REVIEW: Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter

Beyond Reach by Karin SlaughterBeyond Reach by Karin Slaughter, July 31, 2007 release. Available formats include hardcover, audio CD and cassette and ebook. Beyond Reach is the 6th book in the popular Grant County series featuring Dr. Sara Linton, pediatrician and part-time coroner set in a fictional town outside Atlanta, Georgia.

The story opens with a taunt tension and a violent death. The reader is offered a glimpse into a serious situation that is about to go down and only has one ominous ending and that Lena is involved.  Flash forward to the present, Jeffrey and Sara learn that Lena has been arrested in a small town outside Grant County and is held as a person of interest. There was a dead body found at the scene and Lena may or may not have been involved.  So Sara and Jeffrey travel from Grant County to Reese, Georgia in hopes of helping Lena untangle herself from whatever problems she is facing within this small rural town.

Before Lena’s trouble’s interfered, Sara Linton had been facing a nasty malpractice suit. She is being sued by a parent for delaying therapy for their terminally ill child. Sara’s worried that her insurance carrier will cave and pay the family thereby painting her as a negligent doctor. The lawsuit has far reaching effects in the community. Most of the residents of Heartsdale shun or avoid Sara and therefore Sara has closed her clinic pending the outcome of the lawsuit. However, Lena’s troubles are now front and center and this provides Sara with a temporary distraction from her own problems.

The author does an excellent job going back and forth between the present and past to bring the two threads together for the climax of the story. Alas, I was completely unprepared for the unexpected plot twist for this story, too. As usual, Beyond Reach was a suspenseful story, well plotted with the highlight for me being the continued development of Jeffery and Sara’s relationship. Of course Sara doesn’t care for Jeffery galloping to Lena’s rescue but they both stay in Reese and figure out what’s going on. In Lena’s usual fashion she distances herself from the very people who want to help her by using them to help her escape and elude the authorities. This causes friction initially between Jeffrey and the local sheriff.

We learn that Lena was on vacation, checking on her uncle, Hank Norton, a former drug addict who raised Lena and her twin sister, Sybil. Lena learns that he recently fell off the wagon and started using again. Lena decides to check around and talk to the local folks to find out what triggered his relapse. Meanwhile, Jeffrey learns that some skinheads have inundated the small rural town with methamphetamine. The local sheriff seems elusive and laid back despite the recent increase in crime. There are quite a few red herrings the author throws around. However,  Jeffrey does get to the bottom of the problems that Lena is faced with that leads to a very unexpected plot twist to the story. 

As a reader who was emotionally as well as financially invested in this series I must state that I am disappointed that Ms. Slaughter has decided to go in a direction I find somewhat vexing. Just to recap and this information may be spoilers for those who’ve never read this series: throughout this series we’ve had to deal with Sara’s pain from her brutal rape that has resulted in her inability to have children. We watched rekindle her relationship with her philandering ex-husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, who cheated on her but ultimately regains her trust.

We’ve had to endure Lena’s self-destructive personality and her lengthy recovery from being a victim of a rape and dealing with the murder of her twin sister. I’ve had to suspend disbelief for and stomach a lot of the violence in such a small town with a high body count. Grant County has had its share of violent crimes that consisted of rape, incest and murder from perps who sometimes remain elusive from the law. I could accept the endings of most of her books that ended with justice never fulfilled because it is a realistic outcome.

So much darkness and sadness with only very little happiness as it seems to me that as readers we’re left dealing with one tragedy after another. Was there any light in this series? I’d like to think so with Sara and Jeffrey’s relationship because that was the one thing that anchored me to this series that has been consistently dark and brutally violent. How much more trial and tribulation must the characters and the readers endure? Alas, as suspenseful and well written as this novel was for me, I’m undecided if I would want to continue forth. The path that Ms. Slaughter has decided to go seems to be more of the same. Alas, I hope she meets the challenges she’s set forth for her and this series and wish her continued success.

In the end, Beyond Reach was a captivating read for me despite the ending. I’ve had several days of reviewing my feelings about this book to accept the conclusion but I strongly disagree with it. Overall, I will give this book the B+ it deserves for the captivating, page turning, taunt suspense novel that it is for me and an F for the emotional manipulation you have forced your loyal readership to endure. I hope that it was worth it.

[tags]Karin Slaughter, Mystery, Grant County Series, Beyond Reach[/tags]

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82 Responses to REVIEW: Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter

  1. LesleyW says:

    So much darkness and sadness with only very little happiness as it seems to me that as readers we’re left dealing with one tragedy after another. Was there any light in this series? I’d like to think so with Sara and Jeffrey’s relationship because that was the one thing that anchored me to this series that has been consistently dark and brutally violent.

    You’ve summed this up far more eloquently than I could or have.

    When I think about the ending I’m still angry. And I’ve pretty much made the decision that I don’t want to follow the series any more. It’s the way it was done I guess more than anything. Like you I could deal with everything else that happens in the series because that’s life and bad things happen to good people every day. But there has to be some spark of hope somewhere. If I wanted that much realism I’d turn on the news, I’m perfectly capable of depressing myself without paying for a hardcover book.

