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A Faint Cold Fear: A Grant County Thriller
     

A Faint Cold Fear: A Grant County Thriller

4.0 214
by Karin Slaughter
 

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Gillian Flynn says, "Karin Slaughter is simply one of the best thriller writers working today."

An apparent student suicide has brought medical examiner Sara Linton to the local college campus, along with her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver. But a horribly mutilated corpse yields up few answers. And a suspicious rash of subsequent

Overview

Gillian Flynn says, "Karin Slaughter is simply one of the best thriller writers working today."

An apparent student suicide has brought medical examiner Sara Linton to the local college campus, along with her ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver. But a horribly mutilated corpse yields up few answers. And a suspicious rash of subsequent "suicides" suggests that a different kind of terror is stalking the youth of Heartsdale, Georgia—a nightmare that is coming to prey on Sara Linton's loved ones.

A small town is being transformed into a killing ground. And the key to a sadistic murderer's motive and identity may be held in the unsteady hands of a campus security guard—a former police detective driven from the force by the hellish memories that will never leave her. Lena Adams survived the unthinkable and has paid a devastating price. Now the survival of future victims may depend upon her ... when she can barely protect herself.

Editorial Reviews

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. (Oct.) Forecast: A Faint Cold Fear was recently selected as the second International Book of the Month (Harlan Coben's No Second Chance was the first), so look for this thriller to hit bestseller lists both here and overseas. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Medical examiner Sara Linton and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver are up against a bunch of suspicious campus suicides. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Lena Adams, the cop-turned-security-guard whose twin sister was murdered in the opening scene of Slaughter's striking debut (Blindsighted, 2001), takes center stage in this third volume. Readers familiar with the gruesome doings in Grant County, Georgia, may be lulled into a false sense of security when the opening calls pediatrician/medical examiner Sara Linton (Kisscut, 2002) to the scene of nothing worse than the apparent suicide of Andy Rosen, a Grant Tech student who took a header from a bridge. But Sara's cool examination of the corpse is only the prelude to the real horror that comes when Tessa, the very pregnant sister she's brought along for the ride, steps into the woods and is savagely attacked by a knife-wielding assailant. As Sara alternates between hovering over Tessa's hospital bed and listening to her conscientious parents tell her it wasn't her fault, the investigation explodes in a sequel violent enough to make Lena check out the sex-and-drugs Grant Tech scene on her own, bringing her face to face once more with the nightmare of her abduction and rape-and enough to make Sara think twice about that suicide verdict. Though the plot tails off in complications that make this the least coherent and satisfying in the series so far, Slaughter keeps baring her living characters' psychic wounds in scene after scene with a remarkable intensity the reigning postmortem specialists, Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs, can't match. Author tour. Agent: Victoria Sanders
People
“Engrossing… [with] meticulous characterizations.”
People Magazine
"Engrossing… [with] meticulous characterizations."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Few young writers show more promise than the thirty-year-old Slaughter. She writes…with skill, anger, sensitivity, and compassion.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“This is one of those rare books that keeps delivering surprises right up to the very last page.”
Irish Times
“An engrossing work, with a well–drawn cast of characters and a nicely tuned plot”
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“Combines the best elements of a noir thriller and the Southern Gothic tradition complete with a brooding atmosphere.”
Val McDermid
“An impressive new landmark on the thriller map.”
The Mirror (London)
“Slaughter spares no details…engrossing.”
Barbara Peters
“Hard to imagine that such a quiet shy girl as Slaughter harbors so fiendish a heart. In Kisscut, Georgia pediatrician Sara Linton and her ex, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, are caught up in an evil web along with Detective Lena Adams. It begins with a young girl who commits suicide by forcing Jeffrey to shoot her down. Horrified, he’s desperate to determine why. Sara, not just the dead Jenny’s doctor but also the town’s coroner, does the autopsy and makes a horrible discovery: Jenny had been rudely castrated. Lena, wrestling with her own dark demons, joins in an investigation worthy of Andrew Vachs. Man, Kisscut is a killer book, savage but exciting, a strong follow–up to Slaughter’s debut in Blindsighted.”
Gillian Flynn
“Simply one of the best thriller writers working today.”
Tess Gerritsen
“A fearless writer. One of the boldest thriller writers working today.”
Michael Connelly
“Her characters, plot, and pacing are unrivaled among thriller wrtiers.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061802768
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Series:
Grant County Series , #3
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
7,020
File size:
786 KB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

A Faint Cold Fear
A Novel

Chapter One

Sara Linton stared at the entrance to the Dairy Queen, watching her very pregnant sister walk out with a cup of chocolate-covered ice cream in each hand. As Tessa crossed the parking lot, the wind picked up, and her purple dress rose above her knees. She struggled to keep the jumper down without spilling the ice cream, and Sara could hear her cursing as she got closer to the car.

Sara tried not to laugh as she leaned over to open the door, asking, "Need help?"

"No," Tessa said, wedging her body into the car. She settled in, handing Sara her ice cream. "And you can shut up laughing at me."

Sara winced as her sister kicked off her sandals and propped her bare feet on the dashboard. The BMW 330i was less than two weeks old, and Tessa had already left a bag of Goobers to melt in the backseat and spilled an orange Fanta on the carpet in the front. Had Tessa not been nearly eight months pregnant, Sara would have strangled her.

Sara asked, "What took you so long?"

"I had to pee."

"Again?"

"No, I just like being in the bathroom at the damn Dairy Queen," Tessa snapped. She fanned her hand in front of her face. "Jesus, it's hot."

