Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

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source: free review copy via the publisher
title: Pretty Girls
author: Karin Slaughter/ Twitter
pages: 573
genre: crime fiction/mystery/thriller/suspense
published: 2015
first line: When you first disappeared, your mother warned me that finding out exactly what happened to you would be worse than never knowing.
rated: 5 out of 5 for a thrill ride with twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat
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blurb:
Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

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.

my thoughts:
Oh my goodness, this book! It has had me on the edge of my seat since last week. I could not read it fast enough, and when I did read it, I didn’t want to stop.

If there is a book that might make you faint while reading, it’s Pretty Girls. It was a thrill ride of emotions, truly. I finished reading it last night and at 573 pages there was not a dull moment.

I read Undone by Karin Slaughter many years ago and I remember enjoying her style of writing and the way the storyline unfolded. So I had been meaning to dive into Pretty Girls which arrived from the publishers last year or so. I cannot believe this gem of a book was sitting on my TBR mountain for so long.

The storyline alternates between two different narrators, estranged sisters Claire and Lydia, and we also get diary entries from their father Sam in between. There is alot going on here but as I read I got to know the characters and everything was woven in seamlessly. Each narrator left me wanting more.

Karin Slaughter takes her time here and she develops the characters and the plot masterfully. Everything interconnects and it all culminates together nicely. These people are all flawed and they have haunted pasts. Lydia is a recovering addict and a single mom with a teenage daughter. She is a no-nonsense type person, she’s not easy to fool and she tends to see things for what they are. I liked that she is a tough cookie. Lydia is also loyal to her family and when they need help she comes running even if they are not on the best of terms.

Lydia’s sister Claire is a trophy wife and when her husband Paul is murdered she finds out some deep dark secrets about him. I liked this angle to the story, the whole “finding things out after looking into the files on his computer” plot twist. This is where the story gets gruesome. Who was her husband really? We also get their father Sam’s diary entries and we see what happened after their 19 year old sister Julia disappeared over twenty years ago. This unsolved disappearance seems to be the catalyst that tears this family apart. No one involved recovers.

And so there I am standing beside you on your phantom wedding day, holding back tears, offering you to the future you will never have.
p. 572, Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

When Claire’s husband is killed, it brings the two estranged sisters back together again. At first I didn’t like Claire’s character but as the story flowed I saw she was more than a trophy wife when it came down to it.

Pretty Girls is a gritty and intense drama and I enjoyed every single minute of it. It was exciting to read. My heart was racing and I read most of it with a stunned look on my face. I was hooked until the final page. I do have to mention this is a grim story, there are disturbing themes of violence, torture and rape in the plot.

The storyline just kept going as the plot was revealed layer by layer. I never knew what was coming next. Plot twists like crazy! How does the author do it? Karin Slaughter is the queen of the plot twist.

I have a book hangover now. I don’t know what to do with myself. I have other books waiting to be read, I think I’ll take a day or two off from reading before I start something else. So, if you can’t already tell my all my raving, Pretty Girls makes it onto my top reads ever list and is my favorite book of 2017. I will be reading more Karin Slaughter for sure.

Me right now:

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About the author:
Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 36 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her sixteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novel Pretty Girls. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her Will Trent series, Grant County series and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television. -quoted from the author’s website.

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Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free review copy of Pretty Girls via the publisher.

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18 thoughts on “Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

  1. Hi Naida,

    As ever, I have never sequence read from either of Karin’s series, but just dipped in and out at random.

    It is therefore very fortuitous that both your own book ‘Pretty Girls’ and my own ‘The Good Daughter’, are both stand alone stories.

    I do enjoy Karin’s ‘gutsy’ style of writing and plot building abilities, although her books are always of monster proportions and take me an age to get through.

    I laughed at your observation about having a book hangover, although I find myself, that these days I always tend to leave a couple of days grace between finishing one book and starting another, just to clear my mind and gather my thoughts together.

    I loved your enthusiastic review, it is great when a book and author can cause that kind of spontaneous emotion and thanks for sharing it 🙂

    Yvonne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Yvonne. I have The Good Daughter on my wishlist. I didn’t mind that this one was so long, the writing really hooked me. I’m still slightly hungover lol 🙂
      Happy week and happy reading.

      Like

  2. Great review of this book.

    The unsolved disappearance of a family member seems like it would be unbearable. based on your commentary that sounds like only one interest aspect of this book.

    Book hangovers are sometimes hard to shake 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Brian. Yes, the disappearance of the sister is at the heart of this one and as the storyline unfolds other aspects of that start to unravel. Ugh the book hangover lol
      Enjoy your week!

      Like

  3. I just finished this one and now EXACTLY what you mean. It was so intense and I just can’t. I had to change over to reading a completely different genre (nonfiction) afterwards just because I didn’t think that any other book that I would read could compare otherwise. I’m going to work on writing up my thoughts for this one soon! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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