    This is the first author who made me appreciate Kathy Bates POV in Misery. I’ve been disappointed in the way other series have gone (notably LKH – but I haven’t got rid of the books that I enjoyed in the Anita Blake series).

    This book (Beyond Reach in the US/Skin Privilege in the UK) makes me regret I ever read any of the series and invested my time and money in doing so.

    And I do agree that authors should write what they feel they need to, but I’m not obliged to read it.

  2. Avid Reader says:

    Hey Lesley, I thought about the Kathy Bates character from Misery, too! This is a first for me being this strongly attached to a fictional character. At first, I was in denial, thinking that this could only be a dream or something and then I go read the letter and find that it is indeed true. I grieved for what happened to this series. Then while I was on vacation–I thought long and hard about it. What Slaughter did was horrible to me and I hated it. Still hate it. Then I thought, she created this wonderful character, couldn’t she do it again? I’m also curious to know what plan she has, too. I’m still undecided. Her voice is just so captivating to me. Like you said, if I’d wanted to be depressed, I could watch the news. I can’t wait till this book is published next week to see how other readers feel about the ending of this book. So far, I haven’t really seen but one reader say that she’s continue reading the series.

    One more point that was mentioned was the right for Slaughter to do what she did, that’s true, she can but what purpose does it serve for the series? Will this enhance the series? Make it better? I don’t know and many of us won’t know since many have decided to not read any further to find out. Again, I’m undecided because right now, I feel as if I can’t trust her anymore.

  3. Jane says:

    The one thing I didn’t mention in my “review” was that the legal aspects of this was so completely farfetched in my personal experience. Even in communities were the doctor isn’t well liked, the general consensus is that they would rather have a bad doctor than drive to another area to be treated. This part of the book seemed contrived to me. It is possible Sara would have closed her clinic, but not likely from the shunning by the townspeople. I guess its done for dramatic effect (as is all of the contrivances in the story). However, since it didn’t take up a large portion of the story, I didn’t harp on it but it did bother me.

    As for the other part, well, I can’t go on because I can’t trust her. I don’t read these books for the torture, the despair, the unhappiness. I read them for the Jeffrey and Sara interaction. At this point, there is no going on for me. There are plenty of books out there with torture, despair and unhappiness.

  4. Jane says:

    PS – I totally love how you did the drop cap for each paragraph. I might steal that.

  5. CindyS says:

    I was waiting for your take on this one. I think I have the first book in the series but haven’t read it yet. Now I’m planning to wait and see what others think of the series after this book.

    I think what struck me was the letter she wrote. It wasn’t that this HAD to happen but that she wanted it to happen. I can’t say I blame any author for making a decision to put the spark back into their stories. I think of TV shows and how a consummated relationship is the kiss of death so they don’t allow the supposed H/H to get together until the very bitter end. Even then they screw it up (X-files).

    I think if the author had been sure in their decision they could have gone without writing a letter to their readers.


  6. Alyssa says:

    I have to admit that I’ve only read Indelible, but I enjoyed it very much. When I read what happens in this book (from the author’s site), it broke my heart. Truly. And that’s having read only one book. If I’d read all of them . . . I don’t even want to think about how I’d be feeling.

  7. Tara Marie says:

    This is the first author who made me appreciate Kathy Bates POV in Misery. Wow, that’s bad.

  8. Avid Reader says:

    I was waiting for your take on this one. I think I have the first book in the series but haven’t read it yet. Now I’m planning to wait and see what others think of the series after this book.

    @CindyS: I don’t blame you. I was so mad at how things ended that I wanted to tear out the last two pages of this book. That’s how bad I felt about the whole thing. I’ve debated over the decision to keep all my hardcover books or sell them all. Might just keep them in storage or something.

  9. Karen Scott says:

    I went to the supermarket the other day and Skin Privileges (the British title) was on the shelf, usually I would have been way over-excited by the fact that one of my fave authors had a new book out, but alas, I turned my back on it, and went to the fruit juice aisle.

  10. Marion says:

    “Misery”; how apropos to describe how I felt/feel after I completed the book. I have read and reread the ending thinking, I must have read it wrong this could not have happened. I was as others have noted, deeply disappointed and also feel “the emotional manipulation “. I never realized how emotionally attached I am to the series characters and how central a role their relationship plays in my appreciation of the novels. So floored by it that I have sought this out something I have never done in regards to books I have read, emailed Ms Slaughter via her website and I also have mentioned to my daughter how hurt I was by the ending. It’s as if I have been sucker punched by all this build up to reconciliation, what was the purpose. It’s my understanding that Ms Slaughter plots her novels out well in advance so why lead us on, why suck us into the relationship. I love her writing, the grittiness, the darkness and unlike others will read on but I am floored by the recent development in the series.

  11. Stephanie says:

    How does this book end? I am debating on reading it after what I have heard. If she kills Jeff or Sara, I don’t want to read it. Please somebody tell me!!!

