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An officer is shot point blank in the police station lobby and sherrif Jeffrey Tolliver is wounded, setting off a terrifying hostage situation with medical examiner Sara Linton at the center. It’s up to Lena Adams and Frank Going back and forth between present and past,

The narrative takes place in two time frames: present and ten years prior to the shooting. The “present” narration evolves over one hour; the “past” takes place over the course of a week. Lena will primarily get the present narration, working outside the station with Frank trying to figure out who the shooter is and how to resolve the hostage situation. Inside the station, Jeffrey has not been fatally wounded, but Sara knows he could easily die if the bleeding is not stopped. He drifts in and out of consciousness and through Sara and Jeffrey we get the past, and the case that leads up to the present day shooting.

384 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2004

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About the author

Karin Slaughter

116 books60.8k followers
Karin Slaughter is the author of more than twenty instant NEW YORK TIMES bestselling novels, including the Edgar–nominated COP TOWN and standalone novels THE GOOD DAUGHTER, PRETTY GIRLS, and GIRL, FORGOTTEN. She is published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe. PIECES OF HER is a #1 Netflix original series starring Toni Collette. The Will Trent Series will air January 3rd, 2023 on ABC and streaming on Hulu. THE GOOD DAUGHTER and FALSE WITNESS are in development for film/tv. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta.

Facebook: Facebook.com/AuthorKarinSlaughter

Website: http://www.karinslaughter.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karinslaugh...

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,607 reviews
Profile Image for Karin Slaughter.
Author 116 books60.8k followers
March 23, 2014
Sticklers for order who ask "where do I start" reading the Grant County series have two choices. You can go with Blindsighted, which is technically the first book, or you can start with Indelible, which is the "origin story" for Sara and Jeffrey. I always write my books so that anyone can pick up any book and know what's going on and who is who, but I am the type who has to read in order, so I know this is an important question.

What I like about this book is you get to see where Jeffrey grew up. I think that knowing his people gives you insight into who he is as a man. It also shows us a Sara that we've never met before--that naive and trusting soul who thought that she was going to be the One who changed Jeffrey. What folks who have read the previous books know is that nobody can change a person. That person has to change himself.

This is also the first book where I wrote openly about sex between Jeffrey and Sara. I had just read Fingersmith and enjoyed the sex in that, so I thought why not. People seemed to like it. But, I look at sex the same way I look at violence: if you can take it out of the story and the story still makes sense, then it doesn't belong. That's been my rule from the beginning, and I make sure even today that the sexual contact between characters says something about who they are and what their relationship is like.

If any of you watch the Americans--that scene between Phillip and Elizabeth where Paige catches them in the act: what a shocking scene! And what a relief to see that they're really together this time. At least for now.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,682 followers
June 14, 2018
A solid thriller/mystery

As I am getting more and more used to Slaughter's writing style I have been enjoying them a lot more. Her stories are dark and brutal. The mystery is twisted and not always what it seems. There are lots of characters you love to hate. Throughout the story you never know who is innocent and who is guilty - and it is changing all the time.

Another word of warning on her brutality. The male characters tend to be angry, deviant, abusive jerks - and some of that even describes the ones who are supposed to be good. I find that Slaughter frequently has sexual abuse/assault at the center of her stories. If any of this bothers you, proceed with caution.

But, if you enjoy dark, twisted tales and like to be shocked, give this and other Slaughter stories a try.
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,164 reviews879 followers
August 22, 2015
Sara Linton visits Jeffrey at the police station and becomes embroiled in a deadly shootout and hostage situation. The story alternates between this tense showdown and that of Sara and Jeffrey's early relationship.

I thought the alternating stories were done brilliantly. At first, I was impatient, wanting to get on with what was happening at the station. But soon I was just as hooked by the revelations of Jeffrey's past. It wasn't immediately clear how the two would relate but I trusted that it would ultimately make sense.

