Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Published by HarperCollins on September 29th 2015
Genres: Fiction, General, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, Suspense, Thrillers, Women Sleuths
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An extraordinary novel of love and loss, redemption and revenge, from the New York Times bestselling author whose “characters, plot, and pacing are unrivaled” (Michael Connelly).Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.It’s been more than twenty years since Claire and Lydia last spoke. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire; Lydia, a single mother dating an ex-con, struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the disappearance of their sister Julia two decades earlier—and the shocking murder of Claire’s husband brings the horror and heartbreak of the past roaring back into their lives.The vanishing of a teenage girl and the killing of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: What could connect them? As they form a wary truce, the surviving sisters unearth the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and find the astonishing truth they least expected.“Slaughter’s eye for detail and truth is unmatched… I’d follow her anywhere.” —Gillian Flynn“Extraordinary . . . a major achievement.”—Kathy Reichs
As part of my Fall Reading Challenge with BookSparks, we were offered the chance to read and review Karin Slaughter’s new book, Pretty Girls. I just assumed it was some sort of “chick lit” fiction, but WOW was I surprised! I’ve seen the hashtags #SuspenseThriller attached to this book, and that doesn’t even begin to describe it for me. I will give you the “blurb” I read before reading the book:
“More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.
The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.”
With that description, how was I to know that this would be an amazingly fast-paced and very engrossing book? On the surface, we read about the perfect Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Claire Scott, but as the proverbial onion peels, we learn more about each of their pasts, including the abduction/disappearance of Claire’s sister, Julia and how her family survives. We learn about Claire’s husband Paul, following his murder – about who he was when he died, and how he grew up. We even learn more about his parents, who help form the man he had become. There are stories within the stories of each of the characters that are entirely believable. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out how the stories would play out. Ms. Slaughter does an amazing job at keeping the suspense building in this book – so much that I was turning pages at nearly 1am knowing I had to wake up at 6am for work! It didn’t matter to me that it was too late, I was too close to the end of the book and I just had to know how the ending played out.
Just like in real life, Pretty Girls shows us some good guys, some not-so-good guys, and some really evil bad guys. The author sometimes makes it difficult for readers to determine which kind of guy we are reading about because we expect them to be one way and they turn out to be just the opposite. This is one of those books that is very hard to share with you without disclosing too much – I don’t want to spoil it for you because if you are like me, you’ll be staying up too late to read the whole thing.
I enjoyed Pretty Girls and would definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys reading suspense-thrillers. I had never read anything else written by Ms. Slaughter, but I’m thinking it’s a great idea to start with Pretty Girls! You can read an excerpt from the book HERE!
Who She is:
- Karin Slaughter was born in Georgia, and, with the exception of traveling to support her book publications domestically and abroad, always returns home to Atlanta.
- Karin Slaughter is her birth name and not a pseudonym.
- Attended two years of college at Georgia State, and never graduated, though she considers herself a voracious and lifelong learner.
- Started a sign business before becoming a successful writer.
- Has toured a dozen countries promoting her work, including Australia, Singapore, France and Finlan
- Enjoys running and not running
- Swam with the sharks in Australia
- Went weightless in the Zero-G Vomit Comet
- Jumped butt-naked into the Baltic after a bracing sauna in Finland
- Plans to enter sub-orbital space via Virgin Galactic’s space program
I received a complimentary paperback copy of this book from the publishers and BookSparks in exchange for this post, which is my honest review and unbiased opinion.