A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter


A knife attack occurs at the scene of one of a cluster of apparent suicides which leads police to believe the exploding campus mortality rate cannot be by chance. Something systematic is going on and despite their strained marriage the medical examiner, Sara, and the Cheif of Police, Jeffry, must work together to solve the case even when an old friend becomes a top suspect.

My fault, I read this book out of order. It was meant to be part of a series, and as someone who was not already invested in the character’s relationships and group dynamics, I thought it lost momentum in the middle when the killer was elusive and very little progress was being made on the forensic front. If you have read the preceding novels perhaps the character interaction will be more meaningful to you.

I did find the characters engaging. I suspect some characters had brief cameos more because they were int he first 2 books and readers would want them to check in with them more than they were completely essential to this plot. I think some of the characters were designed to be foils. Thier stark contrast makes them appear even more extremely opposite. There was also a lot of diversity represented by the characters.

I felt that this was a lesson in betrayal. Being abandoned by someone when you really need stability to cling on to does devastating things to people. It is hard to sooth an injured relationship and the characters are trapped in distrustful confusion because of emotional barriers. I also see it explore relationship dynamics. Many of the characters exist in couples. Some of them display different toxic relationship dynamics and some show healthy positive interactions.

I am not a big believer in coincidences so when the book ties together sheerly by coincidence I feel a little cheated. I am happy with a well-timed realization but after an in-depth forensic investigation, motivation theorizing, and multiple murders very convincingly staged as a suicide. Then the killer just by chance is in the wrong place at the wrong time? Ridiculous.

I think this book was unpolished and not well thought out or revised in terms of plot. There is a lot of extraneous distractors some of which are never explained away that made this book feel disorganized. I feel that this book rates as a 2 for concept and craftsmanship.




1 Blindsighted

2. Kisscut

3. A faint cold fear

4. Indelible

5. Faithless

6. Beyond Reach

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