I have a much better sense of Jeffrey but he's still an enigma and I continue to be conflicted about him. There's also a closing scene involving Lena that was just confounding. The narrator just heightened everything, nailing each character.

This may be the best story of the series to date. Stay tuned. 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,155 reviews36.2k followers
October 20, 2019
2 Stars.

My least favorite of this series so far!

The Present: A Hostage situation at the Police Department. Lives hanging in the balance. The day of the shooting is Detective Lena Adam’s first day back on the job. She never imagined it would start like this.

The Past: At the beginning of their relationship, Jeffrey and Sara take a road trip to his hometown where everything goes awry and Jeffrey and Sara find themselves in the middle of an investigation where Jeffrey’s best friend is accused of murder. It is here, that the two learn the most about the other.

The past and present collide in the craziest of ways.

For me, this was my least favorite of the series. I really enjoyed the present day storyline and that of Lena’s “rise from the ashes” so to speak but found the pasts’ storyline to be lacking, even though I do love Jeffrey and the relationship between Jeffrey and Sara.

I hope the next book in the series will reinvigorate my interest in this series since this novel left me with something to be desired.

Thank you to Hoopla for the audiobook.

Published on Goodreads on 10.20.19.
Profile Image for Beverly.
774 reviews265 followers
January 31, 2019
This is the 4th book in the Grant County series and I didn't like it as well as her others. She tells dual mysteries from the present and in the past when Jeffrey Tolliver and Sara Linton have first started dating. Jeffrey takes her to his hometown to meet his old friends and his mother and to give her some insight into his bad boy behavior. While there, they end up having to contend with 2 murders, one that happened during Jeffrey's high school days that has never been solved. The other involves an old football buddy from high school.

In present day, the police station has been taken over by two heavily armed and dangerous teenagers who shoot to kill and have a hair trigger. Jeffrey and Sara are both there when it is taken over.

Meanwhile, Lena Adams, the third main character is still with her psychotic new boyfriend Ethan who likes to knock her about. She arrives at the station after the standoff has begun, between the adolescent killers and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Although, it was nice to learn things about the coroner and police chief's early life together, I thought it was stuffed too full for one book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,348 reviews2 followers
September 16, 2015
Author's note.

"Sticklers for order who ask "where do I start" reading the Grant County series have two choices. You can go with Blindsighted, which is technically the first book, or you can start with Indelible, which is the "origin story" for Sara and Jeffrey. I always write my books so that anyone can pick up any book and know what's going on and who is who, but I am the type who has to read in order, so I know this is an important question."

Do I agree? Mmmmm ... not sure. I am a stickler for reading a series in order ... most of the time. But TBH the first two books were fairly mundane for me. The third book was better and THIS one was fabulous.

I couldn't put it down. Different calibre of writing altogether from this author.

Bringing her here had been like swallowing a live grenade.

This book is written in the past and the present. We get to see Jeffrey and Sara visit his hometown some years prior to the current events. Now, I tells ya, I grew up in a small village in the West of Ireland. Left there over 25 years ago but "small town life", definitely not for me. I was back there last weekend for a visit and it is like stepping into the past. Everybody knows your name!

I haven't been a huge fan of Jeffrey or Sara or Lena... but in this novel they sort of grew on me a bit.

"How about a blow job?"
Sara laughed as she found the clunky key.
"You're the one who's drunk, remember? Not me."


"This is also the first book where I wrote openly about sex between Jeffrey and Sara. ... People seemed to like it. But, I look at sex the same way I look at violence: if you can take it out of the story and the story still makes sense, then it doesn't belong. That's been my rule from the beginning, and I make sure even today that the sexual contact between characters says something about who they are and what their relationship is like."

I hope I'm not fickle enough to think the sex part of the book upped the rating for me. Honestly, the sex in the book wasn't very explicit. Certainly compared to some of the stuff I read. But I do like some romance and sex in my Suspense/Mystery books.

Won't give too much away. Think I bombarded you with my updates. Skip the first three books if you want.

In high school, wearing a boy's letterman jacket was right up there with wearing his class ring.

