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    Review of INDELIBLE by Karin Slaughter (see her website)

    William Morrow, July 2004

    A normal day turns into horror when two men walk into the Grant County sheriff station and start shooting. Dr. Sara Linton, three children, and Linton's injured ex-husband, Jeffrey Tolliver (whom the shooters mistakenly believe is another cop), are taken hostage. Outside, local and state police prepare to attack--if only they find a way to protect the hostages.

    The origins of the raid go back years before--to the small town where Jeffrey grew up. Simmering hatreds, rumors transmuted into fact, and old secrets have been handed on for generations. When they were first dating, Jeffrey had taken Sara there--and walked into murder--both immediate and in the forgotten past. An apparent housebreaker is shot at the home of Jeffrey's best friend--and Sara believes that the medical evidence points at deliberate murder. Then the skeleton of a woman is found--a woman who had once accused Jeffrey of raping her. Could Sara have taken up with her ultimate nightmare?

    Author Karin Slaughter (see more reviews of novels by Slaughter) spins an interesting and fast-moving tale of danger and prejudice. Because much of the story took the form of a flashback, however, reader suspense was sacrificed. We knew, after all, that Jeffrey couldn't have raped and killed the girl. Otherwise, why would Sara have married him? And we knew that Sara would survive every danger she faced because she already had at the beginning of the story.

    I also had some problems with the story logic. If a man walks into town for the first time in a decade and his best friend is involved in a murder, it could be coincidence. In the real world, coincidence is everywhere, after all. But in the story world, coincidence is a problem, and it's a problem that the murder has nothing to do with Jeffrey, noting except that he is there to help.

    INDELIBLE has some problems, but Slaughter's writing is strong and makes for page-turning reading. This is an enjoyable story that came close to being much better.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 6/08/05

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