"The door popped open. Dr. Felix Connor stuck his head into the stairwell. He eyed Sara suspiciously. "Why do you look so happy?"
"Because I can go home now that you're finally here?"
"Gimme a minute to hit the can."
Sara dropped the phone back into her pocket as she stood. Oliver wasn't the only one who wanted to get out of here. Sara had pulled several night shifts in a row courtesy of a stomach flu that was running rampant through the hospital. She was beginning to feel punished for her own good health.
"Home. Sleep. Silence. She was already making plans as she walked through the ER. Thanks to her crazy work schedule, Sara had four full days of freedom ahead of her. She could read a book. Take a run with her dogs. Remind her boyfriend why they were together.
"This last bit widened her smile considerably. She got some curious looks in return. Not many people were happy to find themselves at Grade, which was the only publicly funded hospital left in Atlanta. The staff tended to take on the hardened demeanor of combat veterans. If practicing medicine was an uphill battle, working at Grady was on par with Guadalcanal.
Stabbings, beatings, poisonings, rapes, shootings, murders, drug overdoses.
"And that was just pediatrics..."
"Not for the first time, Sara wished that nature had devised a system to alert the rest of the world to people who were abusing children. A scarlet letter. A mark of the beast. Some sign that let decent people know these monsters couldn't be trusted..."
By Karin Slaughter
Slaughter's books have been on my "favorite author" bookshelf since I read her first book years ago. But when I tried to grab the ARC for the Vine Voice program, they were already gone! I love reading advance copies of my favorite authors when I can... No matter how hard I try, reading the mail is just not the first thing I do, so I had to wait until the next announcement to finally grab a copy! Since it's now out, go get it too! And if you haven't read Karin Slaughter yet, well, you're just missing one of the great American thriller writers, if you're into crime thrillers!
Will Trent, her leading character, is a quiet sort of guy, but he's laid bare in more ways than one in this novel! LOL. Will Trent and Sara Linton are a couple, not yet totally committed to each other. So Sara knows that Will is working undercover at this time, but not what the case is. But that's going to blow open before the end of this book! Because Sara has just received a call that her stepson had been shot!
Now this opens a whole can of worms about what has happened in the past, especially related to the death of Sara's husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, and his then partner, Lena--who is now married to his son, Jared, the one who's been shot! Quite a soap opera and you really have to be reading to get the full impact of the relationships, so that's as far as we'll go here...LOL
This seemed to be tied into a major dealer, called only by Big Whitey who had a set plan...come into town, see who was operating, kill some cops for establishing creds, and then taking over the whole town... Great plan, right...
But all cops were on the alert and one, in particular, was doing some investigations outside of the regular chain of command. But then the state GBI became involved and Will and Faith was taking over the oversight, with Faith, Will's partner, as lead to allow Will's continued undercover work...
He'd hooked with Tony Dell, who seemed like a low-level criminal, but he was definitely involved with the pills and wanted to move upward. He tricked Will into a meeting with some of Big Whitey's crew, was made to strip to verify no wires, and then was almost immediately accepted when they saw the previous damage to Will's body... That's when he discovered Tony was a killer and probably crazy. This group had a cop tied up and were torturing him, but had decided Tony and Will could get him out easily. Instead Tony killed him! Suddenly Will realized how dangerous this little punk was! Could he be Whitey?!
Jared and Lena had been home when they had been attacked. Jared was shot first and then Lena had taken on the two inside, not knowing that Tony and Will were outside. But when the shots started, Will ran in and was there in time to save Lena from killing the second attacker...That woman did a lot of damage with a hammer! Whew! And part of the trouble for Will was that the women in his life--his partner, his lover, and maybe even his boss, had a problem with Lena! And everybody figured that the raid on their home was because of Lena...they just knew she was bad...
"Clever." Amanda sat back in her chair, giving Will her full attention. "You investigated Lena Adams last year?"
"A year and a half ago," Will corrected. "Faith helped me. Lena's partner was stabbed. He practically bled out in the street. And then she arrested the suspect and he died in her custody."
"Reckless endangerment, negligence?"
"Yes," Will answered. "She was formally reprimanded, but she left Grant County a week later and joined the Macon force. They didn't seem to mind the taint."
"Amanda picked at the stem of her glasses. Her voice got softer. "She was Jeffrey Tolliver's partner when he was murdered--what?''--five, six years ago?"
"Will stared out the window. He could feel her eyes lasering the side of his face."
"She said, "There's an Eric Clapton song about telling the truth. Something about how the whole show is passing you by. Look into your heart. Et cetera."
"Will cleared his throat. "It makes me very uncomfortable to think about you listening to Eric Clapton."
"Amanda's sigh held a tinge of sadness that he didn't want to dwell on. "How exactly do you think this is going to end?"
"He indicated the gray clouds that were suddenly crowding the sun. "I think it's going to rain..."
Lena had led a raid in the recent past and everybody figured that it had something to do with the cops becoming targets. So readers have the opportunity to go back, as flashbacks, to see what had been happening. This was a fascinating side story because each time readers read a little more and are often left with clues, until it was only at the end that all of the truth was seen and solving what had happened and identifying Big Whitey was possible...
Suspense is high in this one. There are so many bad feelings between people, so much that nobody was sharing with other investigators, and so many criminals actually involved, fighting and killing, that everybody is a suspect! But then a final part comes out that changes the perspective of many who were involved!
This was the first story I had read where readers become so involved with the undercover story of the cop. It certainly showed how dangerous it can potentially be for physical, mental and emotional distress. Will, especially, knew he was risking the relationship with Sara, but couldn't just stop in the middle of a case. And there was no way to have projected that Sara would be called on an emergency in the hospital where Will was working--obviously something that could also happen in real-life situations.
I loved this and hope you do too!
Karin Slaughter is the #1 internationally bestselling author of several novels, including the Grant County series. A long-time resident of Atlanta, she splits her time between the kitchen and the living room.