Book Review: Karin Slaughter’s Blindsighted

Posted August 30, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Karin Slaughter’s Blindsighted



Karin Slaughter

It is part of the Grant County #1 series and is a thriller in Hardcover edition that was published by HarperTorch on October 1, 2002 and has 311 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books in this series include MatchUp

First in the Grant County thriller series and revolving around pediatrician and coroner Sara Linton and based in Heartsdale, Georgia.

In 2002, Blindsighted was a nominee for the Barry Award for Best First Novel and the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel.

My Take

Wow. This was excellent, and an interesting combination of thriller and cozy with murders worse than horrific. I gotta wonder a bit about Slaughter’s mind, where she gets this horrible combination of terror to rain down on the victims. Jesus. And I do wonder if it seems more horrible simply because it contrasts so much with the cozy, small-town vibe.

Rape is bad enough, but what the kidnapper did made it so much worse.

What is it with people who don’t want to help the police when someone is murdered? You’d think their nearest and dearest would be interested in taking the murderer down. I just read J.D. Robb’s Divided in Death, 18, and the victim in this (yep, she lived) opened up everything. She held nothing back. No, it didn’t help much in finding the killer, other than making it faster for Dallas to eliminate a number of lines of inquiry. You have to look at a cop as being like a doctor or a tailor. They’re not interested in the parts that happen to be there, they’re only interested in the parts that apply to what they’re looking for.

I love that Sara’s dad bartered plumbing work with college professors to get them to tutor her.

Part of the problem in this town are some of the thought processes, such as “Back when the Klan was doing some good…” I don’t understand why Will Harris is being attacked. There’s no reason to go after him. That, or I simply don’t understand a racist viewpoint.

I don’t understand Jeffrey’s reasoning for why he cheated on Sara. It’s stupid. Then there’s the contradiction between how Jeffrey reacts to the news of Sara’s rape and how Sara reacts to how he reacts. It’s Mars and Venus time.

I know, I know. It sounds as though I’m bitching a lot, but it really is good. Slaughter sucks you in with warm and loving characters interspersed with jerks. But they’re real-world jerks, and it’s a combination that makes you want to read more. To find out what happens to the good guys and find out if the racist bigots can change — so I’m an optimist, sue me! There’s a terrifying element as well, such a nice unassuming man. Someone that everyone thinks is such a nice guy. Yet, he lives among us. Makes ya wonder who in our own lives is that evil…bwa-ha-ha-hah…

I am looking forward to reading Slaughter’s Kisscut, 2, next.

The Story

It’s dramatic and traumatic as Slaughter shocks us from the cozy lunchtime meet between sisters to a horrific murder.

And it doesn’t stop, women are being kidnapped and brutalized.

Three men will come to regret their actions.

The Characters

Dr. Sara Linton is a pediatrician with the Heartsdale Children’s Clinic and the Grant County’s coroner. Billy and Bob are her dogs. Tessa is her sister and a plumber, like their dad, Eddie, at Linton and Daughters. Cathy Linton is their mother. Devon Lockwood is the new plumber’s helper.

Heartsdale PD
Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver is Sara’s ex-husband. He wants Sara back; she’s not interested in a cheating spouse. Marla Simms is the receptionist at the station house. The misogynistic Frank Wallace is his senior detective and Detective Lena Adams‘, Sibyl’s twin sister, partner. Detective Matt Hogan is one of Frank’s ilk, a racist and a member of the lodge. Brad Stephens is a junior patrolman. Ben Walker was chief of police before Jeffrey.

Nick Shelton is a field agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Mark Webster is the belladonna specialist. Buddy Conford is a public defender.

The Heartsdale Children’s Clinic
Nelly Morgan is the office manager. Elliot Felteau is one of the doctors. Molly Stoddard is Sara’s nurse. Jimmy Powell is one of Sara’s child patients and is unlikely to see out the year. Darryl Harpo has been a patient.

Ellen Bray is also a nurse at Grant Medical. Dr. Hare Earnshaw, Sara’s cousin, treats Jeffrey.

Carlos is Sara’s assistant at the morgue.

Businesses in Heartsdale
The Grant Filling Station is the longtime café owned by Pete Wayne. Will Harris is a black man who helps Pete out. Mrs. Barr is Will’s neighbor. Betty Reynolds owns the five-and-dime. Steve Mann owns the hardware store. Jeb McGuire is the town pharmacist interested in dating Sara. Sally was Jeb’s much younger sister. Marty Ringo is the checker at the pharmacy.

The blind Sibyl Adams is a scientist and a college professor at the Grant Institute of Technology. She lives with her partner, Nan Thomas, the town librarian. Richard Carter was her graduate teaching assistant. Kevin Blake is the dean who is very interested in everything around the college performing beautifully. Julia Matthews is a missing student; Jenny Price is her dorm mate. Ryan Gordon is Julia’s selfish, controlling ex-boyfriend.

Angela Norton was the girls’ mother, and she married Calvin Adams, a cop who died three months into their marriage. Her brother, Hank, was an alcoholic and drug addict who now runs a bar in Reece.

Jack Wright is the man who raped Sara twelve years ago. Keith Ross is a detective in Atlanta. Mary Ann Moon is Wright’s parole officer.

Greg Mitchell was Lena’s last boyfriend of significance.

The Cover and Title

It’s a metallic gray background with a middle gray-on-black image lonely with its isolated dirt road veering off into the distance, bordered by trees and fencing. I like how the graphic drifts off into the solid top and bottom.

The title is a reference to a symptom of belladonna usage; it makes you Blindsighted.