PERSONAL: Born in GA.
ADDRESSES: Home—Atlanta, GA. Agent—c/o Author's Mail, William Morow Publishing, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019-4702.
CAREER: Writer and former owner of sign business.
"GRANT COUNTY" MYSTERY SERIES
Blindsighted, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2001.
Kisscut, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2002.
A Faint Cold Fear, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Indelible, the fourth novel in the "Grant County" mystery series.
SIDELIGHTS: Karin Slaughter spent her childhood in rural Georgia and wanted to be a lawyer when she grew up. Somewhere along the way, that aspiration died. Instead, she owned and operated a sign shop until she was twenty-five. It was at that time she decided life was passing her by, and she quit to begin writing novels. To date, she has completed three titles in her "Grant County" mystery series.
The first novel, Blindsighted, introduces readers to Sara Linton, a county coroner and local pediatrician. As the novel opens, Sara is running late for her weekly lunch with her sister. When she gets to the diner, she goes to the restroom to wash and is greeted by the sight of Sibyl Adams, a college professor, sitting in one of the stalls. Sibyl has been stabbed and raped, and eventually she dies.
Sibyl's twin sister, Lena, is the only female detective on the town's police force, and chief Jeffrey Tolliver must break the news to her. Tolliver happens to be Sara's former husband. The town is in an uproar over Sibyl's murder. The woman was blind and kept to herself—why would anyone want to kill her? When another young woman is reported missing it appears that a serial rapist and murderer is on the loose. Sara is particularly intent on seeing the killer captured before a secret from her past becomes known. But in order to catch the killer, that secret must be revealed.
In an interview with Mysteryone.com, Slaughter remarked, "What I was going for was a thriller—a book with a roller coaster kind of arc. I've read so many mysteries and thrillers that I know what fans come to expect when a character gets into a certain kind of situation. What I wanted to do was turn those situations around so that the reader says, 'Oh, I know what comes next,' then is shocked when it doesn't."
Blindsighted was generally well received. Library Journal reviewer Rebecca House Stankowski called Blindsighted "an extremely mature first novel, with well-developed characters and a finely tuned plot; it also has a creepy killer and enough gory details to satisfy any Thomas Harris fan." In his review for the Washington Post, Patrick Anderson hailed the novel as "horrifically violent and wildly readable."
Sara, Lena, and Jeffrey return in Slaughter's second novel, Kisscut. This time, the novel opens when Sara decides to meet Jeffrey at a local roller rink. On the way, she comes across a dead baby and a teenager covered in blood. What Sara, Lena, and Jeffrey discover throughout the course of their investigation leads to a startling conclusion.
Ali Karim, reviewing Kisscut for Shots online, wrote, "Kisscut is a hard read for those of a weaker constitution, and like Blindsighted, it took me to places that sometimes are now hard to erase from my mind. It also gave me nightmares, because I fell in love with the concept of this rural idyll sitting on top of an old and sinister evil." When asked about the importance of location in her novels, Slaughter told Mystery One.com, "Location is central to all my books. I grew up in a rural Southern town and that's where my characters live."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Book, January-February, 2002, review of Blindsighted, p. 40.
Booklist, August, 2001, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Blindsighted, p. 2099.
Library Journal, August, 2001, Rebecca House Stankowski, review of Blindsighted, p. 166.
Publishers Weekly, August 6, 2001, review of Blindsighted, p. 59.
Washington Post, September 17, 2001, Patrick Anderson, "A Thriller with More to Come," p. C04.
Karin Slaughter Web site,http://www.karinslaughter.com (April 17, 2002).
Mystery One.com,http://www.mysteyrone.com/(April 30, 2002), interview with Karin Slaughter.