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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.

Topics: Serial Killers, Georgia, Small Town, Dark, Violent, Sexual Abuse, Sibling Rivalry, and Women Detectives

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061802768
List price: $8.99
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I'm gradually becoming a solid fan of Karin Slaughter's mystery novels. In this one the lead characters are Sara Linton, medical examiner, and Jeffrey Tolliver, Chief of Police, of a small college town in Georgia. The college plays a large role in the story; it's supposedly a school for dorky types who don't fit in at the better known large universities in Georgia. Judging from the scene at one dorm party, though, these kids don't seem very nerdy at all.As this gripping story begins, the body of a young man has been found in the dry river bed under a bridge by the college. He has fallen or jumped from the bridge and his legs are shattered. Is it suicide? He has tried to slit his arm before. While Sara, Jeffrey, and others try to figure out what happened, Sara's very pregnant sister leaves Sara's car to go up a hill into the woods to relieve herself. They find her stabbed and bleeding profusely a few minutes later. In other words, the book grabs the reader by the neck and doesn't let go until the end.There is one masterfully drawn character in this book you won't soon forget. Lena is a former cop who now works for the college security department. She hates the job, mostly because of her bigoted, smarmy boss. She was an excellent cop but was the victim of one of the most terrifying violent kidnappings you'll ever read about. Her head still isn't back to normal, and neither is her body for that matter. I was impressed by the depiction of this woman and her struggle to keep it together.The other characters are well drawn too and although the plot kept me turning pages, it was the characters I really loved. Slaughter has been compared to Patricia Cornwall and Kathy Reichs and I can see the truth of that comparison, but I am more impressed with Slaughter's characters than Cornwall's. I highly recommend this book.read more
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I enjoyed her first novel, Blindsighted, much more. Although this is very readable suspense it did not keep me on the edge of my seat like the first in this series. I have not read the second in the series, Kisscut, but I am hoping that it is more like Blindsighted.read more
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I loathed this book and I so wanted to throw it away and not finish it. But I rarely do this with any book I start.

I hated the characters and couldn't care less about what happened to them. In real life I would not have anything to do with them. I loathed this so much that I won't be reading any more in this series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Very well written and engaging, as usual, though Lena drives me a little nuts. Most of my problem is I've read subsequent books and I know how well things go for her and Ethan. Other than that, Karin Slaughter's usual intelligence and wit are touching and refreshing, and her commitment to speaking out against racism and violence against women are in full force.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
With A Faint Cold Fear, Karin Slaughter has taken her Grant County series up a notch. Fastpaced action combined with great character development kept the pages turning, and I am looking forward to the next installation.The main storyline revolves around a series of deaths at the local university. At first glance they appear as suicides, but are they? They must be connected, but Sherrif Jeffrey Tolliver is having difficulty finding the connection. His ex-wife, Medical Examine Sara Linton is involved with a nightmare of her own involving her family. I found the most interesting plotline was of Lena Adams, former Grant County deputy, now working as security at the university campus. Her life has been in a downward spiral since the first book, and she seems to be hitting rock bottom in this, the third book. I am curious to find out what is going to happen to this character. A Faint Cold Fear is a solid thriller, the author doesn't pull any punches, she takes us ona thrilling ride with skillful writing, great imagination and excellent characters.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Karin Slaughter is the absolute best crime/mystery writer I have come across in this day and age. Her novels will simply astound you with their heart-racing moments and intrigue. Every time I pick one of her novels up I cannot stop reading until I'm done and I still find myself begging for more. She's a writer with no fear! She wields her instruments like a knife ready to dig in deep and take you by surprise at every turn!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Audiobook. This was not my favorite book in the series. It was sad, and very vulgar and graphic in some parts. Might have been better for me to read it to skim over parts I didn't enjoy rather then have to listen to them. But the story was good and I do like the characters so I will check out the next book in the series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is one of the series of Karin Slaughter books featuring police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, M.E. Sara Linton and the rest of the series cast of characters. This is one series that you should probably only read in order, and fairly close together, since they depend on the others. To me, that's a detriment.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A Faint Cold Fear is well paced, with solid plotting that moves the story forward as the investigation twists around the characters. It starts with a suprising crime scene that gives an impression that quickly changes with the arrival of Sara who uses the injuries, described in detail, to determine that not all is as it seems. There is a lot of violence in this book - some overt, some hidden but Karin handles it well - it's never gratuitious but contributes to the story. There are enough victims and enough suspects to keep you off balance in determining who dunnit - personally I didn't see the last little reveal coming.I found Lena almost more intriguing than the murders, such a damaged woman and her behaviour so difficult to reconcile even though I know intellectually that it is not an unusual reaction to the tragedy she experienced.Suprisingly I haven't ever read this author before - as a fan of the genre I am not sure how I missed her - but I'll be hunting up some more of her workread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Too much small talk and not enough suspense and movement to plot. I didn't read all of it. The first book I have tried by this author. I will try again with another. When characters talk about things like their ice cream melting or have personal relationship fights I lose interest since the plot is not advanced.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If I lived in Grant County, Georgia, I'd run for my life. This place is like death, incorporated. How many times can any one character face rape, and attempted murder? I think I could buy all this murder and mayhem, if perhaps, the protagonists lived in a big city - or even a big town. But all this unexpected horror in one small town stretches my ability to suspend my disbelief. And despite being with these characters for a couple of books - I still don't particularly like them.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Another great read that I couldn't put down.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Karin Slaughter never disappoints. Again a good, decent thriller, almost Agatha Christie style, with the unexpected turn of events at the end of the novel. I am warming towards the characters more and more.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A sometimes moving book about the struggles to put a life back together after being a victim of violence. A few too many dead bodies in the course of 3 books to be quite plausible, but still a reasonably good series to read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Karin Slaughter writes compelling crime fiction and this book is no exception. I am not sure enjoy is the right word to use as this book is so dark, but her books are engaging reads. I also really like how from each book the relationship between the characters develops.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
not literature by any stretch of the imagination, slaughter manages to put a grisled twist on the mystery genre and hold her own. perfect for plane rides, beach trips, or any bit of escapism.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
College students appear to be committing suicide at an alarming rate, and their deaths are not your ordinary suicides. In amongst the suicides a young woman is brutally attacked not far from the scene of a suicide. How are the two related? Grant County just keeps getting better and better! Lots and lots of unexpected events happen in the lives of our main characters. I'm really intrigued as to where they will go in the next book. The case was unusual with just the right amount of gruesomeness as I've come to expect from Slaughter. A thrilling, fast-paced read with intriguing characters. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wow, this was much better than the last installment. Slaughter kept the pace moving right along. Too easy to give lots of things away here, suffice it to say you probably know won't who the villain is until the end, with a big surprise (but then again, maybe not???). Slaughter doesn't get bogged down with a lot of unnecessary descriptions. As for Sara, Slaughter uses her humanity along with a gentleness that gets the point across perfectly with regards to the forensics without beating the reader about the head with a over-sized medical dictionary.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

