Book Review / Karin Slaughter / Reviews with Spoilers

Karin Slaughter | Blindsighted (Grant County #1)

The Book: 

Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter (Grant County #1)
Published May 1, 2001 by Harper
Date read: 2018
Date read: September 17, 2022

The Characters: 

Sara Linton, Grant County pediatrician and coroner
Jeffery Tolliver, her ex-husband, chief of police
Lena Adams, police detective and the sister of the first victim


Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

A small Georgia town erupts in panic when Sibyl Adams, a young college professor, is found brutally mutilated in the local diner. But it’s only when town pediatrician and coroner Sara Linton does the autopsy that the full extent of the killer’s twisted work becomes clear. Sara’s ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, leads the investigation — a trail of terror that grows increasingly macabre when another local woman is found crucified a few days later. But he’s got more than a sadistic serial killer on his hands, for the county’s sole female detective, Lena Adams — the first victim’s sister — wants to serve her own justice. But it is Sara who holds the key to finding the killer. A secret from her past could unmask the brilliantly malevolent psychopath…or mean her death.

Click here for book spoilers for Blindsighted
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Blindsighted, I suggest you turn back now.

As Jeffrey and the police force begin the investigation to find Sibyl’s murderer, another woman named Julia Matthews is reported missing. Jeffrey got shot. When Sara went to the hospital to see him, someone left Julia on her car while she was inside the hospital, gagged, beaten, and drugged. Sara was able to save Julia, but Julia killed herself in front of Lena before they got any information out of her.

When Lena got home that night, she opened the door to someone she knew and he kidnapped her. She awoke in the place where Julia was being held–they both could hear the same leaking gutter.

The creepy postcards that Sara had been receiving were from her rapist. Twelve years ago when she was working at Grady, a janitor attached her in the bathroom. He raped her and stabbed her, and then left her bleeding out handcuffed to the stall. He said some religious stuff that give the impression that the two cases are related. Sara got pregnant from the rape, but the pregnancy was ectopic and resulted in her needing a hysterectomy. Just before Sara was attacked, she found the word “cunt” scraped into her car, presumably by her attacker.

When Sara told Jeffrey about her past, he went on a wild goose chase to find Sara’s rapist, despite knowing he hadn’t left his town or taken off his ankle monitor.

The Twist:

The murderer was the man Sara was casually dating, Jeb McGuire. He had moved to Grant County eleven years ago and bought the pharmacy (Sara had moved back twelve years ago after being attacked). When Sara was working at Grady in Atlanta, Jeb’s little sister had come into her ER. Sara was unable to save his sister, so Jeb (who was in pharmacology school at the time) carved “cunt” into her car. Jeb then followed Sara back to Grant County. He wasn’t the one who raped Sara, but said that Jack Wright gave him good ideas.

Jeb had been leaving the bodies for Sara, to give her a chance to save them like she couldn’t save his sister. Jeb was the one who had hurt his sister–a home abortion gone wrong. He knew Sara would be at the diner to find Sibyl, and that’s why Julia was left on her car. Jeb’s father was a preacher, hence the religious theme in the attacks.

The Ending:

Sara had Jeb over to her house for a date. He showed her a picture from his wallet of his sister, which happened to be the same picture that Jeb’s mother had shown Sara twelve years ago at the hospital. Sara remembered (it was the first young memorable patient she lost) and panicked. She tried to call Jeffrey, but Jeb knew she had figured it out.

Sara escaped by jumping through the picture window in her bedroom. She jumped into the lake to swim away from Jeb (who couldn’t swim), but forgot that her keys were in her boat. Jeb chased her in the boat, but hit some submerged rocks and flipped it. The water was too cold and Jeb drowned. Jeffery arrived and saved Sara.

They found Lena in Jeb’s attic.

At the end, Jeffrey went by Sara’s house to check on her. Sara told him she was resigning from her coroner position because it was too hard to see him every day. Jeffrey asked her out on a date. Sara said it wouldn’t work, but in the end agreed to the date.

The title comes from a symptom of Nightshade, which Jeb had used to drug all the women. Blindsightedness meant that even if the women had seen Jeb, they might not remember any of his features.

What I’m left wondering…

Why wasn’t Lena surprised when Jeb showed up at her house? She just said “oh hey” and left him at the open door while she went to turn the kettle off. There was no mention of them knowing each other–I’d be puzzled if my pharmacist showed up at my door, even if I knew him from around town.

Why did Jeb suddenly start leaving bodies for Sara? Twelve years had passed since his sister’s death, and they had previously dated. It was mentioned that there were some other attacks in surrounding towns that likely were him, but it wasn’t explained why he suddenly left Sibyl and Julia in Sara’s path.

The Review: 

My first Karin Slaughter book was The Kept Woman, which is approximately book nine in the Will Trent series after it merges with Grant County. I loved it even though I didn’t get all of the backstory, so I jumped back to the beginning of the series to get the full story. 

I read this series in full long before I started this blog, but wanted to outline all of it for anyone that’s reading it for the first time. I am a huge Karin Slaughter fan and 100% will read anything she writes. You can technically read KS’s books out of order, but I always urge people to read them in order of publication year, starting with Grant County and continuing on to Will Trent. It seems like many readers my age heard of Karin Slaughter around 2018 when The Kept Woman and some of her standalone books came out, and they often don’t realize that The Kept Woman, The Last Widow, and The Silent Wife are part of a series. 

In honor of the Will Trent TV show coming out in 2023, I’m re-reading the whole series and providing reviews and summaries this time around. I don’t often re-read books, so it says something special about this series that I want to!

Blindsighted is a gory crime thriller full of trigger warnings so certainly not for everyone, but I love the amount of procedural detail KS puts into her books. I did remember who the killer was as well as most of the storyline, but it was so fun to read this story at a leisurely pace and see what I might have missed my first time around. I still find Karin’s writing incredible after all these years. The plot is so well thought out and expertly executed, the procedure is knowledgeable and detailed, and the gore is unmatched. It’s an absolute joy to read that stands up to the test of time.

A big part of the magic of this series is in the romance. I’m Team Will overall, but there is something to be said for Sara and Jeffrey’s second-chance romance. At this point, I’m still not the biggest Jeffrey fan–he cheated on her because she was working two jobs!–but I’m excited to see if my opinion of him has changed at all when I read Kisscut.

If you haven’t read this series yet (and if you don’t mind your thrillers gory), I absolutely recommend starting at the beginning with Blindsighted. If you jumped into the series with The Last Widow or The Silent Wife, it is so worth going back to the start!

If you’ve already read Blindsighted, jump to my review of Kisscut here.

If you’re looking for a matching set of the Grant County books, most of them are included in this set, which I purchased recently and love!

Grant County books in order

A Faint Cold Fear
Beyond Reach

Follow me on Bloglovin’!

We're trying to grow our mailing list. If you join us and stick around, you will automatically be entered into two giveaways as a token of our thanks. And that's just the start!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *