Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter


Pretty Girls: A Novel by [Slaughter, Karin]

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Genre: Thriller


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.

Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful novel from one of the finest writers working today.


Someone like Karin Slaughter doesn’t need a review from someone like me. Her success speaks for itself. That being said, I have read all of her books from the time she was new on the scene and I don’t generally like the murder mystery thriller types that hit the bestseller lists. You know how it is: strong female lead meets annoying yet ruggedly handsome guy, they’re forced to work together, things get sketchy, they fall in love, they solve the case and everyone goes home happy. Gag.

Not Karin Slaughter. Her characters are raw and real. Her stories are dark and twisted. Pretty Girls is her first crack at a psychological thriller, separate from her usual series with characters I’ve been following for a decade. She hit the nail on the head yet again.

Pretty Girls keeps you guessing. Some of the characters are infuriatingly stupid, but that’s always the case with thrillers. Parts of the book had me laughing out loud with the not-so-subtle wit and sarcasm Slaughter portrayed through her characters. She also managed to sneak in a Princess Bride reference, which is a huge plus.

Though overall I did enjoy Pretty Girls, some of it seemed pretty farfetched. It’s comparable to how the cops in every horror movie seem to be completely stunned. The storyline wasn’t overly plausible and relied on a lot of luck and coincidence to develop.

All in all, I would recommend it. Even its less appealing points were better than your average thriller. Slaughter managed yet again to produce a deeply disturbing story with plenty of comedic relief, no easy task I’m sure.

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