A Faint Cold Fear (Grant County Series #3)

A Faint Cold Fear (Grant County Series #3)

by Karin Slaughter
A Faint Cold Fear (Grant County Series #3)

A Faint Cold Fear (Grant County Series #3)

by Karin Slaughter

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Overview

The third book in Karin Slaughter’s acclaimed Grant County Series.

“[A] page-turner . . . Slaughter’s plot has more twists than a Slinky factory and the characters’ relationships are sharply drawn.”
—People, starred review

“Scary, shocking and perfectly suspenseful.”
—BookPage

Sara Linton, medical examiner in the small town of Heartsdale, GA, is called out to an apparent suicide on the local college campus. The mutilated body provides little in the way of clues—and the college authorities are eager to avoid a scandal—but for Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, things don’t add up.

Two more suspicious suicides follow, and a young woman is brutally attacked. For Sara, the violence strikes far too close to home. And as Jeffrey pursues the sadistic killer, he discovers that ex-police detective Lena Adams, now a security guard on campus, may be in possession of crucial information. But, bruised and angered by her expulsion from the force, Lena seems to be barely capable of protecting herself, let alone saving the next victim.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062385413
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 08/25/2015
Series: Grant County Series , #3
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 38,758
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

About The Author
Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular storytellers. She is the author of more than twenty instant New York Times bestselling novels, including the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and standalone novels The Good Daughter and Pretty Girls. An international bestseller, Slaughter is published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe. Pieces of Her is a #1 Netflix original series, Will Trent is a television series starring Ramón Rodríguez on ABC, and further projects are in development for television. Karin Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta.

Read an Excerpt

A Faint Cold Fear
A Novel

Chapter One

Sara Linton stared at the entrance to the Dairy Queen, watching her very pregnant sister walk out with a cup of chocolate-covered ice cream in each hand. As Tessa crossed the parking lot, the wind picked up, and her purple dress rose above her knees. She struggled to keep the jumper down without spilling the ice cream, and Sara could hear her cursing as she got closer to the car.

Sara tried not to laugh as she leaned over to open the door, asking, "Need help?"

"No," Tessa said, wedging her body into the car. She settled in, handing Sara her ice cream. "And you can shut up laughing at me."

Sara winced as her sister kicked off her sandals and propped her bare feet on the dashboard. The BMW 330i was less than two weeks old, and Tessa had already left a bag of Goobers to melt in the backseat and spilled an orange Fanta on the carpet in the front. Had Tessa not been nearly eight months pregnant, Sara would have strangled her.

Sara asked, "What took you so long?"

"I had to pee."

"Again?"

"No, I just like being in the bathroom at the damn Dairy Queen," Tessa snapped. She fanned her hand in front of her face. "Jesus, it's hot."

Sara kept her mouth shut as she turned up the air-conditioning. As a doctor, she knew that Tessa was merely a victim of her own hormones, but there were times when Sara thought that the best thing for all concerned would be to lock Tessa in a box and not open it until they heard a baby crying.

"That place was packed," Tessa managed around a mouthful of chocolate syrup. "Goddamn, shouldn't all those people be at church or something?"

"Hm," Sara said.

"The whole place was filthy. Look at this parking lot," Tessa said, swooping her spoon in the air. "People just dump their trash here and don't even care about who has to pick it up. Like they think the trash fairy's gonna do it or something."

Sara murmured some words of agreement, eating her ice cream as Tessa continued a litany of complaints about everyone in the Dairy Queen, from the man who was talking on his cell phone to the woman who waited in line for ten minutes and then couldn't decide what she wanted when she got to the counter. After a while Sara zoned out, staring at the parking lot, thinking about the busy week she had ahead of her.

Several years ago Sara had taken on the part-time job of county coroner to help buy out her retiring partner at the Heartsdale Children's Clinic, and lately Sara's work at the morgue was playing havoc with her schedule at the clinic. Normally the county job did not require much of Sara's time, but a court appearance had taken her out of the clinic for two days last week, and she was going to have to make up for it this week by putting in overtime.

