After producing last year’s stand-alone thriller TripTych, Slaughter returns with the sixth entry in the series that has propelled her onto best-seller lists. The Grant County novels, featuring pediatrician/medical examiner Sara Linton, her police chief husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, and Detective Lena Adams, combine suspenseful plots, gritty social realism, and graphic forensic detail. Here Lena returns to the poverty-stricken rural backwater where she was raised to check on her uncle Hank, the tactiturn reformed junkie who raised her after her mother died. What she finds is a town decimated by methamphetamine addiction (including her long sober uncle), with the drug dealing controlled by skinheads and abetted by a corrupt sheriff’s department. When she is forced to watch as her former childhood friend and neighbor, who has long battled addiction, is set on fire, she shuts down, convinced that her best recourse is to keep her mouth shut even as the local sheriff tries to get her to talk. That’s when Jeffrey gets the call that his detective has been arrested. He and Sara, who is drained from fighting a grueling medical malpractice suit, are immediately drawn into the investigation, which leads to surprising revelations about some of the town’s most upstanding citizens. In addition, Slaughter throws in a shocker of an ending that has serious implications for the future of the series. Slaughter’s latest page-turner offers both wrenching emotional highs and lows and a gripping plot, but what gives it emotional heft is its unwavering focus on the grim social ills of the rural South.
I really loved this story-it kept a fast pace and was a quick read,