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Summary

Summary

Gillian Flynn says, "Karin Slaughter is simply one of the best thriller writers working today."

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.


Author Notes

Karin Slaughter was born in Georgia on January 6, 1971. In 2001, she published her first novel, Blindsighted, which made the Dagger Award shortlist for Best Thriller Debut. She is the author of the Grant County series and the Will Trent series. Her stand-alone novels include Cop Town and Pretty Girls.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

When pediatrician Sara Linton discovers the mutilated body of a local college professor, it sends shock waves through her small rural Georgia town. Chief of Police Jeffrey Tolliver, who is Sara's ex-husband, and Detective Lena Adams must investigate. A toxicology report reveals that the killer dosed his victim with belladonna, a volatile drug that renders users "blindsighted," that is, conscious but unable to process what they see; the autopsy reveals that the killer is also highly sadistic. Sara, who doubles as the town's coroner, must deal with her own fear as well as the palpable emotional tension that exists between her and her ex-spouse as they work together to expose the killer. This is an accomplished first novel that melds a riveting plot with a brutally graphic portrait of a sexual sadist. Sara and Lena are tough, complicated, and smart, and Jeffrey is a man who knows he has made mistakes but has found a way to live with them. Two sequels featuring this trio are in the works. --Joanne Wilkinson


Publisher's Weekly Review

Billed as "Thomas Harris Meets Patricia Cornwell" and heralded by much advance hoopla in industry magazines, this long-anticipated launching of a scheduled three-book series featuring an attractive Georgia university town pediatrician-coroner marks the debut of a promising young author, but ultimately disappoints, partly due to overly-exorbitant pre-publishing claims. As Dr. Sara Linton leaves her pediatric clinic to meet her 33-year-old younger sister for lunch at a campus eatery, she receives a postcard picturing Atlanta's Emory University, where she interned. The enigmatic biblical message reads, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" At the diner, she goes to the restroom and discovers a young blind university professor who has been raped and brutally slashed with a knife. Too late to save her, Sara calls her ex-husband police chief, who, coincidentally, employs the victim's twin sister, Lena, as a detective. The trail quickly leads to a missing co-ed, and suspicion falls upon her druggie boyfriend. The co-ed is found raped, heavily drugged with belladonna and stretched out nude as if crucified on the hood of Sara's car in the hospital parking lot. Soon after, Lena is abducted by the killer. Fighting her attraction to her ex, Sara begins to suspect the rape-murders are tied to her own rape in the Emory parking lot 12 years ago. At the end, little suspense remains. Sara Linton is no Kay Scarpetta and her villain is a mere shadow of the complex, chilling Hannibal Lecter, but forgiving inept, trivia-cluttered dialogue and manifest lack of firsthand fluency in the medical arena the offbeat characters and setting are engaging enough to leave readers awaiting a sequel. (Sept. 17) Forecast: The hype including a blurb from George Pelecanos plus major advertising and a 5-city author tour should sell this early on, but the uneven execution may weaken demand for Slaughter's next book. Blindsighted is an alternate selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, the Doubleday Book Club and the Mystery Guild, and foreign rights have been sold in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark and Norway. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