Don't get the whole "class ring" thing, then again, I'm Irish, what the hell would I know.

It was great to see where Jeffrey came from ...

Roll on the next book ...

Profile Image for Karina.
765 reviews
December 31, 2019

This was not my favorite book in the series but the ending saved it to one star up. This wasn't as grisly or gory as the others I've read but it did go back in time to give the reader more history on the Jeffrey and Sarah relationship. It goes back to when they were a new couple visiting his hometown of Alabama to the present in Grant County.

It starts with 2 men asking for the Chief of Police at the police station and what follows is a mass shooting and hostages.

I didn't guess almost until the end and I was wrong a couple times before that.

Slaughter has a messed up mind (I hope she has a great therapist to work this out on) but is a great storyteller. Curtsey and a bow to you madame.
Profile Image for DeAnn.
1,266 reviews
July 27, 2020
4 Origin Story Stars

I'm slowly making my way through this series. I seem to go get one of these when I have tons of other books to read, but none of them are appealing!

At any rate, this installment #4 tells the origin story of Dr. Sara Linton and Police Chief Jeffrey Tollinger. We travel to Jeffrey's hometown and he comes from a strange place! I think it helped Sara to see all the things he's overcome to become the man and police officer he is today.

This one doesn't feature Lena as much as #3 and I think that was a good break from her character!

There's a horrible shooting and hostage situation at the police station and this storyline is alternated with the Sara/Jeffrey hometown story. As Karin Slaughter does so well, the stories intersect in a way I did not see coming. I think I have two more in this series and then most of the Will Trent series still to read.
Profile Image for jenny✨.
563 reviews770 followers
February 13, 2021
My first audiobook in over a decade! ✅

I’m so glad I decided to borrow this from my library on a whim. Listening to the narrator speak with a southern drawl was *chef's kiss*


Indelible has been the most engrossing Grant County novel for me since the series opener, Blindsighted.

And I think I have a good idea why. First: we spend significantly less time meandering through Lena’s spiralling, self-destructive head in this novel, and I was grateful for it.

Second: it was utterly fascinating getting the chance to delve into Sara and Jeffrey’s backstories.

When we first encountered this coroner-and-police-chief duo in Blindsighted, one big reason I was drawn to them was their already extensive shared history. They’d had enough years together, after all, to date and marry and eventually divorce, too, after he cheats. And it was an unfamiliar feeling for me: not being privy to characters’ history, being plunked into a relationship after it’s ostensibly ended.

Now, we finally get to witness firsthand the origins of their flammable chemistry.

And Karin Slaughter sends us into the fray in such a compulsively readable manner—by interweaving bloody events from Sara and Jeffrey’s past with a violent tragedy in the present day. In this way, the reader slowly gains crucial insight as to what, exactly, led to the hostage situation that has left Jeffrey critically wounded.

Importantly, both storylines—1991 and present day—revolve around compelling and twisty mysteries.

I found myself falling into that rhythm coaxed out by authors who can deftly alternate between chapters/timelines: when I got to the end of a chapter, there was always a cliffhanger waiting for me—a cliffhanger I wouldn’t be able to assuage until two chapters later.

It propelled me to read on.

As with all of the Grant County books I’ve read so far, there’re a not-insignificant number of sexist characters and offhandedly (and openly) homophobic comments. Jeffrey from his younger days—from 1991, even—sounded like such an unapologetic ass sometimes. Especially when he was narrating about the girls he’d been with.

But at this point in the series, I’ve learned to temper my expectations. I wouldn’t recommend reading this book if you don’t want to hear explicit and unabashed misogyny, sexism, and homophobia (including use of the f-word slur).

I will say, though, that Karin Slaughter has become much better at conveying her subversion of such prejudice. Though the characters are constrained by their contexts—both time (1991) and place (small-town, middle-of-nowhere Alabama)—there are still acts of defiance and condemnation of such blatant discrimination.


