When Sara Linton decides to visit her ex-husband, Jeffrey Tolliver, on a quiet Sunday, she gets more than she bargained for when two gunmen enter the station. Sara is just a split second too late in her warning and has to watch in horror as the men open fire, killing several police officers and injuring a group of children on a visit. To make matters worse, Jeffrey is wounded in the resulting gunfire and Sara must protect his identity when she realises he was the target.
As the gunmen take the survivors hostage, Sara battles to keep Jeffrey alive while reflecting back to the beginning of their relationship and the time he took her on a visit to his hometown. Jeffrey is clearly embarrassed by the place and it soon becomes obvious not everyone is happy to see him back. Things go from bad to worse when Jeffery’s best friend, Robert, kills an intruder but to Sara the evidence is telling a different story. Since Robert is also a cop and no one else seems suspicious, Sara begins to suspect Jeffrey is becoming involved in a cover up. However, there is something far more sinister going on and the past is very much connected to the future.
Indelible is somewhat of a departure from the previous books in the Grant County series but it is a welcome change as Slaughter delves deeper into Jeffrey’s background. Sara and Jeffrey’s relationship is a complicated one as they divorced prior to the first novel as Jeffrey had been unfaithful, however neither have been able to completely let go. Over the course of the previous three novels, the couple have started dating again, although it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. At the start of Indelible, Sara reveals Jeffrey wishes them to marry again but her reluctance has driven a wedge between them.
The events related in the past go a long way to explaining who Jeffrey is as a man and why he does a lot of the things he does. The son of an alcoholic mother and an abusive jailbird father, Jeffrey has remarkably been able to make something of his life but part of him still doesn’t really believe he deserves the things he has achieved and is waiting for the other shoe to drop. The people in Jeffrey’s hometown seem to have a very low opinion of him and are quick to lay the blame for almost everything at his feet. However, Jeffrey and his friends do have a dark secret, long buried, which is about to be blown wide open and will jeopardise their futures.
While the story in the past seems unconnected to what is going on with the hostage situation, it eventually becomes apparent they are connected as Slaughter skilfully weaves both plots together. I think this is also the book where I fell completely in love with Jeffrey because he’s overcome so much to become the good man he is today, even though he isn’t perfect and still makes stupid mistakes.