Review: A Faint Cold Fear

Posted 8 April, 2011 by Amanda / 6 Comments

A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter (Grant County #3)
Genre: Mystery
Purchased paperback from B&N
Finished reading 4/8/2011
In six words: This book makes me feel conflicted.
Book Links
Karin Slaughter’s website
Amazon: paperback | e-book
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Book order
1) Blindsighted
2) Kisscut
3) A Faint Cold Fear
4) Indelible
5) Faithless
6) Beyond Reach


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.

Why I Read This Book and General Thoughts

This is the third book in Karin Slaughter’s Grant County series.  I first started reading this series over my spring break (aka my last real book bender) because I had read reviews of this series on And the Plot Thickens and thought it sounded like something I might like.  I really enjoyed the first book, so I bought the second.  I liked that one too, so I bought the next four books as a reward for whenever I finished writing my thesis draft.  This book is the third book in the series, but for me it fell a little flat, especially in comparison with the previous two books.  It was still a good book and I intend to continue reading – after all, I’m invested in the characters – but I feel a little frustrated by this book.

A More In-Depth Look

It only took about 20 pages before something happened, and it shocked me enough to the point where it felt surreal, and that maybe I had misread.  While it’s certainly possible that this was the whole point, it was so unexpected and upsetting.  And then it seemed like this certain aspect of the entire plot was shoved underneath the rug and only addressed if  it was necessary to drive the emotional plot between Sara and Jeffrey forward.  I sincerely hope that what happened will be addressed in the next book(s).

We also got to reenter Lena’s life.  She is such a fascinating and broken character.  She terrifies me to a certain extent, because she seems to always be five seconds from screwing up her life completely.  After what happened to her, we can understand some of her inner turmoil and poor choices, but I found myself wanting to shake her and tell her to get it together.

The ending was unexpected (and good), but it took a while to get there.  I’m finding  that mysteries tend to be plot or mystery driven, whereas romances and other fiction tend to be character driven.  Somehow that emotional connection with the character(s) makes the book harder to put down.  It’s easier to set the book down during mysteries – and this one especially so.  I found myself setting the book down of my own volition to do something else.  It wasn’t that the plot or mystery was bad; more so it was simply I was not completely engaged and invested in finishing it as fast as I could so I could find out what happened.

And the final page(s) left me asking, “What exactly does this mean?”  Either I missed something, or Karin Slaughter is dangling a very interesting bit of information out for her reader in order to get us to continue reading the series.  I prefer to think it’s the latter, but the former is possible.

Favorite Quote

“Everybody had something horrible happen to them at one time or another in their life; it was part of the human condition.  How they struggled through adversity proved what kind of people they were.”

You Might Enjoy This Book If…

If you’re already invested in the series, then read this book.  I don’t think it’s the best example of Karin Slaughter’s writing, but it’s still a good book.


Filed under: ESR: 7, Mystery, Review: Amanda, ,


6 Responses to “Review: A Faint Cold Fear”

  1. Oh how mad Lena makes me!!! She has a good job, Jeffery is always looking out for her and she has potential to be such a good cop but she’s ALWAYS screwing things up…. she pretty much wants a crappy life. It just gets worse. Keep reading ;)

    I can’t remember the crime in this book… hhmmm I read it a number of years ago. I just remember they keep getting better (or at least, I came to love the characters and ‘need’ to see what is going to happen to them… )

    • I can totally see Lena getting worse better she gets better. =/

      Yeah. The bit at the end of this book made me want to read more. Plus, I want to find out what happens with Tessa, as well as Sara and Jeffrey. I’ve definitely emotionally invested in the characters, but something about this book just didn’t sit right with me. I want to read the next one in the series now even though I just got a few books from the library…