  12. Alyssa says:


    Read this if you really want to know.

  13. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for the info! I probably will not read the book…I don’t think I can take it.

  14. Marion says:


    Read this if you really want to know.

    Ok that spoiler lead up stuff was pretty funny! I still don’t like it but I will trust where she is going. 😦

  15. Alyssa says:

    Yeah, I was amused by all the steps you have to go through to get to the actual spoiler.

  16. Tara Myers says:

    Come one guys! I was shocked at the way the book ended and had to read the last page just to be sure that I understood it correctly. However, how many of you have watched TV series that killed off your favorite actor only to continue the series and make you end up appreciating the replacement? Karin Slaughter has a gift for creating novels that are page-turners. Her imagination to come up with her books and paint them so vividly with words in amazing. I will continue to read her books as I’m sure they will be just as great as all of the others she has written!

  17. Tara Myers says:

    I can’t wait until 2008. Tryptych was a great book and I’m axiously awaiting the next book!

  18. lillllllian annis says:

    I could not believe the end of this book.after what sarah and Jeffrey have gone through. I dont think I will read another Slaughter one
    I stayed up until 1PM to finish this book.devastated

  19. Sheila says:

    I’ve read all the Grant County books too, and I am just going to pretend that it ended when Jeffery got so excited about the baby, and that he didn’t die. As much as I liked Sara and Jeffery, I think I could have handled Sara’s death better than Jeffery’s. I thought he was more realistic flaws and all than Sara. She’s just too righteous and gets downright outraged over things that are only human nature. Nobody’s as perfect as she seems to be. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Sara’s character too, but I found myself getting mad at her whenever she got so righteous and angry at Jeffery. I was irate when she slapped him! Could you imagine if he’d have slapped her? OK, it’s obvious that I liked Jeffery’s character better than Sara’s so even though I find myself wondering what happens in the future, I just don’t think I can handle reading the series without Jeffery. And I agree with the others who would rather it had been Lena who died. That seems more plausible since she’s so self-destructive.

  20. Avid Reader says:

    Hi Sheila -I’ve accepted the ending but the author has left a big hole in this series because the main attraction for me and many readers was Jeffrey. Like you said he seemed real. I grieved as if a real person had died. I was devastated.

    Tara and the rest of you that are reading the rest of the series – hey, you all will have to inform us if the next Grant County book is any good. I’m not gonna lie I will be curious. However, that’s two years away…

  21. Anne says:

    I finished Beyond Reach last night and after crying through the last page, could not stop thinking about it. I have read each of the first 5 at least twice, so engrossing were their stories and those of Jeffrey and Sara. I absolutely hated what Slaughter did to him. As someone else said, what was the point of building their relationship only to destroy it in that final moment. I began to feel during the story that someone would die (Sara had been so worried about Jeffrey going to see Ethan, the “mailbox comment” made to Jeffrey), but I talked myself into thinking that sometimes good things happen, too, and the ending would make us smile. I figured this HAD to be the end of the series. As great as Slaughter’s stories/writing is, they don’t have the impact without J & S together. Yes, I’ll probably read the next installment, but at this point this ending has been such a sad disappointment.

  22. Avid Reader says:

    Hi Anne. I read Slaughter’s letter where she says that she had to do what she did in order for her to gain shock appeal and boost her career points. What puzzles me is why authors think killing a character is such a great idea. I’m still bitter over it and will not continue the series. Who’s to say that she won’t kill off Sara next? I honestly thought she was gonna kill Hank. I’m surprised that he hung on this long.

  23. paulk says:

    I sympathise with the readers who’ve felt they lost a friend – but it was a brave move by the author.

    I can think of other series where you sense an author getting progressively bored with the characters and beginning to go through the motions. Having read *the letter*, I believe that KS did this with the best intentions, knowing she’s taking a huge risk.

    Sure, some may feel upset, or that they’ve been short-changed. Please remember – this is a fictional character!

    In the real world, there are real people who suffer real abuse, injury, injustice and untimely death. If you feel that bad about JT’s death, why not send to the charity of your choice?

  24. Sheila says:

    Does anyone know what it was that Jeffery wanted to tell Sara? It said that he had something important to tell her, but I couldn’t figure out what it could have been.

  25. Anne says:

    Sheila, As I reread the last few pages (and cried again!), I noticed that, too, and wondered about it. Like you, I’m not sure to what he was referring; I may go back and see. But then, does it matter???? In response to another posting, yes, these are fictional characters, and yes, bad things really do happen to good people. But I’ve read many, many books and cried through some at tragic endings, but none bothered me like this one. A big part of that is due to having followed these characters through the previous 5 books. The other part is a result of Slaughter’s engrossing style and stories–they kept you wanting more! But without Jeffrey, I don’t think the series would have the punch that it has had. He was central to the lives of Lena and Sara. I did read Slaughter’s letter online and still was not convinced that she even had a reason, justifiable to her readers, to kill him off.

  26. LesleyW says:


    I’ve given my copy to my mum to read before we donate it to the library.