Increasingly, Sara's work at the morgue was infringing on clinic time, and she knew that in a couple of years she would have to make a choice between the two. When the time came, the decision would be a hard one. The medical examiner's job was a challenge, one Sara had sorely needed thirteen years ago when she had left Atlanta and moved back to Grant County. Part of her thought her brain would atrophy without the constant obstacles presented by forensic medicine. Still, there was something restorative about treating children, and Sara, who could not have children of her own, knew that she would miss the contact. She vacillated daily on which job was better. Generally, a bad day at one made the other look ideal.

"Getting on up there!" Tessa screeched, loud enough to get Sara's attention. "I'm thirty-four, not fifty. What the hell kind of thing is that for a nurse to say to a pregnant woman?"

Sara stared at her sister. "What?"

"Have you heard a word I've said?"

She tried to sound convincing. "Yes. Of course I have."

Tessa frowned. "You're thinking about Jeffrey, aren't you?"

Sara was surprised by the question. For once her ex-husband had been the last thing on her mind. "No."

"Sara, don't lie to me," Tessa countered. "Everybody in town saw that sign girl up at the station Friday."

"She was lettering the new police car," Sara answered, feeling a warm flush come to her cheeks.

Tessa gave a disbelieving look. "Wasn't that his excuse the last time?"

Sara did not answer. She could still remember the day she'd come home early from work to find Jeffrey in bed with the owner of the local sign shop. The whole Linton family was both amazed and irritated that Sara was dating Jeffrey again, and while Sara for the most part shared their sentiments, she felt incapable of making a clean break. Logic eluded her where Jeffrey was concerned.

Tessa warned, "You just need to be careful with him. Don't let him get too comfortable."

"I'm not an idiot."

"Sometimes you are."

"Well, you are, too," Sara shot back, feeling foolish even before the words came out of her mouth.

But for the whir of the air-conditioning, the car was quiet. Finally Tessa offered, "You should've said, 'I know you are, but what am I?'"

Sara wanted to laugh it off, but she was too irritated. "Tessie, it's none of your business."

Tessa barked a loud laugh that rattled in Sara's ears. "Well, hell, honey, that's never stopped anybody before. I'm sure damn Marla Simms was on the phone before the little bitch even got out of her truck."

"Don't call her that."

Tessa waved her spoon in the air again ...

A Faint Cold Fear
A Novel
. Copyright © by Karin Slaughter. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Reading Group Guide

Introduction

We were introduced to the primary characters of Slaughter's Grant County series -- Sara Linton, Jeffery Tolliver, and Lena Adams -- in Blindsighted and we learned more about their stories in Kisscut. A Faint Cold Fear continues the story line:

Sara Linton, medical examiner in the small town of Heartsdale, Georgia, is called to an apparent suicide on the local college campus. The mutilated body provides little in the way of clues -- and college authorities are eager to avoid a scandal -- but for Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, things don't add up.

Two more suspicious suicides follow, and a young woman is brutally attacked. For Sara, the violence strikes far too close to home. And as Jeffrey pursues the sadistic killer, he discovers that ex-police detective Lena Adams, now a security guard on campus, may be in possession of crucial information. But, bruised and angered by her expulsion from the force, Lena seems to be barely capable of protecting herself, let alone saving the next victim.

Author Karin Slaughter recently sat down with her editor at William Morrow to discuss her latest novel, and how she approaches her novels. You can read or listen to that interview on the HarperCollins Web site. The interview raised a number of topics to spark great discussion. Here are a few:

Questions for Discussion

  1. Karin Slaughter is an avid reader, and there are many writers who have inspired her work. Which authors have inspired your life, or your passion for reading? Do you find you concentrate on reading in certain genres based on specific authors? If so, who are those authors, andwhy?

  2. Sara Linton, one of the main characters in the Grant County series is both a pediatrician and medical examiner. What does that say about the character?

  3. Slaughter is able to bring realistic forensic discovery to the page in her novels. Today there are many television shows which deal with forensic analysis and detecting. Do you find yourself fascinated by this type of forensic analysis? Do you prefer reading about forensics, or seeing it on television?

  4. In her interview, Karin Slaughter talks about what she likes most and least about writing, and being an author. What are your notions about the writer's life? Understanding the highs and lows of a writer's life, is it something you would ever choose to pursue?

About the Author

Karin Slaughter grew up in a small south Georgia town and now lives in Atlanta. The author of the bestsellers Blindsighted and Kisscut, she is currently writing the fourth Grant County novel, Indelible.

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