by Bruce TierneyAugust, 2004
Inside a hostage crisis
Karin Slaughter's latest, Indelible, features medical examiner Sara Linton in what may be her most harrowing adventure to date. It is, in fact, two stories in one: the first, a prequel to the series, takes place in 1991; the second occurs in the present day. Slaughter cuts back and forth between the two, and the suspense builds exponentially. In the prequel, Sara's planned Florida retreat with her new beau, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, rapidly degenerates into a weekend of deception, betrayal and murder. The presumed killer is Jeffrey's boyhood friend Robert, whose account of the shooting conflicts with the evidence in several major respects. Old secrets abound, and their exposure results in mayhem. Fast-forward to 2004: Sara and Jeffrey have been married and divorced, and now hang on the horns of the remarriage dilemma. On the heels of a particularly bitter argument between the two, a pair of gunmen overruns the police station, brutally shooting down a number of townspeople and holding several more hostage, Jeffrey among them. With the aid of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Sara will attempt to infiltrate the police station and diffuse the situation before any more lives are lost. Indelible will appeal to fans of Tami Hoag and Patricia Cornwell; Slaughter's plotting is first-rate, and she has an exceptional feel for the twist ending.