    But from memory he was saying/trying to say ‘Only you’.

    Which I took to mean Sara was the only person he had ever truly loved.

  27. Anne says:

    Yes, that’s true Leslie, but I think Sheila was referring to the way the final chapter began. Jeffrey had just crossed the county line on the way home, had called Sara and told her he had something important to tell her. She thought it may have been about adopting. After rereading some preceding chapters, maybe he was referring to wanting to tell Sara about having discovered Lena’s mother. Guess we’ll never know…

  28. Avid Reader says:

    Hi paulk, I appreciate your comments. I think reader outcry about what happened to Jeffrey says a lot about Ms. Slaughter’s talent as an author. I know it felt like a kick in the gut when I read those last two pages. Of course this is a fictional character and I’ve gotten over it but I am still upset at the fact that authors seem to think that killing off a major character gives them some type of validity to be a serious author. I think Ms. Slaughter did it solely for the shock value with no other purpose in mind save that and the emotional response from her readers. In her letter she says “trust me, I have a plan.” Well, I don’t trust her and have no intention of reading this series further for fear of her doing this again. This series has been consistently dark so yeah, I’m just a little upset that we couldn’t even have just a tiny bit of happiness for Sara and Jeffrey.

  29. Karen Scott says:

    It would be interesting to see what her sales figures for the next book is, in comparison to the previous books. I’m betting they take a nose dive, just like Patricia Cornwell’s did, when she killed of Benton Wesley in her Kay Scarpetta books. There must have been a lot of reader backlash because she then went on to bring him back in a Bobby-Ewing type resurrection.

    Karen Scott

  30. Avid Reader says:

    I was just going to start reading Patricia Cornwell so thanks for the heads up, Karen. I would be curious to know what her sales are like, too. It has been interesting, reading all the reader responses at I kept seeing the word BETRAYEL everywhere in most people’s reviews. Would anybody change their mind about Slaughter if she decided that she made a mistake and brought back JT? I don’t think so.

  31. Karen Scott says:

    The thing is, I’m betting that the majority of the people who read her books are women, so this will feel like a betrayal to them, because I think women in general tend to get more invested in characters than men (a gross generalisation, but I think I’m right), thus find it harder to forgive this kind of thing.

    I think Ms Slaughter will come to rue her decision to do away with Jeffrey, regardless of whether she admits it or not. She wanted to shock her readers, well she did, and I think she will pay for that with low sales of the next GC books.

    I loved the Kay Scarpetta books, right until she started writing in the third person, rather than in the first, which was possibly about 4 books ago, but I’d still rec the first lot to anyone, because there was some damn fine writing there.

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  33. Marion says:

    I’ve given my copy to my mum to read before we donate it to the library.

    But from memory he was saying/trying to say ‘Only you’.

    Which I took to mean Sara was the only person he had ever truly loved.

    That was about Lena’s Mom still being alive I am sure.

  34. Avid Reader says:

    I agree with Marion, Jeffrey was trying to tell Sara about Lena’s mom being alive. Regretfully he didn’t get to tell her.

  35. Avid Reader says:

    Hey Karen, so I should stop after the first four books or where would be a good place to stop? I would really like to read her or at least the first book to get a sense of how much I’d enjoy like her voice/style. I agree with you about women being more emotionally invested. That was certainly true for me, crying my head off when I learned the truth.

  36. Karen Scott says:

    You can read right until she changes tense, which was either Trace, or Blowfly (2003/2004 books). It kinda lost something when she went from the first person to the third something, and that’s coming from somebody who prefers the thir person usually.

    Black Notice was the last book that I truly enjoyed, but The Last Precinct wasn’t too bad though.

  37. Karen Scott says:

    Flaming typos! Third person!

  38. Sheila says:

    I figure it was about Lena’s mother or the fact that when they were done questioning the dentist, the lawyer said that there’d been enough collateral damage and confirmed to Jeffery that Lena and Sara were safe now.
    Also, did anyone else notice that the last thing Ethan said to Jeffery was “watch your mailbox.”

  39. Avid Reader says:

    Also, did anyone else notice that the last thing Ethan said to Jeffery was “watch your mailbox.”

    Yes, which should have clued me in to the ending but it didn’t. And it galls me that Ethan is still around. I can’t stand him or Lena for that matter. They both deserve each other.

    Thanks Karen for the input on Cornwell. It’s just something about forensic mysteries that I find captivating.

  40. Marion says:

    I like Lena, as a flawed character. Just think of how many women that are out there who are just like her. 😦

  41. Elizabeth says:

    First, I just want to say I am a really big Karin Slaughter fan, or at least I was until I read about the ending. I stumbled on it by accident, and it was in front of me before I realized what I was looking at, but there it was. I have not, nor do I plan to read the book, read others in the future, or re-read any from the past. That’s too bad, too, because I usually read them all on a regular basis.

    The attracito for me is Jeffrey and Sara, and how they manage to deal with all the crime that goes on while holding their own relationship together. Since Indellible was the first book I read, I was dismayed to find out that was when she planned to kill the character she did. I feel like I was set up, that I was lead to believe they were getting back together, finally it was going to happen, then it was all jerked from beneath me. If I had known that after Indellible, I would have never read the other books int he series.

