A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter

‘A Faint Cold Fear’ is the third book in Karin Slaughter’s Grant County series and reading the books in order, I feel like I’m really getting to know some of the characters. Particularly Lena Adams – I thought she was pretty screwed up in the last novel. In this one, she is completely out of control.

Dr Sara Linton is out with her very pregnant sister Tessa when she is called to the site of an apparent suicide. Tessa comes with her and when she goes into the bushes to relieve herself, she is brutally stabbed. Now Tessa is fighting for her own life and that of her unborn child and the suicide is suddenly looking very suspicious. Sara’s parents are angry with her and with her ex-husband police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver for allowing Tessa anywhere near the crime scene.

The victim was a college student and the death occurred on college grounds, so college security gets involved. And, working for college security is ex-cop Lena Adams. She felt she had to leave the police force when Jeffrey gave her an ultimatum to sort herself out. The security job is a dead-end job, her boss is a total jerk and she is drinking heavily. But she seems incapable of stopping her self-destructive behaviour and getting back into Jeffrey’s good books and back on the police force.

Then two more students die in very suspicious looking suicides. Lena, while trying to carry out her own private investigation, ends up hooking up with a very suspicious character who makes everything in her life a whole lot worse.

The next death in the story was actually a relief!


This is my least favourite book in the series so far. The killer was only caught because of a combination of coincidences – two people independently being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thinking about this book a few days after I finished reading it, I had to remind myself who the murderer was because that person just didn’t fit with anything else that was happening.

Lena was completely over-the-top throughout the story and Sara and Jeffrey continued their on-again-off-again relationship. Hopefully the next book in the series – ‘Indelible’ will be back to Karin Slaughter’s usual exceptional standards.


Book Published 2003


See a full list of books by Karin Slaughter

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