BOTTOM LINE: This book isn’t as bleak as some of earlier Grant County novels, and I’m revved up to dive into the next one!
Profile Image for Suz.
1,046 reviews532 followers
June 10, 2022
This would be possibly 3.5 for me, so I shall round it up. Always fast paced and graphic, this author has an eye for the brutal and getting into the heads of the goodies and the baddies.

Again Sara and Jeffery - our town paediatrician come part time coroner and Police Chief - form a formidable team after some young men enter the police station and carnage ensues. As this is a series and the assumption is continual drama, I need to remind myself that this is fiction and the main theme will always be a new extra dramatic scene for our two protagonists; but I keep thinking what dreadful luck they have. Continually! I know I am not to think this way.

There was a very clever twist at the beginning, it was only for a short time period, but I was floored. Jeffery and Sara's beginnings were explored further here, and we see their early courtship and Jeffrey's dysfunctional family - a stark contrast to Sara's. Time spans from these times to the present flowed well, and the interlinking of this current terrible crimes were satisfying. This was done so well, Slaughter is a natural and gifted storyteller.

So glad to see Lena back on the force, poor her to have this one be her first day back after working as campus security. Her current relationship status is alarming, I really look forward to see how she matures and her character develops; she is a complex and dark woman.

Looking forward to number 5, unfortunately I cannot source this one on audio as I've begun to really enjoy this format as I can churn through so many. Also I'm very much looking forward to making my way to the Will Trent side of things too!

Profile Image for Kelli.
844 reviews389 followers
May 18, 2016
Leave it to me to select the audio without realizing it was part of a series. In my defense, it didn't indicate that but luckily, the author herself states that those new to the Grant County series can start here at (gulp) book four or at the logical beginning with book one. This reminded me on some level of my days when I read anything Patricia Cornwell. It was entertaining enough but I didn't love it. There is a good chance that is because I didn't begin at the beginning, but it is just as likely that this genre doesn't seem to interest me like it once did. Also, I thought the narrator sounded like she was from Louisiana at times, but I'm from Massachusetts so what do I know?! 3 stars.
Profile Image for Arna.
161 reviews261 followers
January 6, 2021
As this is the fourth book, I’ll keep this short. This is probably my favourite in the series so far. The hostage situation was intense and well done and I loved that we finally learnt about Sarah and Jeffery’s past.

Though the introduction of so many characters lost me a bit so I wasn’t as affected by the events of the latest instalment of Grant County.

Some characters in this book are infuriating due to the sexist and homophobic comments which was difficult to read.

There’s only two books left in the series, I can only wonder what is left for this small town.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,721 reviews6,662 followers
July 16, 2018
Indelible is the fourth installment in Karin Slaughter's crime thriller series titled Grant County. While this series has focused on developing the female leads up to this point, Indelible adds extra emphasis on the male characters as well as the dynamics of a small town's law enforcement team.

In my opinion, Indelible isn't as dark and gritty as the other Grant County books have been which allows it to be a much appreciated reprieve for some, but makes it my least favorite installment to date (because the darker the better where Slaughter is concerned), but make no mistake: it is excellent. Slaughter continues to skillfully build these characters and I just can't get enough. Such a great series.

My favorite quote:
"You never know what some people are capable of."
Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
949 reviews143 followers
July 26, 2020
My head is about to explode! Wow! Just Wow!!!

This one is definitely the best so far. KS is amazing! I love her writing. Gritty. Intense. Shocking.

Flipping between past and present was a turning point for me. Getting the insight of Jeffrey’s past and the things/people who shaped him was extremely enlightening. Learning of his and Sara’s relationship in the early stages was important to understand the couple they have become.