    I thought the letter was interesting, if not dissatisfying. I agree with one poster who said if she felt good about it, she owuld not have had to write the letter. As someone once said, you should never make excuses for yoru work. First impressions are everything, as we all know, and this book left not only a first for some, but a lasting one for the rest. I found the steps to the letter amusing, but irritating since I had just accidentlly stumbled on the end of the book before reading the letter.

    I read books for entertainment. I became interested int his series when I needed a refuge, and loved it eversince. If I wanted to read aobut too much reality, I would read nonfiction. Yes, TV show characters have been offed, but mos tof the time it’s because the actor’s contract is up, or there is a reason that person no longer wishes to go on playing the character in question. In that case, it would be dificult for someone to step in and be convincing, although that has been done, so the character is removed. I can understand that, but this? To me, there had to be a better solution. Make Jeffrey get a job somewhere else. Make Sara decide to practice somewhere else. Make one of them decide not to adopt, thus causing friction. Anything, but don’t kill one of them. I have not read the book, so wasn’t sure what he had to tell her. I figured maybe it was in an earlier chapter about him, but now to find out it wasn’t? It will probably be inthe next book or osmething, but I just don’t care.

    I’m sure she has a plan, but I’m not interested. She a very talented writer, and I won’t take that away from her, but I no longer trust her content. I, too, feel betrayed. Something else too, people have commented that in this book Jeffrey really matured, became more loving. Sara seemed to stay as she was, sort of cold but desparate for him, but eve more so in this one. I am basing this on my reading the last two pages,and form what others have said, so if I’m off, I apologize for not being more informed before I write this. If that is the case, however, that in itself is a bit unrealistic. Sure, people change and all, but if she wants to be realistic, did she have to hurry the relaitonship along to only crash it int he end? To find out they got together to only be torn apart makes me think, what’s the point in loving them in the first place?

    I know ther writers have re-written endings of books because of public outrage, and I’m not expecting her to do this, but would hope for a miracle. I know that’s what it will take. Surely she knew the backlash she would receive, and still chose to do it anyway. I know characters have to change and go somewhere, but I just feel that the series should end when it is time, when the characters have no where left to go, or when an author feels so compelled to change things so drasticallly while knowing it will upset all her fans. We’ll have to wait two years? I can’t accept that. I may seem a bit harsh, but I really cna’t believe she did this. I know it’s very far fetched, but I can’ help but hope the outrage will somehow change her mind; that or the drop in book sales this may cause. So, here’s hoping for a miracle. For those of you who actually read my entire rant, thank youf or your patience and attention.

  42. Avid Reader says:

    For those of you who actually read my entire rant, thank youf or your patience and attention.

    Hey, that’s what we’re here for. So vent away, Elizabeth. Do you have other authors you enjoy just as much as Slaughter? I’m in the market for trying out some other suspense writers since I’ve crossed Slaughter off my list.

  43. Elizabeth says:

    Hi, and thanks for the comment! I don’t normally post, but am enjoying the commentary. I recently found Edna Buchanan, and I really like Sue Grafton. Grafton’s books are way less graphic, but they’ve really held up over the years. BTW, she hasn’t killed anyone off!:) Her next book T is for Trespass comes out Dec. 4, and I can’t wait!

    While I’m here, I saw a previous post where someone mentioned certain authors killing off characters, then changing it after the fact when backlash occurs. Who has done this and how have they managed to pull it off? Anyone think Slaughter might do the same? What other suspense authors do you like?


  44. Avid Reader says:

    Grafton: I have her first book here as well as Patricia Cornwell. As for other mystery authors I enjoy: Michael Connelly, Clinton McKinzie, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Steve Hamilton and I am sure there are more but I just can’t think of them right now.

  45. Elizabeth says:

    I really like Grafton and have read all of her books. I haven’t read Cornwell, but feel I probably should. I have actually branched out into different tyeps of books lately, reading authors such as Nora Roberts, Sheila O’Flanagan, Edna Buchanan, (I believe I already mentioned her), and several others whose names escape me at the moment. I’ll pos tthe more amazing ones in case anyone would like to read.

    Thanks for sharing!

  46. Elizabeth says:

    I want to pose a question purely for discussion. Many of you have mentioned other authors who have drastically changed books by killing characters, some of whom have brought them back later. My quesiton is this. Of those you can think of, how many brought back someone readers early loved and what made them do it?

  47. Fin says:

    What if it was all a dream in the end? It all seems like it doesn’t it?
    Jeffrey is coming home with the baby…that is the important news right?
    And then Sara gets a nightmare while waiting for Jeffrey to come home with the good news…she dreams her worst fears.
    As long as i haven’t read a new Slaughter convincing me Jeffrey is truly dead…he is still alive to me..