I'm gradually becoming a solid fan of Karin Slaughter's mystery novels. In this one the lead characters are Sara Linton, medical examiner, and Jeffrey Tolliver, Chief of Police, of a small college town in Georgia. The college plays a large role in the story; it's supposedly a school for dorky types who don't fit in at the better known large universities in Georgia. Judging from the scene at one dorm party, though, these kids don't seem very nerdy at all.As this gripping story begins, the body of a young man has been found in the dry river bed under a bridge by the college. He has fallen or jumped from the bridge and his legs are shattered. Is it suicide? He has tried to slit his arm before. While Sara, Jeffrey, and others try to figure out what happened, Sara's very pregnant sister leaves Sara's car to go up a hill into the woods to relieve herself. They find her stabbed and bleeding profusely a few minutes later. In other words, the book grabs the reader by the neck and doesn't let go until the end.There is one masterfully drawn character in this book you won't soon forget. Lena is a former cop who now works for the college security department. She hates the job, mostly because of her bigoted, smarmy boss. She was an excellent cop but was the victim of one of the most terrifying violent kidnappings you'll ever read about. Her head still isn't back to normal, and neither is her body for that matter. I was impressed by the depiction of this woman and her struggle to keep it together.The other characters are well drawn too and although the plot kept me turning pages, it was the characters I really loved. Slaughter has been compared to Patricia Cornwall and Kathy Reichs and I can see the truth of that comparison, but I am more impressed with Slaughter's characters than Cornwall's. I highly recommend this book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I enjoyed her first novel, Blindsighted, much more. Although this is very readable suspense it did not keep me on the edge of my seat like the first in this series. I have not read the second in the series, Kisscut, but I am hoping that it is more like Blindsighted.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I loathed this book and I so wanted to throw it away and not finish it. But I rarely do this with any book I start.