So crazy shit happened in this one. I wonder what KS has in store for me in #5!!
Profile Image for Bill Garrison.
Author 7 books4 followers
February 7, 2013
After reading INDELIBLE by Karin Slaughter, I will have now read all of her novels. I realized after reading that I always liked the character Jeffrey Toliver, because he seemed to be the only normal character of the bunch. Well, not after reading this book. It is Tolliver's turn to have his sordid, twisted past revealed. The novel opens with a horrific shootout at the police station where kids are taken hostage and cops are killed.
With the hostages in a standoff, the story skips back in time to when Jeffrey and Sarah Linton were dating just a few months. They take a vacation, but on the way, Jeffrey takes him to his home town, a place he hasn't been in years. At first, this part of the novel dragged on compared to the excitement of the hostage situation, but soon, Jeffrey's childhood friends are involved in murder, and Sarah is there to do the autopsy. The rest of the novel is primarily set in the past, where Jeffrey and all his friends seem to have secrets.
I didn't really like the skewering of Tolliver. Slaughter really is hard on her characters, almost to a point where it is unrealistic. I mean, does EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER have to be self-destructive. This holds true for her future novels as well. In this novel, Jeffrey seems to crumble at the prospects of facing his own past. Lena is in the clutches of a boy ten years younger than her. Sarah is easily swayed by others' opinion Jeffrey. No one seems to be able to stand up and just do the right thing.
This novel almost has too much drama for me. But, I liked it. I'm familiar with the characters, and enjoy following them from book to book. With this novel, I finally have the complete picture.
Profile Image for Kate.
118 reviews9 followers
January 29, 2018
I do not have enough good things to say about this series. This book in particular was one of my favorites. My jaw was dropping within the first 5 pages and I continued to be surprised throughout the whole book.

In this Grant County novel, the story is being told from present day but also flashes back to when Sara and Jeffrey first met. At first this kind of threw me off but you really get to hear the background on their story and we get to find out a lot about Jeffrey's past which I really loved. Hearing the back story on him and Sara's relationship made me love them that much more. I also think this is why this particular book was one of my favorites in the series. There is such a connection between Jeffrey and Sara and to see where it all began has really tied the whole series together for me. If you loved Jeffrey and Sara before reading this book, you will REALLY love them after.

Another thing I loved about this was *drumroll please* THE RETURN OF LENA TO THE FORCE! Anyone who has read these books knows about Lena and her troubled past and how she left the Grant County police force, but in this novel she makes her big return which I couldn't be happier about. We also are left on edge at the end of this novel regarding her relationship with Ethan. I personally do not understand why she would even entertain the idea of a relationship with him in the first place but the end of this book leads me to believe she is trying to get away from him (thank god).

Overall, this series has worked its way into my heart and I feel a real connection with the characters. Definitely one of my favorite Grant County books so far and I am anxiously awaiting my thriftbooks delivery that includes the next book in the series :)
Profile Image for Scott A. Miller.
484 reviews15 followers
March 14, 2021
These Grant County books are my favorite so far of Slaughter’s. This one filled in a lot of blanks. Sara and Jeffrey still have more to be revealed though I think. This was really two stories deftly tied together and told very well. Looking forward to the next one.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,333 reviews1,823 followers
April 16, 2018
Totally not sure how to rate this one. Unlike the early Grant County novels, this isn't a horror show and instead is a total drama-fest. Like.. my mind is blown and I'm overwhelmed by the drama. Not really in a good way, either, as I feel it went a little bit past acceptable amount and into overkill (no pun intended). These characters are exhausting me.

That said, I really liked how the action of this plot unfolded in the present day scenes. That was seriously fucking intense. But of course it wouldn't have been as emotionally wrenching had we not had the backstory, which simultaneously showed up the early courtship days of Sara and Jeffrey. It's interesting to see how Slaughter set them up to fail and interesting how they've come through it all (finally? please god, finally) but I'll refer you to the aforementioned comment about being overwhelmed.
Profile Image for Mike.
1,100 reviews151 followers
January 7, 2015
Only 2 Stars for this one. Virtually no character in the book is attractive or sympathetic. Depressing scenery, confusing timelines with flashbacks every other chapter. Loved the first book of hers that I read, Triptych, but the Grant County series hasn't clicked and actually I only finished this one because I wanted to see how little I could care about the characters. Except for a couple of minor players, don't care about any of them.
Profile Image for Beth.
226 reviews923 followers
February 20, 2022
GOSSSHHHHHH I love this series so much 🖤 I’m not ready to finish it 😩
Profile Image for Brenda H.
811 reviews71 followers
April 2, 2017
Indelible is the 4th book in the Grant County series by Karin Slaughter and my favorite so far.

