This was my first foray into the world of Karin Slaughter. Her world is filled with interesting characters, personal drama and a fair share of deranged individuals. I did enjoy the book. The writing was very good, the characters were interesting and the plot was good. That said, it seemed to be missing something. Something I am having a hard time putting my finger on. For all the positives, the story still lacks.
The story shifts through three major points of view. Sara, the town’s coroner and a pediatrician. Jeffery, the ex-husband of Sara and the town’s chief of police and Lena, a deputy on the force and sister of the first victim. The story opens with the murder of Lena’s sister. Sara finds her body in restaurant washroom where she has been killed and brutalized. Unfortunately, this is not last body as others go missing and crimes contain similar ritualistic elements. As the story progresses as the crimes become personal for all parties involved and secrets from the past may hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of the murders.
This was one well crafted novel. This was nominated the Barry Award for Best First Novel and it was certainly good enough to have won it. Karin Slaughter wrote a book that was taunt, thrilling and as polished as those with much more experience. There was an interesting storyline with red herrings, misdirection and slight of hand. While the beginning of the novel lagged, the pace picked up significantly in the middle of the book
There was significant drama amongst the characters. While I despise excessive romance in my novels and roll my eyes when the story becomes overly emotional, the author deftly walked the line on this point. There are complex relationships each with their own histories and developments.
But Its Missing Something…
Despite all of the positive elements, the novel did not feel complete. Despite a good storyline, good character development and thrills and chills, the story may have been a victim of its own slick execution. While I enjoyed the story and was interested in the outcome, I did not connect with the characters. By the end, I was interested to see if my theories were correct but I did not care about the characters. While the body of the novel was solid and looked good, the lacked some soul
A slow first half and a lack of soul and emotion hurt my rating on this one. That said, it is an excellent and well crafted first novel. Karin Slaughter has had a long and successful career and I am confident that her skill improved as she gained experience. Overall, a worthwhile read but not one that I will list amongst my favorites.
It is difficult to find commentary on the sex/violence/language content of book if you are interested. I make an effort to give you the information so you can make an informed decision before reading. *Disclaimer* I do not take note or count the occurrences of adult language as I read. I am simply giving approximations.
Scale 1 – Lowest 5 – Highest
Sex – 3.5
Much of the sexual content is related to a series of sex crimes. There is one moderately graphic scene of a sexual assault. There are several more far more disturbing elements are revealed in the investigation of sexual assaults. There is some disturbing sodomy involved and other elements that are violent.
Language – 3
There is moderate use of mild obscenities and low usage of the f-word. There is also some low use of sexual derived adult language.
Violence – 4
There are some disturbing elements of violence in the novel (see sexual content). There are some moderately high graphic description of the violence. There are some ritualistic elements in the violence amongst multiple murders. Readers who are moderately sensitive to sexual violence should avoid this book.