📚A Faint Cold Fear (Grant County Book 3) by Karin Slaughter

A suicide on a college campus.
A tragic case with a simple resolution.

But for medical examiner Sara Linton, it just doesn’t add up. When two more suspicious deaths follow and a young woman is brutally attacked, it becomes clear that she’s looking for a murderer.

The college authorities are reluctant to cooperate and Sara isn’t any closer to finding the answers she needs.

With the violence triggering memories of a past she’d rather forget and the clues pointing ever closer to home, can she uncover the truth in time to save the next victim?

18 Chapters | 462pg | 2 Days – 6.5 Hours

I did take a break from reading. An unintentional break but sometimes other priorities come first.

As much as I love Karin Slaughter, her books are hard hitting and a break from them can be beneficial.

This is the 3rd book in the Grant County series. The blurb hints a quite an explosive story that involves Lena in some way.

Lena isn’t even part of the main duo but has been featured quite heavily in the series so far. If you want to avoid the spoiler in reference to Lena from books 1 and 2 – skip the next paragraph.

Lena has been through A LOT. I’ve mentioned this in both my reviews for the first and second books respectively. In the first book her twin sister was killed, and she became the victim of a horrendous serial murderer where she was raped and nailed to the floor. In the second book she was traumatised by what had previously happened and not coping at all. In book two she was given the ultimatum of seeking therapy or resigning from the police force.

This book begins 6 months after the end of book 2. Lena has resigned from the police force and now works as part of the security team at the university campus. This book is heavily centred around the university campus as the deaths we encounter take place in this vicinity.

This book has a dual narrative. Firstly you have the murder investigation and secondly you have the storyline between Sara and her family.

This book has 3 murders. To be honest, while reading, I couldn’t think of any way that connected all three murders and that was also a topic of conversation between the characters of Sara and Jeffery. The murders could easily be written off as accidents or suicides or just uninteresting deaths. Of course, any death in a crime book has to have some meaning but I really couldn’t put the murders into any format that made any sense to me.

It was crafty I suppose, the way this was written. With previous Slaughter books I have had theories of who the killer was and why they killed but I didn’t have any theories when reading this because I couldn’t make any connection between either the victims or why the killer was acting in such a way.

It did feel like a challenge to unravel but I was more focused, I think, on the characters and the emotions rolling around that I didn’t pick up that challenge and run with it.

Sara, as a character, goes through a lot of stress in this book. She deals with a lot of guilt, grief, and anger. I think, because she was do put-together in her demeanour that seeing her experience these emotions added another layer to the character. Sara is one of those main characters that doesn’t actually share a lot about herself, so anything that I get to learn as the reader is beneficial to me understanding the character on a deeper level.

There are some crime series where you are LONGING for the two main characters to get together or where the ‘will they, won’t they’ finally has a conclusion. Sara and Jeffery were married prior to the series beginning and through the last two books they have started seeing each other again but it doesn’t have the same adrenaline feeling as the above scenarios would have.

I think Sara and Jeffery either need to part ways or reconcile because the place that their relationship currently resides in isn’t doing anything for either character. They’re both stubborn and both have faults that irritate the other. I can’t really see why they worked in the first place or how they would work in the future.

Jeffery also, experiences emotions unseen previously. He has a lot of anger in this book, some guilt, fear, and vulnerability. I don’t think Jeffery can accept Lena as she needs now because he still sees her as she was. His relationship as Lena’s boss has soured to the point of disintegration. He wants to be her friend, but he has no idea how. He feels utter disappointment at her life decisions. He definitely feels responsible for her, almost like he sees her as a sister or family member.

His emotions surrounding Lena definitely cloud his judgement during this book and his actions reflect this.

Being that this series is set in a small town, there are characters that are make repeat appearances in the books. I do enjoy that aspect, I have always enjoyed series that have a staple of characters that all appear and get their chance to shine as the series progresses.

Did the killer reveal come as a shock to me? Yes, because it was someone, I hadn’t even thought could BE the killer. As I hadn’t thought the killer possible to kill, I had to take a minute and analyse they’re actions through the course of the book to familiarise myself with the character but also to see if there were any clues I had missed or anything that would have given me cause to think they could be a suspect.

Is the ending a little bit of an unexpected cliffhanger? Yes. Was I prepared for it? No! It took me a hot minute, but I realised I still didn’t believe it, not just because I hadn’t thought of it but because I hadn’t seen that trajectory as a possibility. I didn’t believe that would be the route taken and it Blindsighted me, I think because it put a new angle on the character that I hadn’t expected to be confronted with. I can accept it now I’ve had time to process it, but it does make me wonder what twist this will put on the character’s journey and whether this twist positively or negatively impacts on them.

I’m looking after the family dog, Luca this weekend while my parents go pick up a special little someone. It’s been that weird sort of British weather where it’s not quite hot and it’s not quite cold. I was going to paint today but the urge to read was just calling me. I didn’t read all day because I was getting antsy about not occupying myself and I ended up tidying and organising two sections of my parents’ house – I couldn’t help myself as these two sections had been bugging me and my OCD for ages!! Chances are they won’t even notice – but that doesn’t matter.

 Luca has been the best cuddle bunny while reading, although I don’t think he appreciated my fidgeting. The first couple of hours I read on last week gripped me, but life gave me more pressing matters that being able to read. I read the rest of the book (2/3) today and was fully attached to what I was reading. The breaks to satisfy my OCD actually worked in my benefit because I think it allowed me to digest what I was feeling and have a better understanding of the characters and trajectory of the plot.

If I haven’t mentioned it already, the first 5 books of the Grant County series have been on my tbr shelf for at least 3 years, but I am glad that I finally got around to reading them.

I give this book: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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