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A Faint Cold Fear
by Karin Slaughter

Category: Fiction / Mystery
352 pages; ISBN: 0688174582

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Heartsdale, Georgia medical examiner Sara Linton travels to the Grant Institute of Technology where a student Andy Rosen apparently jumped off a bridge. Sara’s eight month pregnant sister Tessa, known for her eating habits of late, happened to have been in the car with Sara when she received the call. The two women go to the death scene where Sarah joins her boyfriend Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver who has begun investigating. Tessa enters the nearby woods to do the other bodily function that she seems to need to do every few seconds only to be viciously attacked.

Two more suicides occur and Tessa remains hospitalized. Meanwhile Jeffrey wonders if former police detective turned college security guard Lena Adams knows more than she is telling. Although Lena has her own problems stemming from an abduction and rape she still investigates sex and drug trafficking at the Grant Institute of Technology. Following the third death, Sara reconsiders whether homicide not suicide has occurred. Jeffrey tries to keep both women safe while seeking a killer.

Though the story line contains too many moments of self-deprecating doubts due to previous ghosts, fans will enjoy this terse medical examiner thriller. The key cast members constantly display their soul so that the audience receives a two edged blade. The motives of the characters are understandable but so intense that it sometimes slows down the prime plot and spins off several cluttering subplots. Still A FAINT COLD FEAR is a solid crime tale that showcases Karen Slaughter’s ability to live up to a surname that seems apropos for a mystery author.

Harriet Klausner


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