This debut novel's title refers to the extreme dilation of the pupils that results in the inability to see through open eyesone of the symptoms of belladonna ingestion. It also refers to authorities in a small Georgia town who must track down a serial killer who uses the drug to control his victims as he rapes and tortures them before the kill. As Sara Linton, the town's pediatrician and coroner, and Jeffrey Tolliver, chief of police and Sara's ex-husband, work furiously to find the killer, they realize that they must also face the secrets of their pasts, secrets to which they had turned a blind eye for many years. Only then can they see the killer in their midst. This is an extremely mature first novel, with well-developed characters and a finely tuned plot; it also has a creepy killer and enough gory details to satisfy any Thomas Harris fan. The slightly too-neat ending paves the way for a sequel, which is already planned for 2002. Recommended for all public library thriller collections.Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Blindsighted Chapter One Monday Sara Linton leaned back in her chair, mumbling a soft "Yes, Mama" into the telephone. She wondered briefly if there would ever come a point in time when she would be too old to be taken over her mother's knee. "Yes, Mama," Sara repeated, tapping her pen on the desk. She felt heat coming off her cheeks, and an overwhelming sense of embarrassment took hold. A soft knock came at the office door, followed by a tentative "Dr. Linton?" Sara suppressed her relief. "I need to go," she said to her mother, who shot off one last admonishment before hanging up the phone. Nelly Morgan slid open the door, giving Sara a hard look. As office manager for the Heartsdale Children's Clinic, Nelly was the closest thing Sara had to a secretary. Nelly had been running the place for as long as Sara could remember, even as far back as when Sara was herself a patient here. Nelly said, "Your cheeks are on fire." "I just got yelled at by my mother." Nelly raised an eyebrow. "I assume with good reason." "Well," Sara said, hoping that would end it. "The labs on Jimmy Powell came in," Nelly said, still eyeing Sara. "And the mail," she added, dropping a stack of letters on top of the in-basket. The plastic bowed under the added weight. Sara sighed as she read over the fax. On a good day, she diagnosed earaches and sore throats. Today, she would have to tell the parents of a twelve-year-old boy that he had acute myeloblastic leukemia. "Not good," Nelly guessed. She had worked at the clinic long enough to know how to read a lab report. "No," Sara agreed, rubbing her eyes. "Not good at all." She sat back in her chair, asking, "The Powells are at Disney World, right?" "For his birthday," Nelly said. "They should be back tonight." Sara felt a sadness come over her. She had never gotten used to delivering this kind of news. Nelly offered, "I can schedule them for first thing in the morning." "Thanks," Sara answered, tucking the report into Jimmy Powell's chart. She glanced at the clock on the wall as she did this and let out an audible gasp. "Is that right?" she asked, checking the time against her watch. "I was supposed to meet Tessa at lunch fifteen minutes ago." Nelly checked her own watch. "This late in the day? It's closer to suppertime." "It was the only time I could make it," Sara said, gathering charts together. She bumped the in-box and papers fell onto the floor in a heap, cracking the plastic tray. "Crap," Sara hissed. Nelly started to help, but Sara stopped her. Aside from the fact that Sara did not like other people cleaning up her messes, if Nelly somehow managed to get down on her knees, it was doubtful she would be able to get back up without considerable assistance. "I've got it," Sara told her, scooping up the whole pile and dropping it on her desk. "Was there anything else?" Nelly flashed a smile. "Chief Tolliver's holding on line three." Sara sat back on her heels, a feeling of dread washing over her. She did double duty as the town's pediatrician and coroner. Jeffrey Tolliver, her ex-husband, was the chief of police. There were only two reasons for him to be calling Sara in the middle of the day, neither of them particularly pleasant. Sara stood and picked up the phone, giving him the benefit of the doubt. "Somebody better be dead." Jeffrey's voice was garbled, and she assumed he was using his cellular phone. "Sorry to disappoint you," he said, then, "I've been on hold for ten minutes. What if this had been an emergency?" Sara started shoving papers into her briefcase. It was an unwritten clinic policy to make Jeffrey jump through hoops of fire before he could speak to Sara on the telephone. She was actually surprised that Nelly remembered to tell Sara he was on the phone. "Sara?" She glanced at the door, mumbling, "I knew I should've just left." "What?" he asked, his voice echoing slightly on the cellular. "I said you always send someone if it's an emergency," she lied. "Where are you?" "At the college," he answered. "I'm waiting for the deputy dogs." He was using their term for the campus security at Grant Tech, the state university at the center of town. She asked, "What is it?" "I just wanted to see how you were doing." "Fine," she snapped, pulling the papers back out of her briefcase, wondering why she had put them there in the first place. She flipped through some charts, shoving them into the side pocket. She said, "I'm late for lunch with Tess. What did you need?" He seemed taken aback by her curt tone. "You just looked distracted yesterday," he said. "In church." "I wasn't distracted," she mumbled, flipping through the mail. She stopped at the sight of a postcard, her whole body going rigid. The front of the card showed a picture of Emory University in Atlanta, Sara's alma mater. Neatly typed on the back beside her address at the children's clinic were the words "Why hast thou forsaken me?" "Sara?" A cold sweat came over her. "I need to go." "Sara, I --" She hung up the phone before Jeffrey could finish his sentence, shoving three more charts into her briefcase along with the postcard. She slipped out the side door without anyone seeing her. Sunlight beamed down on Sara as she walked into the street. There was a chill in the air that had not been there this morning, and the dark clouds promised rain later on tonight. A red Thunderbird passed, a small arm hanging out the window. "Hey, Dr. Linton," a child called. Sara waved, calling "Hey" back as she crossed the street. Sara switched the briefcase from one hand to the other as she cut across the lawn in front of the college. She took a right onto the sidewalk, heading toward Main Street, and was at the diner in less than five minutes. Blindsighted . Copyright © by Karin Slaughter . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


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