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The dark secret deepens as Karin Slaughter defines the Kisscut

It’s an explosive outing in the mystery segment, and this Karin Slaughter drafted Kisscut tells you just that. Kisscut is Karin Slaughter's sophomore novel, the follow-up to Blind sighted, which introduced readers to the residents, politics and crime rampant in Heartsdale, a small Georgia town. The local pediatrician and coroner, Sara Linton, has an on-again off-again relationship with her ex-husband, Jeffrey, the town's sheriff. Their complex interplay is one of the driving forces of Slaughter's novels. The book opens explosively. A high school student named Jenny, one of Sara's patients, confronts a teenage boy outside a roller-skating rink, threatening him with a loaded gun. Sara witnesses the event from its onset and Jeffrey arrives on the scene shortly after it starts. The altercation escalates and he is forced to do the unthinkable, to shoot one of the teenagers. The confrontation sets into motion a complex investigation of a group of teens in Grant County. Immediately after the shooting, a newborn baby is found in the bathroom at the rink. The natural assumption is that it belonged to Jenny, but Sara's postmortem examination reveals that not only could Jenny not have given birth to the child, but also that she bore strange mutilations that leave Sara reeling. How could she have missed the bizarre pathology that led to these mutilations during previous visits to her clinic? And whose baby is it? Sara, Jeffrey and detective Lena Adams interview Jenny's family, friends and teachers to find out how much was known of Jenny's situation before the fatal night outside the rink. The investigation reveals a secret organization operating in and around Grant County, one that exploits vulnerable teenagers for its own vast profit. Worse, though, is the realization that the people involved in this revolting trade actually enjoy what they are doing to the community's children. As Jeffrey follows the tangled threads connecting the criminals together, he is amazed by what he learns. Kisscut takes an unflinching look at a brutal and dark side of modern society.
Slaughter also uses the situation to explore her series characters. Lena, one of Jeffrey's deputies, suffered a humiliating assault in an earlier case (from Blindsighted) and is still fighting to recover from the physical and emotional scars. Already formal and distant with her coworkers, the attack has left her fragile and unpredictable. Jeffrey, Lena and Sara interact awkwardly in general, but it is the awkwardness of familiarity and emotional rawness. These people know each other's sore spots and often use them to their own advantage. All three are guilty of scoring points off each other, often needlessly, sometimes thoughtlessly, and occasionally deliberately. Slaughter's books are mentioned in the same sentence as those of Patricia Cornwell, but the sole similarity is that both authors write about women pathologists. Slaughter's style is unique, she's not a Cornwell wannabe. Her writing is edgier. She doesn't shy away from looking directly at a scene of violence and seeing it for exactly what it is, forcing the reader to look along with her. While Kisscut stands alone, readers will appreciate Lena's situation and the awkward relationship between Jeffrey and Sara better if they read Blindsighted first. So far, Slaughter has rid Grant County of a deranged man who tortured and murdered women and a group of predators victimizing teenagers. For such a quiet little town, Heartsdale, Georgia has more than its fair share of violent criminals. From real-life newspaper headlines of late, perhaps this isn't such a stretch. Just check www.rightbooks.in/product_details.asp?pid=9780099421788&Kisscut that takes you there, and RightShopping.in is what your pick will be.

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