  48. Fin says:

    Hey Avid Reader, its quite something different but have you tried Lee Child? His superhero Reacher is fantastic.. And he never dies!
    You could try the Anita Blake series of Laurell K. Hamilton. Really gruesome! In comparison Slaughter has no imagination at all.

  49. Avid Reader says:

    Hey Fin, I’ve read LKH’s first 8 books in her Anita Blake series and I’ve got Lee Child’s books in my stacks somewhere around here so thanks for the heads up.

  50. PAM SCOTT says:


  51. Hannah says:

    Hi everyone I just recently finished the book and am so upset. i am a college student and up until this summer I had never heard of Karin Slaughter until I happened upon her in the the grocery store. After just the first book I was hooked. I read through all of them in less than 2 weeks;probably due to all those later nighters! I became so attached to the stories and truly loved the characters. I agree with all of the posts that what truly kept the series alive with all the darkess was the relationship between Sarah and Jeffrey. It is so hard to imagine what any of the other books in her series could potentially be like without him. He was always my rock, the constant in the books. I always looked forward to the chapters with Sarah and him because the relationship was just so captivating. It saddens me that Slaughter had to put such a horrible twist in GC. All of these books were centered around S&J’s relationship, and finally at the end they seem to have a fighting chance and are making a real life. THEN’s over in a split second. I have no clue how she plans on continuing the series without Jeffrey and frankly I don’t even want to know. I am still sitting here hoping that some how she will turn this all around and bring him back. I honestly don’t care how she does it, just that it happens. I am truly saddened that the series had to come to this and I hope that something changes. I still am not sure If I will continue, It will be hard to read a book that doesn’t involve him..but who knows if I will really be able to turn my back on Sarah and Lena.

    Does anyone know of any really great books like slaughters with great characters that I can read to get my mind of it?…


  52. Avid Reader says:

    Does anyone know of any really great books like slaughters with great characters that I can read to get my mind of it?…

    Welcome Hannah. A author that I really love who has been consistently strong and writes with a female sleuth is Julia Spencer-Fleming. The first book in the series(she has four or five out right now) is In the Bleak Midwinter. Another author I really like is Clinton Mckinzie, that features a rock-climbing peace officer in Wyoming, first book The Edge of Justice.

    Welcome Pam, sorry to respond so late, comment #14 has the link to the infamous letter by Karin Slaughter.

  53. SUSAN says:


  54. Christie Sanders says:

    All of my Karin Slaughter books will be donated to the library now… won’t be buying any others either… Totally unnecessary and devastating to the future of the series. What a loss.

  55. Rosemarie says:

    Beyond Reach was the sixth book I read about lena, Sara and Jeffery. To have this last book end with Jeffrey being blown up just took the life out of me. I will not read another slaughter book. Thre was so much more that could have bee written in at least another three of four books., but you ended it………..

  56. Dana says:

    The letter won’t load for me…I’m dying to know what she said. Can you give me the brief version? I’m so upset by the ending…I wish I didn’t finish it at night. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep.

  57. Avid Reader says:

    Hi Dana, the brief version: Ms. Slaughter says that the events that happened at the end of the book is not a dream sequence, it’s the real deal. The next Grant County book, Genesis, which won’t be out in another couple of years, is about Sara and Lena dealing with the events that happened at the end of the book.

  58. Dana says:

    Hi, thanks for getting back so quick! That’s awful…I’m so disappointed. I don’t care how Sara and Lena deal with Jeffrey’s death – I want it to not have happened. I felt like she ripped out my heart and stomped on it with that ending! Why make us care for Jeffrey so much and then have him die such a painful gruesome death?

  59. Avid Reader says:

    Exactly. A lot of us felt manipulated and betrayed. The author did only to evoke an emotional response from her readers. I won’t be following her. This series has ended for me.

  60. Dana says:

    It makes it easier for me to know that other people feel the same. It eases my pain a bit. I still won’t read Karin Slaughter anymore, but I don’t feel as devastated because other people understand.

  61. CindyS says:

    One of my best buds read this while she was on vacation and has a few pages to go. I didn’t know she read the series so we never talked about it. When she came for a visit she was telling me about this book where she was gutted with the last few pages. I knew immediately which book she was talking about. She said she wished she could forget she ever read those pages and just end the series with that book and him alive.

    I pointed her to the authors letter but she’s so not buying.


  62. Sue R says:

    I just finished Beyond Reach in one afternoon. I sincerely wish I had stopped before the last few pages. I have loved this series even through all the darkness. Isn’t time that Lena get a grip. Isn’t it time for Ethan not to get so much ink. I can only take so much creepy. I could live with that, but I can’t live with what happened to Jeffrey. I don’t know why authors think that their readers want to be depressed at the end of the story. If Jeffrey had to be killed, did it really have to be right after he learns that he will be a father. Talk about a double whammy. This is the last Karin Slaughter book I’ll be reading.

  63. Richard T says:

    I have enjoyed reading these posts.

    I felt shocked and numb at the ending. I too re-read it trying to understand.

    That is the point.