I hated the characters and couldn't care less about what happened to them. In real life I would not have anything to do with them. I loathed this so much that I won't be reading any more in this series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Very well written and engaging, as usual, though Lena drives me a little nuts. Most of my problem is I've read subsequent books and I know how well things go for her and Ethan. Other than that, Karin Slaughter's usual intelligence and wit are touching and refreshing, and her commitment to speaking out against racism and violence against women are in full force.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
With A Faint Cold Fear, Karin Slaughter has taken her Grant County series up a notch. Fastpaced action combined with great character development kept the pages turning, and I am looking forward to the next installation.The main storyline revolves around a series of deaths at the local university. At first glance they appear as suicides, but are they? They must be connected, but Sherrif Jeffrey Tolliver is having difficulty finding the connection. His ex-wife, Medical Examine Sara Linton is involved with a nightmare of her own involving her family. I found the most interesting plotline was of Lena Adams, former Grant County deputy, now working as security at the university campus. Her life has been in a downward spiral since the first book, and she seems to be hitting rock bottom in this, the third book. I am curious to find out what is going to happen to this character. A Faint Cold Fear is a solid thriller, the author doesn't pull any punches, she takes us ona thrilling ride with skillful writing, great imagination and excellent characters.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Karin Slaughter is the absolute best crime/mystery writer I have come across in this day and age. Her novels will simply astound you with their heart-racing moments and intrigue. Every time I pick one of her novels up I cannot stop reading until I'm done and I still find myself begging for more. She's a writer with no fear! She wields her instruments like a knife ready to dig in deep and take you by surprise at every turn!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Audiobook. This was not my favorite book in the series. It was sad, and very vulgar and graphic in some parts. Might have been better for me to read it to skim over parts I didn't enjoy rather then have to listen to them. But the story was good and I do like the characters so I will check out the next book in the series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book is one of the series of Karin Slaughter books featuring police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, M.E. Sara Linton and the rest of the series cast of characters. This is one series that you should probably only read in order, and fairly close together, since they depend on the others. To me, that's a detriment.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A Faint Cold Fear is well paced, with solid plotting that moves the story forward as the investigation twists around the characters. It starts with a suprising crime scene that gives an impression that quickly changes with the arrival of Sara who uses the injuries, described in detail, to determine that not all is as it seems. There is a lot of violence in this book - some overt, some hidden but Karin handles it well - it's never gratuitious but contributes to the story. There are enough victims and enough suspects to keep you off balance in determining who dunnit - personally I didn't see the last little reveal coming.I found Lena almost more intriguing than the murders, such a damaged woman and her behaviour so difficult to reconcile even though I know intellectually that it is not an unusual reaction to the tragedy she experienced.Suprisingly I haven't ever read this author before - as a fan of the genre I am not sure how I missed her - but I'll be hunting up some more of her work
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Too much small talk and not enough suspense and movement to plot. I didn't read all of it. The first book I have tried by this author. I will try again with another. When characters talk about things like their ice cream melting or have personal relationship fights I lose interest since the plot is not advanced.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If I lived in Grant County, Georgia, I'd run for my life. This place is like death, incorporated. How many times can any one character face rape, and attempted murder? I think I could buy all this murder and mayhem, if perhaps, the protagonists lived in a big city - or even a big town. But all this unexpected horror in one small town stretches my ability to suspend my disbelief. And despite being with these characters for a couple of books - I still don't particularly like them.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Another great read that I couldn't put down.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Karin Slaughter never disappoints. Again a good, decent thriller, almost Agatha Christie style, with the unexpected turn of events at the end of the novel. I am warming towards the characters more and more.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A sometimes moving book about the struggles to put a life back together after being a victim of violence. A few too many dead bodies in the course of 3 books to be quite plausible, but still a reasonably good series to read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Karin Slaughter writes compelling crime fiction and this book is no exception. I am not sure enjoy is the right word to use as this book is so dark, but her books are engaging reads. I also really like how from each book the relationship between the characters develops.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
not literature by any stretch of the imagination, slaughter manages to put a grisled twist on the mystery genre and hold her own. perfect for plane rides, beach trips, or any bit of escapism.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
College students appear to be committing suicide at an alarming rate, and their deaths are not your ordinary suicides. In amongst the suicides a young woman is brutally attacked not far from the scene of a suicide. How are the two related? Grant County just keeps getting better and better! Lots and lots of unexpected events happen in the lives of our main characters. I'm really intrigued as to where they will go in the next book. The case was unusual with just the right amount of gruesomeness as I've come to expect from Slaughter. A thrilling, fast-paced read with intriguing characters. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wow, this was much better than the last installment. Slaughter kept the pace moving right along. Too easy to give lots of things away here, suffice it to say you probably know won't who the villain is until the end, with a big surprise (but then again, maybe not???). Slaughter doesn't get bogged down with a lot of unnecessary descriptions. As for Sara, Slaughter uses her humanity along with a gentleness that gets the point across perfectly with regards to the forensics without beating the reader about the head with a over-sized medical dictionary.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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