Sara Linton, the town's pediatrician and part-time ME, is at the police station dropping off an autopsy report. While there, she stops to talk to Jeffrey Tolliver, the Chief of Police - as well as her ex-husband and current lover. While there, 2 young men enter the station and begin shooting the police officers, including Jeffrey. This begins a tense hostage situation.

The hostage storyline alternates with the story of the early days of Jeffrey and Sara's romance. After dating for 3 months, Jeffrey has taken Sara to his hometown of Sylacauga, AL where she learns about Jeffrey's past. The reader (and Sara) sees Jeffrey grow from the small town troublemaker to the man he is today and that is what makes him so interesting.

The author does a great job in bringing the 2 storylines together. The hostage situation is tense and scary - the hometown story is frustrating, sad and enlightening. I've been listening to these books on unabridged audio books and the narrator, Kathleen Early, is wonderful in her portrayal of the various characters and sets the tone with her reading. (reviews of the abridged version indicate that the narration is lacking). I will definitely be continuing with the remaining 2 books in this series.

Rating: 4.5
Profile Image for Jenny Jo Weir.
1,545 reviews78 followers
July 21, 2017
This book started out incredible!!! I loved the shock value at the beginning. It was a big bang...but then it goes back in time and starts telling the story of what leads to the incident and well, it was all just a little too much for my liking. There was a LOT of drama and too many problems. It seemed overly done and lost me due to it. Overall though, its a very good book and I'm still a huge fan of the series, just feel maybe she crammed a little too much into this one book.
Profile Image for WendyB .
504 reviews
December 18, 2016
I don't like Jeffrey, and Lena is annoying the crap out of me.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,796 reviews453 followers
April 16, 2018

Indelible is so far my favorite in this series.

It begins with a BANG!

Sara Linton who's the town pediatrician and also the coroner is stopping by the police station to talk to her ex-husband Jeffrey Tolliver when two men enter the station and start shooting. A hostage situation ensues after multiple officers are either killed or hurt.

As the situation progresses at the station, we get to see Lena Adams getting ready to start her first day back as a police officer. It's also her birthday which she usually doesn't celebrate when she gets a call from Frank, her partner who tells her, she needs to get herself to the station ASAP.

While this is happening in the present, Karin takes us back to the past. To a time when Jeffrey first started dating Sara. They have been going out for three months when Jeffrey invites her on a trip to Florida. On their way there, Jeffrey decides to take a pit stop at his old town of Sylacauga. For Sara, this is the first time she's privy to knowing more about Jeffrey's past. She meets his friends and his mother and neither encounter make a good impression on her. Worse, a crime is committed and then the bones of a young woman are found in the cave Jeffrey and his two friends used to frequent. Soon speculations are flying and it's up to Sara and Jeffrey to find the truth.

Indelible had two good storylines which meshed perfectly by the end. We get a lot of information in regards to what made Jeffrey the guy he is now. One of the things I did like about him was that friendship matters to him. It was also nice to see that he did care for Sara. Nonetheless, I'm still on the fence about Jeffrey. One second, Sara is saying how much she loves his integrity and on the next page, he's making a mistake.

As always, I enjoyed Sara. She's still my favorite character. She smart, practical and self-assured.

Lena is still a lost cause. Why is she still in the novels? It makes no sense to me. She's a train wreck with little self-respect and a nasty attitude.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for ✨Susan✨.
859 reviews173 followers
August 30, 2016
I think this is the best book in this series so far. In the last couple of books it was going towards a soap opera drama. This was a fast pace mystery with two time lines.
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