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A Faint Cold Fear - Karin Slaughter

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Author: Karin Slaughter / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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    4 Reviews
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      03.09.2009 02:42
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      Read this book!

      --*Karin Slaughter- the woman behind the books*--

      Karin Slaughter was brought up in Atlanta, Georgia where she bases her novels and according to her website she spends most of her time split between the kitchen and the living room (sounds like my type of woman!).

      --* A Faint Cold Fear*--

      This is the third book in Karin Slaughters Grant County series preceded by Kisscut. Heartsdales Paediatrician and part time coroner Sara Linton is happily out with her heavily pregnant sister Tessa when she is called by her ex husband but current lover Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver to the apparent suicide of a boy at the local college campus. When they arrive Sara goes to Jeffrey to see if the body of the boy who apparently jumped from the above bridge but left himself in one terrible mess leaves any clues to whether this was just a suicide or is there is something more than there seems. Tessa however being heavily pregnant needs to 'release herself' so goes for a walk. It's not until Tessa doesn't return that Jeffrey and Sara realize that something is wrong and when they find her they realize something is VERY wrong as she has been attacked and left for dead but will she survive?

      As two more suspicious suicides follow is this just a group of college kids who have made a pact or is something going on, on the college campus. Ex police detective Lena Adams (who played a crucial role in the first two books) is now a key member of college campus security and when Jeffrey realizes she could be withholding crucial information on the case thing soon heat up. But Lena doesn't seem to want to help as she can hardly help herself and with her new boyfriend Ethan on the scene things just seem to be going downhill for the ex detective but will she be able to sort herself out and get back her job doing the one thing she loves more than anything and will Jeffery have her back on the force.

      --*characters*--

      There are a few characters brought through from Blindsighted and Kisscut Slaughters earlier books in the series including the three main characters Sara Linton, Jeffrey Tolliver and Lena Adams as well as some smaller roles like Lena's uncle Frank, Lena's twins lover Nan, Brad and Frank from the police force and Sara family including her sister Tessa who takes a larger role in this book.

      Some new characters are added to the book mainly to do with the story which revolves around the college campus with the perfect Ellen Schaffer and not so perfect Andy Rosen and Scooter, Rosen's parents, Lena's twin sister Sybil's assistant Richard Carter and of course Ethan Green/White Lena Adams new boyfriend who adds new layers to the story and helps you understand how much Lena has developed throughout the series.

      Personally my favourite character in this book is Ethan Green because he's so different to everyone else and he's the kind of bad boy character that everyone likes to read about but if you met him you would be terrified to even go near him.

      ---* The Book *--

      I'm reviewing the paperback version which has a black bind which turns to orange and yellow on the front of the book with a wooden triangle on the front above the authors name and the title written in a broken lettering in a piercing yellow colour. The first few pages of the book show praise for the authors first two books Blindsighted and Kisscut. I love Slaughters writing as it is a mixture of suspense entangled with the love story between Jeffrey and Sara and now the temperamental relationship between Ethan and Lena which kept me riveted as I'm not normally one to read anything to do with a love story but this is an unusual kind of love.

      --* the Boring Bit*--

      I paid full price for my copy of this book at the RRP of 6.99 but I believe its fully worth it as you cant really get tired of the writing and every time you reread the book you pick up something you didn't the first time round.
      ISBN 978-0-09-944532-6
      Website http://www.Karinslaughter.com

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      • More +
        03.04.2008 09:02
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        RECOMMENDED xx

        A Faint Cold Fear is the third in a "series" of books featuring the same main characters. Namely, Chief Jeffrey Tolliver, his ex-wife (but who is seeing again) Sara, and his ex-police assistant Lena Adams.

        In this book Lena has resigned under pressure from the police force following her total personality change after a particularly horrendous attack on her. She is now working for the security on the local college campus and when one of the students takes a leap from a bridge into a dusty river bed, she meets up with her ex-chief, Tolliver at the scene.

        Sara, in her role as county coroner also attends the scene but happens to have her heavily pregnant sister, Tessa, in the car too. Tessa heads up into the wood to relieve herself while Sara checks out the body, but when she does not return Sara and Jeffrey go looking for her, only to find her bleeding body laying on the forest floor clinging to life.

        Lena and Jeffrey find themselves digging deep into their resources and their conscience to try and figure out who attempted to kill Tessa and why and if it is involved with the "suicide" of the boy on the bridge.

