Crime fiction has another medical examiner/sleuth with author Karin Slaughter's Dr. Sara Linton and her debut novel, "Blindsighted." (Harper, 452 pages)
Dr. Linton is a pediatrician and coroner in the small town of Heartsdale, Georgia, where her ex-husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, serves as police chief.
The tiny city is plagued by a vicious rapist/murderer whose crimes reveal a very twisted religious motivation.
The first victim had a cross slashed on her body; the second was crucified. Both victims were drugged with an extract of deadly nightshade, belladonna, an hallucinogen which alters perception hence the title, "Blindsighted."
The suspense reaches a high point when Detective Lena Adams, whose own sister was killed by this brutal monster, turns up missing and is presumed to be the fiend's next prey.
Rapists have a sick need to flaunt their power over their helpless victims but this attacker has carried his depravity to an unheard of level, taunting the coroner with his victims whom he leaves just barely alive for Dr. Linton to find and attempt to resuscitate.
To stop this predator from claiming more innocent lives, Sara Linton must confront her own vulnerable past and reveal a secret wound she has hidden from her former husband.
While the identity of the culprit is a bit obvious when one considers the pharmacology involved in the crimes, Slaughter's principal characters, Sara Linton and Jeff Tolliver, are fresh and interesting. (How many physicians could double as plumbers in a pinch?)
"Blindsighted" is a fast-paced white knuckle crime thriller.
Karin Slaughter continues the Dr. Sara Linton/Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver series in "Kisscut," "A Faint Cold Fear" and "Indelible."