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ISBN: 9780099421771


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by Karin Slaughter

Category: Crime, Mystery & Thrillers / Crime & Mysteries
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publication date: 3 October 2002
Number of pages: 416
Prizes: Shortlisted for WH Smith Thumping Good Read Book Award 2003.
Shortlisted for WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award 2003.

The sleepy town of Heartsdale is jolted into panic when Sara Linton, pediatrician and medical examiner, finds Sibyl Adams, a young college professor, horribly murdered in the local diner. Police chief Jeffrey Tolliver then finds a second victim crucified and recognises the work of a serial killer.

The backwater town of Heartsdale, Georgia, finds its placid surface ripped asunder when paediatrician and medical examiner Sara Linton finds the body of Sibyl Adams, a young college professor, savagely mutilated in the local diner. As well as being raped, Sibyl has had a cross inscribed on her stomach. But only when Sara begins to perform the post-mortem does she realise the true horror of the killing. In charge of the investigation is police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, Sara's ex-husband. And when a second murder victim is discovered crucified only a couple of days later, Tolliver realises that he's dealing with both a terrifying sexual predator and a relentless serial killer. Sara and Tolliver find themselves obliged to patch up their differences in order to track down the monster who seems to delight in mutilating his victims. We've been in this kind of territory before, and it's more and more difficult for thriller writers to create something new in an overcrowded genre. Karin Slaughter has the added disadvantage of a pathologist heroine (an area which Patricia Cornwell has thoroughly made her own). It's to her credit then that she so successfully engages our attention with this one, even when the material seems familiar. The interplay between her protagonists is excellently done, and because we come to care about them, we are more concerned as they get closer to the heart of darkness behind the murders. Needless to say, this is not one for the squeamish - but readers seeking a grim, cutting-edge thriller need look no further. (Kirkus UK)

What the papers say:
"[UNK] 'Don't read this alone. Don't read this after dark. But do read it.' - The Mirror [UNK] 'Unsparing, exciting, genuinely alarming - a formidable debut' - Literary Review [UNK] 'Slaughter brings the story to a shattering climax' - Sunday Telegraph [UNK] 'Wildly readable... deftly crafted, damnably suspenseful and, in the end, deadly serious. Slaughter's plotting is brilliant, her suspense relentless' - Washington Post"

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