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A Faint Cold Fear (Grant County, No 3) Mass Market Paperback – July 27, 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 317 customer reviews
Book 3 of 6 in the Grant County Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the coldly captivating tradition of Cornwell and Reichs, Slaughter (Blindsighted; Kisscut) returns to Grant County, Ga., to offer a third installment in the adventures of smalltown pediatrician and part-time medical examiner Sara Linton. Called in to investigate the apparent suicide of a male Grant Tech student, Sara brings along her pregnant sister, Tessa, who wanders away from the scene and is brutally attacked. The distraught Sara must work side by side with her ex-husband, Det. Jeffrey Tolliver, whom she loves despite his past infidelity, but it's Lena Adams, formerly a cop and now a campus security guard, whose story the novel follows most closely. Still mourning the murder of her sister and recovering from her own torture and rape by the same man, Lena is looked on with suspicion by her ex-boss, Jeffrey. With reason: she's hiding a few key facts. The dead boy's mother is her therapist and Lena is involved with an abusive young man with a shady past. Campus gossip Richard Carter further confuses investigators; meanwhile, police discover the bodies of two more students, their deaths potentially suicides but more likely murder. Slaughter provides grisly variations on the themes of sibling rivalry, sexual abuse and campus politics in a story not for the faint of heart. Readers who can stomach gruesome details and like fitting together multiple stories of physical and psychological abuse will savor the way Slaughter can evoke sympathy for perverse, even criminal, behavior by tracing its origins, and those who make it through the complexities and the gore will be rewarded with a satisfyingly chilling ending.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Slaughter returns with the third riveting entry in her Grant County series, in which her lead characters seem to suffer as much as the victims of the horrific crimes they investigate. County coroner Sara Linton arrives at a crime scene with her sister in tow. She consults with her ex-husband, Detective Jeffrey Tolliver, and Lena Adams, a former policewoman who jumped ship rather than undergo psychological counseling and is now employed as part of the security force for the local college. Within minutes, they determine that the victim jumped off a bridge and had recently slashed his wrists and undergone genital piercing. But their investigation is interrupted by a devastating discovery--Sara's heavily pregnant sister has been stabbed. Jeffrey, Sara, and Lena join forces to determine whether the events are related, but their work is fraught with interpersonal difficulties, and their small town, once a safe haven, starts to seem like a claustrophobic and terrifying place. Slaughter knows how to ratchet up the psychological tension in a compelling plot with an unexpected twist. And Lena is a fascinating character, in thrall to a dark compulsion to play out her fears in unnerving sex games. Chilling and addictive reading. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (July 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060534052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060534059
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (317 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Sausser on September 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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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By L. on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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.
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