        Yet again Karin Slaughter has surpassed my expectations with this book. Being the third in the set, I was worried it would start to become a little samey and that the characters would begin to feel unreal due to the obviously third set of atrocious circumstances they seem to find themselves in. However, it seems fresh and new and as though this is the first story I have read about them. Alongside this newness however, my familiarity with their situations in their private life and snippets of information picked up from previous books makes my reading of this book even more enjoyable.

        I loved the way Slaughter kept leading me up different paths. Showing me lots of potential new suspects and making the main characters see these too but from different perspectives. I loved Lena in this book too. I think the focus was more on her than Jeffrey this time round and although he did feature heavily in the book, Lena was on a much more personal journey through the events of this than Jeffrey was and I really felt for her as she struggled to get through each day. She is on such an obvious downward descent that you literally want to scream out to her to stop.

        Sara took a very big back seat through this story I found. This was surprising considering her sister was nearly murdered at the start of the book and was central to the whole story. Sara did play a part, she wasn't totally invisible but she was also not there in the furore as usual. I guess this would have made her character unbelievable in the event of her sister's condition and therefore can understand why she was not so frontal.

        I have read a few of these types of books now and still thoroughly enjoy the pace and tension that each one seems to set for me. I am not bored with the scenarios and enjoy the slight differences to each one, even if the layout is the same. I can't help but compare these to PJ Tracy's "set" of books about the Monkeewrench Team and have come to the conclusion that they are both as good as each other. Slaughter seems to be a more serious by nature writer while Tracy is totally fictional. By this I mean that Karin Slaughter seems to have an air of darkness about her writing that gives a pretty real edge to the book. There are no light-hearted excerpts in here and I didn't find myself having any giggles through character revealing or any other source. It is cold hard thriller and nothing else.

        I liked the small amount of character filling in she gave me, as extras to what I knew about them already but it was again written in such a way that if you had not read the first two it would make no difference to your enjoyment, but may simply make your read more fulfilling.

        I highly recommend this whole set - Blindsighted, Kisscut, A Faint Cold Fear - there are more after this and they are soon to be devoured!

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          16.07.2006 01:33
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          gripping,welcome return to strong main characters and their lives....

          I am a recent convert to Slaughter and so far cannot get enough after the disapointing turn that patrica cornwell seems to have taken with one of my previous favourite characters,Kay Scarpetta.

          Starting with Blindsighted,this series kicked off with a bang when it featured a paticulary gruesome murder discovered in the local diner by part-time town pathologist and full-time pediatrician,sara linton.Along with her ex-husband,police chief jeffrey tolliver,sara was able to track down the killer but a series of victims were left emotionally and physically hurt in the wake....

          Next came Kisscut which was equally as shocking and uncomfortable and took many twists and turns before reaching it's inevitable conclusion.Just as good as her previous novel,this was another fine thriller which really set the standard by which all other thriller writers should compare.
          Maybe Karin feels she has a lot to live up to with competitors Patrica Cornwell and Kathy Reichs biting at her ankles,but the way this book dealt with the aftermath and repercussions from the previous novel as felt by many of the main characters i thought was a stroke of genius.

          Which leads me to this ,her third novel.This time we are dealing with a suspected suicide but when Sara's sister is brutally stabbed in the woods close to the scene,things take a darker,more sinister slant.All of a sudden the racial graffiti under the bridge where the suicide took place takes on more relevance as Sara's sister is pregnant by a black man and the suicide victim is apparently of jewish origin.

          Twists and turns and red herrings galore emerge to muddy the investigation and to reveal them here would only serve to spoil your enjoyment of this cracking book but needless to say troubled,damaged ex-cop,Lena Adams,whom followers of this series will certainly recognize,is caught up once again in the proceedings in more ways than one and only serves to complicate an already complicated case!!

          As mentioned in a previous review the ending in this book is perhaps not as clever as in her prior novels but is still,i felt,nonetheless gripping enough to make me want to come back for more-which i will be doing shortly with the next book in the series indelible.The thing i like most is the way the novels follow the progression of the characters and their relationships with each other through the books as well as dealing with the aftermath of any traumas that occur;whilst still enabling readers to read the novels if they are unfamiliar with the other books in the series.

          A worthy succesor to Patrica Cornwell though i have not read Kathy Reichs so cannot make a comparison there.As to the previous reviewers comment that there seems to be a lot of murders in Sara's little county-well it would be a boring series of books if there wasn't wouldn't it?This is an author i highly reccomend-and don't let this book put you off reading the othes in a series thats going from strength to strength with each new installment.
          I look forward to reading indelible very very soon!!!

