religious cult

Dr. Sara Linton and Police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver take center stage once again in Faithless, the fifth in Karin Slaughter’s excellent Grant County series of bestselling thrillers. They had been married, but Sara ended things when she discovered Jeffrey sleeping with another woman. Now he’s maneuvering to move in with her again — and be remarried. Unsurprisingly, Sara’s resolve is weakening. Meanwhile, Jeffrey’s go-to detective, Lena Adams, is still recovering from a brutal rape and the murder of her twin sister. She is also dating a violent ex-con.

This is the troubling background to the gruesome reality unfolding in Grant County. A young woman has been discovered dead in a grave in the woods. She was buried alive, left in a coffin with water, food, and a vertical pipe that allows air to enter. As Jeffrey, Sara, and Lena investigate the peculiar crime, suspicion quickly centers on a religious cult that operates a nearby factory farm. They learn that the cult is highly respected in Atlanta because it serves as a refuge for the homeless, drug addicts, and ex-cons.


Faithless (Grant County #5) by Karin Slaughter @@@@@ (5 out of 5)


In exchange for working on the farm and staying off drugs, the residents receive nourishing food and a safe place to sleep. It’s difficult for the investigators to determine what’s wrong, though it’s clear that something is fishy. No one in the cult is attempting to proselytize, and their beliefs are difficult to understand. There’s definitely something wrong about the family who owns and runs the place and presides over this peculiar religious cult.

As with all of Karin Slaughter’s novels in this series, violence is a constant presence. It requires a strong stomach to read these books. If you’ve got one, you may find the series to be highly rewarding. Slaughter’s characters are complex, her plots ingenious, and her command of suspense unexcelled.

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