I purchased this as a kindle book after reading Lion, Lamb, and Hunted by the same author, expecting it to be just as good with perhaps a slightly bad ending as some other reviewers warned. This was a downright horrible book and I would never recommend this to anyone. Period. I read a ton of mysteries/thrillers/crime-solving books and they are easily my favorite genre of book because I like being fed fractions of detail in each chapter that makes me feel like I'm invested without resolving the overarching mystery that keeps me hooked.
This novel started off promising as others have mentioned, like the beginning of a CSI episode, but by 60% through the book (and this according to my kindle percentage), it was still just describing random mystery deaths without a single detail revealed about any of it. All the characters sounded so incredibly idiotic, especially the 2 main deputies. It would go from murder to murder and all the cliffhanger chapter endings would go something like, "and they knew they had to find the missing suspect because all the answers lie with him..." suspense...and they would just never follow up on anything. No suspects would be recovered, no further details revealed, and the police force would keep talking to one another like they found some amazing, case-breaking detail, but it would just be some really obvious fact they should've known by at least the second case. I also agree the female character was SO weak and unnecessary; she truly added nothing to the story except some random creepy factor that hardly explained anything. I literally cringed at the interaction between her and Cameron. Really? Just terrible. The dialogue probably annoyed me the most, though. At around the second third of the book, it seemed like every other word was italicized for emphasis and effect, but just as using thousands of sentences with exclamation points loses its impact, this was just overkill. Books read out in my mind exactly as written - very true to caps locks, exclamations, pauses, and italics. I hate it when one technique is overused like it was here. It's just bad writing.
Overall, the story was poor, characters unlikable/underdeveloped, interactions unnatural, and the mystery wasn't so much a mystery as it was a really bad random incident to explain it all, slapped together in the last 10% of the book. If I had to give readers an idea of the book by comparison, I would say it was similar to Children of the Fog in components (ghost mystery/thriller) but done considerably worse. Powers worse, because I thoroughly enjoyed Children of the Fog and would suggest it to others. All isn't lost, though, because Lion, Lamb, and the Hunted was very exciting and so well done - it's honestly a mystery to me how they could've come from the same author. Night and day in quality and execution. If Andrew Kaufman came back to read While the Savage Sleeps after publishing his fifth book, I think he would agree that this was pretty awful - like finding an essay you wrote in third grade as a college freshman and wondering how you didn't fail elementary school. I'll watch out for his future books, but with one horrible and one fantastic publication, it can go in either direction for me.