted is an alternate selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, the Doubleday Book Club and the Mystery Guild, and foreign rights have been sold in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark and Norway.
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