3) A Faint Cold Fear
6) Beyond Reach
Two armed men enter the police station in tiny Heartsdale, Georgia, and open fire. When the shooting stops, an officer is dead, Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver is seriously wounded, and the survivors — including a class of grade-school children and medical examiner Sara Linton — are held hostage. In a tense standoff that could erupt at any moment into more bloodletting — with her ex-husband on the threshold of death — Sara must search for answers and an escape in the memories of a time at the start of their relationship when another brutal, shocking crime shattered their small-town world. Because the sins of the past have caught up with Sara and Jeffrey … with a vengeance.
Why I Read This Book and General Thoughts
Since this is part of a series, it’s probably no wonder why I read this book. I was first introduced to this series by Rachel from And the Plot Thickens. It didn’t take very long before I was hooked to the series. It’s kind of amazing that such a small town can experience such a large amount of gruesome violence, but Karin Slaughter makes it work. This book gave us a look into the beginning of Jeffrey and Sara’s relationship, as well as how it was related to the “men” (they seemed more like boys, to me) who stormed the police station and started shooting.
A More In-Depth Look
Knowing that there are more books in this series with Jeffrey in them, you know that no matter what happens to him in this book, he’ll survive. I appreciate knowing this because I hate it when characters I like die. Even when I know that a character will eventually live or who will end up with whom, I enjoy the story that gets there. Karin Slaughter did not disappoint me with this book. There are really two separate plot lines here, but they are linked together, even though you are not really quite sure how right away.
One plot line involves what happens at the police station (obviously). This is not really the main focus of the book – at least, it did not capture my interest the way the other plot line did. We get to see Lena again, this time as she returns to her job as a police detective. Her role in this book is not quite as prominent as it has been for the first three books, but it was still important. And she pulled through in the end without messing up too badly. At least professionally.
The second plot line took place in the past when Jeffrey and Sara were first dating. Jeffrey takes Sara to his hometown “as a detour” on their beach trip, and the detour turns into the vacation from hell. We had already kind of met some of the characters from Jeffrey’s past earlier in the series, but here we got to look in their closets and find their skeletons.
Some of the relationship development between Jeffrey and Sara I’m not so clear on – more from Sara, than Jeffrey. She went from being ready to leave town without him to staying and feeling like she couldn’t walk away from Jeffrey in the space of a day or so, and I didn’t quite understand what brought about this whole change. But I don’t think this distracted from the story at all, since this was about so much more than their relationship.
You Might Enjoy This Book If…
This is another fabulous book by Karin Slaughter. If you like strong female leads and crime thrillers, check out this series. Although Sara is a medical examiner and not a forensic anthropologist like Temperance Brennan from Kathy Reichs’ series, I would say that the two women have a lot in common. If you like Kathy Reichs, you might like Karin Slaughter, too.