    Many of these posts start out with a comment on how they have developed an emotional bond with the characters.
    As such, the climax to the book is illiciting from its readers the natural grief process:

    Numbness and shock. Anger (in this case directed to the responsible party – Karin Slaughter) Yearning and bargaining (like the Dallas Bobby Ewing fiasco). We also see here denial (Cutting out the last two pages and pretending they all thive happily ever after).

    Eventually will come acceptance. I am on that road now 🙂
    As such, I will be buying the next book. I am glad to hear that there will be one.

    Life goes on.

    Remember as well……it’s only fiction!

  64. Zoe says:

    Like many of you, I have read all of the Grant County books and I was also saddened at the ending of Skin Privilege (UK). I cried for 3 days and I wrote to Karin via her website to tell her how the book had made me feel. When i read her letter, I felt that she wasnt so much as apologising for her decision but trying to justify it to us, the reader.

    Unlike many of you, I will be reading Genesis when it is released next year. I need to know what happens to Sara, as it is important to me that she has started the healing process. If i chose not to read it, she would always be unhappy to me and she deserves more. I dont think that Karin will carry on with Grant County after Genesis but will continue with Will Trent from Tryptych.

    One point I would like to make is this. You must all surely agree that Karin Slaughter is an outstanding writer. If she wasnt, none of us would feel so strongly about Jeffrey.

  65. Zoe Beresord says:

    Also, I would like to recommend Brian Freeman’s books, starting with Immoral. He has a lead male Detective called Jonathan Stride and he reminds me of Jeffrey a little and the books are fantastic reading.

    Another is Mo Hayder. Her first book with Detective Inspector Jack Caffrey was brilliant and her sequel, The Treatment was unputdownable!!!!!

  66. Avid Reader says:

    Hi Zoe! Thanks for your comments. Also, I’ll make sure to try Brian Freeman and as for Mo Hayder, I have those two books in my TBR pile so thank you very much for mentioning these authors. She seems to have disappeared from the publishing world at present.

    As for Slaughter, it’s a matter of trust for me – I don’t trust her. This series had so much darkness in it that killing off Jeffrey was adding insult to injury. I can understand wanting closure but I cannot bring myself to read Genesis because this series wasn’t just about Sarah but Sarah and Jeffrey for me and I personally don’t or can’t bring myself to read about how Sarah goes on without Jeffrey. Just can’t.

    I think Karin Slaughter is an awesome writer, no doubt but I’ve moved on. One author I was really excited about was Jodi Compton. She wrote The 37th Hour and Sympathy Between Humans. Ignore those reviews on Amazon as I read the first book and enjoyed it, rated it a B+/B. I am hoarding the second one. She is currently MIA.

  67. wendy says:

    I read the books in Dutch, and though I found the end hard to believe (I read it over and over to make sure I read it right), I can’t wait to read “Genesis”. Really want to know how it ends…

  68. Zoe says:

    Dear Avid Reader

    Just to let you know that I’ve just read Mo Hayders 3rd book in the Jack Caffrey Series and it is brilliant. Check out her other 2 books – Tokyo and Pig Island. As for Karin, I really do understand where your coming from with the trust issue. I’ll keep the faith and keep reading her stuff , but I must admit, I find it very hard to forgive her.


  69. Avid Reader says:

    Thanks Zoe, I will look for them.

    Hi Wendy, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am not curious so you’ll have to tell me how Genesis works for you.

  70. Pingback: Alyssa’s Book Blog » Blog Archive » Grieving

  71. Olive says:

    Skin Privilege/Beyond Reach – what a breath of fresh air. I cried – yes – i was angry – well obviously. I felt close to the characters but, that’s what they are characters and it takes a brave person to kill off one of their main characters but i feel what it does is it makes for unpredictability, never really knowing what will happen. I think of the genre of film and how, as viewers, we all know that the main character won’t be killed off, and we quite like the comfort of knowing the characters we like are safe. We are in our comfort zone. Slaughter keeps us on edge, never quite knowing what’s round the corner. I think that’s brave. i think that she’s someone who really cares about keeping things fresh. She knows that she could have continued building Jeff and Sara’s relationship – churned out another few moneyspinners but she didn’t she made it a memorable book, reminding us life changes in an instant. I’m half way theough Tryptyct and WOW her best book so far – for me anyway.

  72. elizabeth margosiak says:

    im in shock, i cant believe they killed jeffery off i never thought they would ever do anything like that im sorry to say i wont be reading any more of your books this has up set me so bad sara and jeffery were so good together its unfair to end it all like that, what ever made u decide to do that why couldnt it have been a happier ending, maybe u can fix this and not really make him dead but it was so wrong to end the book like that

  73. Tee says:

    For all of you who have sworn off Slaughter for future books, I would seriously encourage you to reconsider. First of all, if you read her books because you enjoyed her particular writing style, that hasn’t changed. You are really denying yourself some great future reading if you stay away. “Fractured” was an excellent book and continues the adventures with Will of “Triptych.”

