Series: Grant County #1
Published by HarperCollins on September 4, 2011
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Amazon | Goodreads
A small Georgia town erupts in panic when a young college professor is found brutally mutilated in the local diner. But it's only when town pediatrician and coroner Sara Linton does the autopsy that the full extent of the killer's twisted work becomes clear.
Sara's ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, leads the investigation -- a trail of terror that grows increasingly macabre when another local woman is found crucified a few days later. But he's got more than a sadistic serial killer on his hands, for the county's sole female detective, Lena Adams -- the first victim's sister -- want to serve her own justice.
But it is Sara who holds the key to finding the killer. A secret from her past could unmask the brilliantly malevolent psychopath... or mean her death.
Sarah goes to the local diner for lunch with her sister. She’s a little late and the lunch crowd is pretty much gone. When she goes to the restroom, she finds Sibyl Adams, a professor at the local college who is also blind, covered in blood in one of the stalls. She’s been brutally stabbed and assaulted and Sarah tries but can’t save her. During the autopsy, she discovers just how demented her killer really is.
There’s quite a bit of inbreeding in this town. Sibyl was Detective Lena Adam’s sister and she’s difficult to deal with under good circumstances. She insists on being part of the investigation and Jeffrey doesn’t have a deep investigative bench to keep her on the sidelines. When another woman is assaulted in a similar manner, it’s clear that they’ve got a possible serial killer to deal with.
The mystery and suspense
There are a lot of angles, including an overlay of bigotry and insubordination amongst the police ranks. Jeffrey is also trying to get back into Sarah’s life while trying to work with her to solve the cases. She’s withholding some major stuff that could possibly impact the case but doesn’t want to revisit her troubled past. When a third person goes missing, it strikes even closer to home.
The bottom line
This is the first book in the series and it is chilling. All those involved in the case, while talented, have some major issues in their personal lives that resurface throughout the course of the investigation. That just made the story even more exciting and frustrating. It wasn’t all that easy to figure out whodunit but it wasn’t impossible either. If this first book is a measure of those to come, I’m in for an incredible journey. The book is not without its flaws but they’re not significant enough to detract from your overall enjoyment. Oh, and it’s not for the squeamish.
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