Fiction – paperback; Arrow; 480 pages; 2003.
Karin Slaughter’s Kisscut is a fast-paced novel, which is disturbing but enthralling at the same time.
The characters are well rounded, although I must admit I found one or two of them slightly unbelievable. For instance, there’s a female cop who’s mourning the death of her blind, lesbian twin sister, and is, herself, recovering from a brutal rape in which she was crucified and left to die. However, I believe this forms the backbone of Slaughter’s debut novel, Blindsighted, which I’ve not read, so I’m prepared to forgive the over-the-top characterisation in this case.
The plot rattles on very quickly and there’s enough twists and turns to keep the average reader guessing all the way to the end. And because it moves along so speedily, the more literate reader will forgive Slaughter’s slightly patronising tone and her tendency to slide into melodrama.
For readers expecting something similar to Patricia Cornwall, whom Slaughter has been compared very favourably, you will be disappointed. While her main character, Sara Linton, is a medical examiner (and pediatrician), there’s very little detail regarding pathology or forensics beyond the basics of conducting a post mortem, which, let’s face it, is rather old hat given our exposure to movies and cop shows on the subject.
If you find pedophilia particularly disturbing, this book isn’t for you either because the book’s characters spend all their time investigating it.
But if you like well constructed crime stories that keep you wondering what’s going to happen next, then you will probably enjoy this intriguing and entertaining novel.