Monday, August 25, 2008
Blindsighted - Karin Slaughter
The sleepy town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is jolted into panic when Sara Linton, paediatrician and medical examiner, finds Sibyl Adams dead in the local diner. As well as being viciously raped, Sibyl has been cut: two deep knife wounds form a lethal cross over her stomach. But it's only once Sara starts to perform the post-mortem that the full extent of the killer's brutality becomes clear. Police chief Jeffrey Tolliver - Sara's ex-husband - is in charge of the investigation, and when a second victim is found, crucified, only a few days later, both Jeffrey and Sara have to face the fact that Sibyl's murder wasn't a one-off attack. What they're dealing with is a seasoned sexual predator. A violent serial killer ...
I came across some reviews for this author while surfing the web and decided to give her a try. I really enjoyed it! I think what made me enjoy it so much were two things: the crime plot - how the crimes ocurred, who the killer was, why was he doing it etc, and Sara who I thought was an interesting character, not always sympathetic but always interesting, and her relationship with her ex-husband, the chief of police Jeffrey Tolliver. None of them were perfect which made them all the more interesting to read about. Besides cooperating in the murder investigation they had some personal problems to solve as even divorced they still have strong feelings for each other.
It is obvious from the beginning that Sara is hiding something and that she will probably be a target herself. The first murder is bloody and a bit horrifying to read how it's discovered by Sara. A big part of the investigation relies on what she finds at the authopsy table or by examining the victims and we get as much of that as of Tolliver's investigation of the case making some of the descriptions very graphic. We also get a little bit of small town feel where everyone knows everyone, where some of the cops have very conservative (disturbed?) mentalities and where there's only one female cop, Lena Adams (the first victim's twin sister).
As the investigation progresses we get more information on Sara's past and how that influences her life and constitutes clues to what is happening. We also find more about her and Jeffrey's failed marriage but I must say Slaughter makes him a very sympathetic and lovable character despite past mistakes and one can't help rooting for him and his pursuit of Sara.
In the end I thought that some things were left unexplained regarding the murderer, why the drug used, what triggered his behaviour in the very beginning. He is also disclosed early and so I thought the ending lacked a bit of suspense, a bit of adrenaline rushing. We don't have the complex characters and a detailed analysis of behaviours and actions as we do in Cornwell's early Scarpetta books but I found it a very enjoyable read and hope to continue the series soon!