Morrow, Sep 2002, 24.95, 341 pp.
In the parking lot of the popular Heartsdale, Georgia teen hangout skating rink Jenny Weaver threatens to shoot Mark Patterson. Police chief Jeffrey Tolliver is forced to kill the teenage girl. His former wife pediatrician and Grant County coroner Sara Linton witnesses the fatal shooting. Inside a toilet of the rink resides a dismembered fetus.
Sara's autopsy of Jenny provides several strange clues that do not add up. The deceased was a long time abuse victim, Her battered vagina had been sewn shut and there is no evidence of any recent sexual activity to produce a fetus. Detective Lena Adams, a victim of rape and grieving the death of her sister interrogates Mark. Soon she learns the horrifying perverted secrets of a town with quite a sideshow of pediophile, incest, and child pornography and prostitution.
Living up to her surname, Karin Slaughter provides readers with a graphic thriller that combines elements of a police procedural with that of a medical examiner tale. The story line catches the audience from the start, but fans should not dive in with a full stomach as KISSCUT tears into boundaries rarely seen in a thriller. The author eases some of the tension by the use of puns and other humorous devices that at times can be missed due to the high level of excitement. Those who enjoy Patricia Cornwall will relish this novel and Ms. Slaughter's previous book (see BLINDSIGHTED), but this writer adds more red meat in her recipe.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner