Kerry Hammond is here today to review a standalone by award winning author Karin Slaughter.
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter was published on September 29 of this year, by William Morrow. Karin Slaughter is the author of the Will Trent mystery series, as well as the Grant County series. I’m a big fan of Will Trent, and I wanted to read a standalone to see how it compared. Since Pretty Girls is her most recent standalone novel, it was a good place to start, and I can report that it’s a great read. It was a dark and disturbingly wonderful psychological thriller, and I loved every minute of it.
Lydia and Claire are sisters, but they haven’t spoken in twenty years. Not since their oldest sister disappeared without a trace. The loss tore their family apart. Their parents split up and Lydia took a nose dive into addiction. Claire and her mother stopped speaking to Lydia, and Claire moved on to marry a man who became successful and rich. She lives in an impeccably organized and secure mansion. Lydia has worked to get her life back in order, she has a teenage daughter, and lives paycheck to paycheck.
When Claire’s husband is killed, she starts her own sort of spiral. She has lost the person who has grounded her and taken care of her for so many years. Right as she is attempting to deal with the loss, her path collides unexpectedly with Lydia and they both realize that they haven’t gotten over the disappearance of their sister. She was never found, so there was no closure. The women make contact again when Claire reaches out for Lydia’s help. Very soon they both realize that there was way more to Claire’s seemingly simple life than she imagined, and their actions to try and understand it prove to be very dangerous.
Karin Slaughter is a master of the page-turner, and this latest novel is another great example of this. She crafts her stories in such a way that you have an extremely hard time putting them down. Her characters are so real, and so troubled (I said it was dark and disturbing) that once I finished reading, I caught myself wondering about what therapy one of the characters would need after everything that happened. I quickly reminded myself that they weren’t real, was thankful that I hadn’t mused aloud, and went about my business. It’s going to take a little while to get this one out of my head.
This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review is fair and independent.