When so many top-selling names in the crime genre have been showing signs of exhaustion lately, it's always refreshing to pick up a new Karin Slaughter and find that her writing is as laser-sharp as ever. Faithless may feature the author's familiar protagonists (police chief Jeffrey Tolliver and medical examiner Sara Linton) but Slaughter consistently finds new challenges for her characters, along with new facets of their ever-fluid relationship.
Those weaned on the grisly delights of such Slaughter outings as Blindsighted and Kisscut will know what to expect. And if the novel starts a tad implausibly (Tolliver and Linton, walking in the woods, come across the corpse of a young woman--what are the odds against that?), we're more than prepared to forgive Slaughter this device, when the ever-tightening grip of the narrative takes hold. The duo looks at the evidence, and concludes that the young girl has been literally frightened to death. But during the course of an autopsy, Sara makes a startling discovery--one that gives even the unshockable pathologist pause. She and Tolliver find that there is a trail of evidence leading to a secluded community in the next county, and decide to call in talented detective Lena Adams to aid them. But as the trio draw nearer to the heart of a grim mystery, a destabilising element threatens to undercut their work: Lena's increasing instability.