The new CBS hit show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and the multitude of novels featuring intrepid medical examiners are evidence of our fascination with forensics. Scientific sleuths are big business, and Karin Slaughter's Dr. Sara Linton should feel right at home in this popular crew. The star of Slaughter's debut suspense thriller Blindsighted, Linton brings the expertise of a trained scientist to her job as pediatrician and part-time coroner in the small town of Grant County, Georgia.

Slaughter starts the story off with a bang as the peaceful town is the scene of the horrific slaughter and rape of a blind college professor from a nearby agricultural college. The horror grows as it becomes clear that this small Georgia town is now the stalking grounds for a particularly vicious serial rapist/murderer.

The twists and turns of the mystery will hold readers' attention, but Slaughter also creates a captivating world with other characters from Sara's town and family. Sara is not just a crime-solver, but a sister, a daughter and an ex-wife. All of those relationships play a part in her life, particularly the thorny broken love with her ex-husband, who just happens to be the town's chief of police.

Jeffrey Tolliver, her wayward ex-husband, wants to change that but isn't quite sure how. Over the course of the novel, Sara fights against the man who wounded her deeply, but it's clear to the other characters in the novel and to the reader if not to Sara that she still loves Jeffrey as much as he loves her. As Sara and Jeffrey dance around their past and search for a psychopath, they are being hunted as well.

A story that roars its way through the final pages, Slaughter's thriller is scary, shocking and perfectly suspenseful. Already earning comparisons to Patricia Cornwell, Slaughter's Blindsighted is a first novel that doesn't read like one and will propel the Georgia native right onto the must read list for suspense fans. And since her publisher was wise enough to sign her to a three-book deal, more Sara Linton adventures are in store for readers who discover this talented new author.

William Marden is a freelance writer in Orange Park, Florida.


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