If fans of medical thrillers haven’t yet discovered author Karin Slaughter, her newest book Faithless may be the one to catch their eyes. Faithless is the continuing saga of small Southern Grant County and its law enforcement inhabitants. Sheriff Jeffrey Tolliver is still trying to woo back his ex-wife, Sara Linton, a pediatrician and the medical examiner for Grant County. Detective Lena Adams continues to struggle with her post-traumatic stress issues from being attacked (described in a prior book) and with her abusive relationship with former skinhead Ethan Green. Jeffrey, Sara and Lena will all be thrown into nightmare when they discover the body of young Abby Ward buried in a box in the woods.
They soon find out that Abby was a member of a secretive family that has their own church and farm and often take in ex-cons to give them a home and help them find religion. The family is overcome with grief over Abby’s death, yet Jeffrey suspects there is much more here than meets the eye. Could one of them have something to do with Abby’s death? And can they discover the connection before they find another girl buried in the woods?
As usual, Slaughter does a good job of writing a book that ties into her previous Grant County novels, but that also stands alone. Although readers will benefit from starting at the beginning of the series (Blindsighted), even new readers will enjoy the story presented in Faithless. The plot is tightly woven and has enough twists and turns to keep readers turning the pages. There is not a dull moment in Faithless, though it isn’t quite as spellbinding as Slaughter’s previous books.
The characters are as sharply written and interesting as ever, though veteran readers may find the ongoing saga of Jeffrey and Sara’s dysfunctional relationship a bit tiring. However, readers will probably be happy to see that Detective Lena Adams, arguably the most mysterious and engaging character in the series, gets more page time and a bit of resolution in Faithless.
Although it may not be quite as chilling or twisted as recent Slaughter books (Indelible, especially, comes to mind), Faithless is a fine medical mystery that will certainly not alienate any Slaughter fans and may even gain the talented author some new readers. Recommended to anyone who enjoys works by Tess Gerritsen or Patricia Cornwell and certainly to those who have kept up with the Grant County books up to this point.