Friday, August 29, 2008

Kisscut - Karin Slaughter

Saturday night dates at the skating rink have been a tradition in the small southern town of Heartsdale for as long as anyone can remember. But when a teenage quarrel explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton - the town's paediatrician and medical examiner - finds herself entangled in a horrific tragedy. What seemed at first to be a terrible but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications. The autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse, of ritualistic self-mutilation, but when Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, they are frustrated at every turn. The children surrounding the victim close ranks. The families turn their backs. But when a young girl is abducted, it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime, one far more shocking than anyone could have imagined. And unless Sara and Jeffrey can uncover the deadly secrets the children hide, it's going to happen again...

As in the previous story the book starts with a murder scene where Sara is faced with horrifying find and Jeffrey with a terrible decision that will haunt him. The worse is yet to be discovered though. While perfoming the autopsy Sara concludes something very wrong was happening in young Jenny Weaver's life. She shows signs of sexual abuse and while trying to uncover more they discover she might not be the only child involved.

We have Sara and Jeffrey's private life also featuring prominently in the story and we get to know them in a slight different way than in the first book. This child abuse case hits them hard! Sara knew some of the children as patients and felt she should have suspected something and Jeffrey was directly involved in the first death.

I'm not sure that I enjoyed the theme of the mystery plot all that much. Slaughter is very graphic in her descriptions and clearly the events mentioned end up shadowing any investigative skills that might be involved. For instance Lena ends up discovering part of the truth because of her empathy with the victim and not because she is a good detective. In fact she still has a lot of bagagge to deal with and I thought it was a bit unbelievable that she would be allowed to work the way she is.
I thought it was interesting the angle she presents regarding the victim's feelings towards their abusers but I was left wondering if she did some research on the subject.

Once again there's some lack of suspense, the mystery starts to be unraveled early on, we find out who the bad guys are. It's the full extent of what they have done that is slowly revealed in the end. Being the emotional girl that I am I was with Lena all the way when the gets that morphine supply and just waits! For the same reason I was saddened by the end and wondering if this theme will resurface in later books. Of course I'm left cheering for Sara (she also gets very emotional with her sister, sometimes too much) and for Jeffrey. I plan to get to the next book soon because I really like Slaughter's writing and both her books have been page turners for me. I wouldn't mind if she was a bit less graphic though, I'm not an overly sensitive person but this particular theme, dealt with this way, left me a bit upset.

Grade: B

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