Monday, March 19, 2018

Kisscut by Karin Slaughter

Title: Kisscut
Series: Grant County #2
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: September 30, 2003

Saturday night dates at the skating rink have been a tradition in the small southern town of Heartsdale for as long as anyone can remember, but when a teenage quarrel explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton--the town's pediatrician and medical examiner--finds herself entangled in a terrible tragedy.

What seemed at first to be a horrific but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications. The autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse, of ritualistic self -mutilation, but when Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, they are frustrated at every turn.

The children surrounding the victim close ranks. The families turn their backs. Then a young girl is abducted, and it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime, one far more shocking than anyone could have imagined. Meanwhile, detective Lena Adams, still recovering from her sister's death and her own brutal attack, finds herself drawn to a young man who might hold the answers. But unless Lena, Sara, and Jeffrey can uncover the deadly secrets the children hide, it's going to happen again . . .

This is the second book in the Grant County series.

When the book begins Jenny Weaver, a high school student is pointing a gun at another teenager, Mark Patterson and both Sara and Jeffrey are witnesses to this horrible site. 

Let me back up a little...

Sara Linton is with her sister Tessa at the skating rink. She's waiting on Jeffrey, her ex-husband (whom she has feelings for) to meet them there when she makes a gruesome discovery in the restroom. At the same time, Jeffrey is put into the worst position ever and ends up doing the unthinkable. 

Not too long after, Sara who besides being a pediatrician is also the town's coroner makes a revolting finding. Jenny's autopsy reveals years of abuse, female genital mutilation and self-harming. This is where the story becomes impossible to leave.  Sara, Lena and, Jeffrey will stop at nothing to find the truth. 

What made Jenny point a gun at Mark? Who abused Jenny? What is really going on between this group of teenagers?

Karin Slaughter doesn't sugar coat depravity. There were scenes which dealt with different types of abuse, self-harm, suicide, and murder. Just like Blindsighted, Kisscut reveals to us some of the worst things humankind can offer. 

The writing and the plot kept my attention one-hundred percent. No question about it. Yet, I didn't like Kisscut as much as I liked Blindsighted

Some of my issues with the book had to do with two of the characters:

I still don't get Sara and Jeffrey together. There was a scene where he was just plain mean. Here are some of the things he was thinking about Sara:

a couple of snapshots of Sara he had taken on their honeymoon. He had put these up recently, when they started dating again. Now, he wasn’t so sure about wanting the pictures in his office, let alone wanting Sara in his life..”
Like he didn’t know how to do what he was doing. Like he hadn’t done it hundreds of times before with other women who were a hell of a lot more receptive than Sara had been..”
Her hair was a mess and Jeffrey wondered if she had even bothered to comb it. Sara had never been the kind of woman who was interested in high fashion and she seldom wore makeup. Sometimes this was sexy, sometimes it made her look sloppy, like she was more interested in being a doctor than being a woman. As she got closer to them, he could see that her glasses were crooked on her face. For some reason, this irritated him more than anything else..”
Just what you want your significant other to think about you, right? NOT!

Then, there was Lena. How did she get away with continuing with her job as a cop without having a psych clearance? I understand is a small town but the woman was kidnapped and raped!! Everyone knew she was a loose cannon and she was about to explode. Her anger issues were only getting worse and her reaction to Mark was a bad one too:

he tucked his hair behind his ears with his fingers. She could not help but think there was something erotic in the gesture. There was also something about the way he walked and held his shoulders that gave him a certain sensuality. His faded jeans rested a little below his thin hips, and the tight white T-shirt he wore rode up a little, showing off the definition in his abs..”

Thankfully, Hank was there for a very traumatized Lena. Most of the time I was either sorry or irritated by her and I still don't like her animosity towards Sara. 

On the other hand, Sara was doing her best. She was trying to help. She felt guilty about not realizing it sooner what was happening to Jenny. She was also supportive of Jeffrey despite his attitude. 

Despite my issues with the characters, I won't stop this series. I want to know what happens next.

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

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