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            06.04.2006 13:47
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            A good reading, but disappointing ending.

            Introduction
            Before I read Karin Slaughter’s first book, Blindsighted, I had read a lot of reviews saying that she was the next Patricia Cornwell or Kathy Reichs. I could see where they were coming from – Blindsighted introduces a new female heroine who works as a medical examiner on some of the most gruesome deaths imaginable and was also very well-written. So I had high expectations of A Faint Cold Fear, the third in the series. It certainly started well; unfortunately the ending just wasn’t realistic enough for me. It is still a powerful book though and worth the read if you like crime fiction that is raw and shocking.

            The author
            Karin Slaughter grew up in a small town in Georgia. She has been writing short stories and novels from a young age. She has written five novels in the Sara Linton series; Blindsighted, Kisscut, A Faint Cold Fear, Indelible and Faithless.

            The plot
            Part-time medical examiner, part-time paediatrician, Sara Linton, is called out to the apparent suicide of a young student at the local university. There is a slight suspicion that the death may not be due to suicide, when Sara’s pregnant sister, Tess, who was inadvertently at the scene, is viciously stabbed and loses her baby.

            Stunned by the attack on her sister, Sara and her ex-husband, chief of police Jeffrey Tolliver begin to investigate the student’s death as suicide. This is complicated by an ex-colleague of Jeffrey’s, Lena, who is now a security officer at the university and seems to be hiding something from them, including an ex-boyfriend with racist tendencies. But more deaths are to follow before the truth comes out.

            The characters
            Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs have come up with two such strong female heroines that it can not have been easy for Karin Slaughter to come up with another. But she managed it. Sara Linton is tough, yet believable. She is an independent woman, but has ‘issues’, having divorced her husband for infidelity (although they are now lovers again) and having suffered a rape that has left her unable to have children. I think what makes her even more believable is that unlike Tempe Brennan and Kay Scarpetta, Sara sticks to her job and leaves the police work to Jeffrey Tolliver.

            Jeffrey Tolliver is a secondary character that I find harder to fathom. He deeply regrets having cheated on Sara in the past, yet realises that she needs time to get over it and keeps the pressure off her. There is nothing particularly likeable or dislikeable about him; he is just there and helps the plot to tick along nicely.

            Lena Adams has an even more complicated past than Sara. In Blindsighted, when Lena was still a cop, her blind twin sister was brutally murdered and Lena’s investigations lead to her getting kidnapped, tortured and raped by her sister’s murderer. Still suffering psychologically, Lena has been forced to give up her career to take a job which does not pay well and where she is bullied by her boss. Her relationship with Jeffrey is complicated; she can neither accept or do without his pity. This is exacerbated because of her involvement with a suspect for the murders. Lena’s return is a flash of inspiration on Karin Slaughter’s part, although I think that those not having read the books in the right order might be a bit less sympathetic towards her character.

            Conclusion
            This book drew me in from the start. It is graphic in detail and no punches are held back, so if you prefer the Agatha Christie school of murder, you may not like this. The characters are strong and the fact that there are a number of characters that recur throughout the series really helps the reader to get into their heads. Karin Slaughter can definitely give Cornwell and Reichs a run for their money.

            There are two things that I think let this book down. One is relatively unimportant; Sara Linton is the medical examiner (part-time) for a very small town and the number of murders that occur are somewhat unbelievable. The other is that I found the ending rather disappointing. The atmosphere was built up brilliantly throughout the book, but the ending was just not very realistic and let the book down.

            The first part of the book was so powerful that I still have to give this book four stars. It wasn’t as good as Blindsighted or Kisscut, but it is still a lot better than most of the competitors.

            The book is available from Amazon for £3.99. Published by Arrow, it has 499 pages. ISBN: 0099445328

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          • Product Details

            The third pulse-pounding novel in the Grant County series from the New York Times-bestselling author of Blindsighted and Kisscut. Sara Linton, medical examiner in the small town of Heartsdale, GA, is called out to an apparent suicide on the local college campus. The mutilated body provides little in the way of clues -- and the college authorities are eager to avoid a scandal -- but for Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, things don't add up. Two more suspicious suicides follow, and a young woman is brutally attacked. For Sara, the violence strikes far too close to home. And as Jeffrey pursues the sadistic killer, he discovers that ex-police detective Lena Adams, now a security guard on campus, may be in possession of crucial information. But, bruised and angered by her expulsion from the force, Lena seems to be barely capable of protecting herself, let alone saving the next victim.