    I guess I didn’t realize that another book will be coming out after “Beyond Reach” in the Grant County series. Even though I was one of those originally that said I wouldn’t read more of her stuff, I’m glad I changed my mind and I know I will read this one if only just to see how she plans to go on. She’s the author; it’s her baby and she can do as she wants. She took a chance and only time will tell how successful that will be for her. And, the second point is, as Richard T posted earlier–it’s only fiction!

  74. Stephen says:

    I loved this book. Yet another excellent adventure in the Grant County series. The ending was brilliant, I really didn’t see that coming. Was almost close to tears.

  75. Mary says:

    I just finished reading Beyond Reach. Beyond Reach is my first Karin Slaughter book, and it is my last one! I have followed instructions at the end of the book for the spoiler, as well as this, so called letter and bonus chapter.I got nowhere, it is like looking for a needle in a hay stack… Enough already!

  76. Mat says:

    Well I totally have to agree with you guys. The death of Jeffrey left me speechless and f$%& angry. I finished the book two days ago and truth to be told I felt a little bit of hope that she didn´t really kill Jeffrey. What finally pissed me off, was Karin assuring in her bonus-spoiler-whatever-thing that Jeffrey´s death was no plot twist or dream. She really killed him and I feel a little bit betrayed. I really loved reading the books and was hoping that Karin will give us another 2 or 3 books with the characters evolving and (I know it sounds cheesy) at least a little happy end. I know that´s not Karin´s style but to kill Jeffrey? If it would have been Lena I´d still be shocked but would get along with it. I´m sure I´ll buy the next book but only to see how she´ll try to get out of the mess. Ok, probably I´ll buy the book after that book too but knowing that the “team” (in every possible way) that Sara and Jeffrey used to be is not existing anymore will take time to get along with. I suppose every one who´ll read the book after “Beyond reach” will find himself thinking “what would Jeffrey have done; where the buck is he” from time to time.

    Still, knowing that a simple book respectively series can evoke such feelings is proof that Karin did the trick and really got us. I suppose that was her intention. Still, I´m kind of mad at her for killing Jeffrey off.

  77. Keishon says:

    @Mat: Hey Mat, yes, she did shock the s^&* out of all of us. I’ve went on to read the two books that follow Beyond Reach and enjoyed Undone but not really liking Broken (the 7th book in the series). I’d be curious to know how you continue to enjoy the series. I have a mystery blog that I just started where I discuss, well, everything mystery.

    @Mary – you don’t want to read the letter. Trust me on that.

  78. Mary says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the letter… I actually think I am finished with Slaughter’s book. Beyond Reach was my first, I think it will be my last….. Does she leave her readers unglued at the end of Undone’s. Or is that one as we can say “undone too?

  79. Mary says:

    Yes, anything by Greg Isle… or David Baldacci. You will enjoy both Authors. Let me know when you read something by either. I didn’t recommend a perticular book because I have enjoyed every book by the two that I’ve read. Of course Dean Knootz and James Patterson are also on the top of my list as well. … Happy reading

  80. Avid Reader says:

    @Mary: Hi Mary, sorry for the delay in response. In “Undone” the author combined both the Will Trent series and the Grant County series together in one book. I enjoyed it for the most part but her latest, “Broken” was a big disappointment for me.

  81. Avid Reader says:

    @Mary: Thanks for the mystery recommendations. Will look into those authors. Appreciate it.

  82. Jenn says:

    I have to say I’m kind of shocked right now to see how unfaithful everyone is.
    I agree with mostly everything you’ve all said, it was as if i had actually lost someone close to me, and i cried… and cried… and cried. And as much as I would’ve liked to swear off all Karin Slaughter books, i took a minute to stop and think. What about poor Sara? Does no one feel remorse for her? You’ve all bitched about how Karin Slaughter is a dick and she ‘offs’ your characters, but are you all not just as heartless? I get extremely invested in the books I read, and the chracters in them, and it seems like y’all do too. Therefore when Sara lost Jeffrey, did anyone stop to think about how she would go on? Did anyone wonder how her life would be, or stick around to see if she would be okay? Or did we all just get pissed that Karin Slaughter took away Jeffrey? If you were serious enough about Jeffrey in that sense, then you had to be serious about Sara, too. Yes, she took away our character, but she took away Sara’s HUSBAND. And y’all didn’t care. Y’all got pissed and threw in the towel. For those of you that didn’t, I commend you. For those of you that did, how could you? And also for those of you who did, you shouldn’t even be given the joy of knowing that Ethan was killed- actually, beaten to death- in prison. Georgia takes care of their own.
    So before you give up on an author, ask yourself this: Does someone who made you feel so compassionate about a man that doesn’t even exist, really deserve to be shunned? Remember why you felt so strongly about Jeffrey. Because of Karin Slaughter. And because of her writing. I don’t see Beyond Reach as a slap in the face, or as the rug being yanked from underneath me. I see it as a test of faith. Faith in Sara, and faith in Karin Slaughter. And for people that feel so strongly about Jeffrey, he would be down right ashamed of y’all. He loved Sara more than anything and you left her hangin’ when he died. So as for the test of faith, Congrats. Y’all failed. Twice. Miserably.

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