Sara kept her mouth shut as she turned up the air-conditioning. As a doctor, she knew that Tessa was merely a victim of her own hormones, but there were times when Sara thought that the best thing for all concerned would be to lock Tessa in a box and not open it until they heard a baby crying.

"That place was packed," Tessa managed around a mouthful of chocolate syrup. "Goddamn, shouldn't all those people be at church or something?"

"Hm," Sara said.

"The whole place was filthy. Look at this parking lot," Tessa said, swooping her spoon in the air. "People just dump their trash here and don't even care about who has to pick it up. Like they think the trash fairy's gonna do it or something."

Sara murmured some words of agreement, eating her ice cream as Tessa continued a litany of complaints about everyone in the Dairy Queen, from the man who was talking on his cell phone to the woman who waited in line for ten minutes and then couldn't decide what she wanted when she got to the counter. After a while Sara zoned out, staring at the parking lot, thinking about the busy week she had ahead of her.

Several years ago Sara had taken on the part-time job of county coroner to help buy out her retiring partner at the Heartsdale Children's Clinic, and lately Sara's work at the morgue was playing havoc with her schedule at the clinic. Normally the county job did not require much of Sara's time, but a court appearance had taken her out of the clinic for two days last week, and she was going to have to make up for it this week by putting in overtime.

Increasingly, Sara's work at the morgue was infringing on clinic time, and she knew that in a couple of years she would have to make a choice between the two. When the time came, the decision would be a hard one. The medical examiner's job was a challenge, one Sara had sorely needed thirteen years ago when she had left Atlanta and moved back to Grant County. Part of her thought her brain would atrophy without the constant obstacles presented by forensic medicine. Still, there was something restorative about treating children, and Sara, who could not have children of her own, knew that she would miss the contact. She vacillated daily on which job was better. Generally, a bad day at one made the other look ideal.

"Getting on up there!" Tessa screeched, loud enough to get Sara's attention. "I'm thirty-four, not fifty. What the hell kind of thing is that for a nurse to say to a pregnant woman?"

Sara stared at her sister. "What?"

"Have you heard a word I've said?"

She tried to sound convincing. "Yes. Of course I have."

Tessa frowned. "You're thinking about Jeffrey, aren't you?"

Sara was surprised by the question. For once her ex-husband had been the last thing on her mind. "No."

"Sara, don't lie to me," Tessa countered. "Everybody in town saw that sign girl up at the station Friday."

"She was lettering the new police car," Sara answered, feeling a warm flush come to her cheeks.

Tessa gave a disbelieving look. "Wasn't that his excuse the last time?"

Sara did not answer. She could still remember the day she'd come home early from work to find Jeffrey in bed with the owner of the local sign shop. The whole Linton family was both amazed and irritated that Sara was dating Jeffrey again, and while Sara for the most part shared their sentiments, she felt incapable of making a clean break. Logic eluded her where Jeffrey was concerned.

Tessa warned, "You just need to be careful with him. Don't let him get too comfortable."

"I'm not an idiot."

"Sometimes you are."

"Well, you are, too," Sara shot back, feeling foolish even before the words came out of her mouth.

But for the whir of the air-conditioning, the car was quiet. Finally Tessa offered, "You should've said, 'I know you are, but what am I?'"

Sara wanted to laugh it off, but she was too irritated. "Tessie, it's none of your business."

Tessa barked a loud laugh that rattled in Sara's ears. "Well, hell, honey, that's never stopped anybody before. I'm sure damn Marla Simms was on the phone before the little bitch even got out of her truck."

"Don't call her that."

Tessa waved her spoon in the air again ...

A Faint Cold Fear
A Novel
. Copyright © by Karin Slaughter. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Barbara Peters
“Hard to imagine that such a quiet shy girl as Slaughter harbors so fiendish a heart. In Kisscut, Georgia pediatrician Sara Linton and her ex, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, are caught up in an evil web along with Detective Lena Adams. It begins with a young girl who commits suicide by forcing Jeffrey to shoot her down. Horrified, he’s desperate to determine why. Sara, not just the dead Jenny’s doctor but also the town’s coroner, does the autopsy and makes a horrible discovery: Jenny had been rudely castrated. Lena, wrestling with her own dark demons, joins in an investigation worthy of Andrew Vachs. Man, Kisscut is a killer book, savage but exciting, a strong followup to Slaughter’s debut in Blindsighted.”
Val McDermid
“An impressive new landmark on the thriller map.”

Meet the Author

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 36 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her sixteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novel Pretty Girls. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her Will Trent series, Grant County series, and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television.

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A Faint Cold Fear: A Grant County Thriller 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 214 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i have enjoyed ms. slaughters books on the whole. this one had a good plot, and was well written except for the repeated insistence on calling a shot gun a "rifle" i understand occasional errors sneak by the editing process but this book called a shot gun a rifle for page after page. every time it happened it knocked me out of the flow of the story. quite distracting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Premise showed promise. BUT-as it progressed became tedious. Not one character was likeable. I could not find one character I liked or cared for. Even the character whowas victimized was not relatable. Could not believe her actions. Who was the protaganist? Committed to reading and finishing because I wanted to know how it would end. The ending was predictable. Able to determine who it was by the way the characters were developed and presented. Had a Lifetime or Hallmark channel movie feel to it. Will not attempt a second story by this author. -Reed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not realistic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The pace of this book is uneven, i would not read this author again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was ok, but not sure I'll read more by this author. It was so far fetched that I actually found my self saying "Oh, come on!", while I was reading.
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Great read
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