SYNOPSIS: 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. – via Goodreads
Gosh, I have had this book for a while and yet I never got to it (shame on me), which is madness, you all know that I am a major Karin Slaughter junkie. Anyway, finally it was time. I really like the fact that Slaughter has a bunch of standalone novels, and they are really good, but I am having serious Will Trent withdrawals, and totally need another look see and a story there. NOTE: It would appear that her latest novel is a Trent one, yay!
Pretty Girls is structured in a strange way, but that is not a bad thing. There are sections where a father writes to his daughter, by way of journal, then other parts that tell a certain part of the story from one person’s perspective, and then later by another. There was a plotsie that I thought about round about the same time Paul died, and I brushed it aside because come on, this is Slaughter, she is not a rookie writer. I almost kicked myself shortly thereafter because the cliché and predicted plotsie came to pass. You can ask Natasha, I was supremely miffed by the turn of events, and was not best pleased. I reminded myself that this was Karin Slaughter we were talking about, this woman has got this. My faith paid off, and she corrected what I thought was a blunder, and made it work for her.
Pretty Girls is not filled with a lot of likable characters. In fact, you would be hard pressed to particularly enjoy either of the leads, but they grow on you. I did like the deceased father, Sam, though it is evident that pain and suffering and obsession ripped his family apart. Rick was awfully nice, too. The novel barrels along, and at just over 400 pages, one would assume that it feels long. Well, that is totally not the case, and the pages rush by, expounding a story that tells you about what loss can do to a family, and the variety of coping mechanisms that people turn to, for better or worse. While there are some brutal moments laced throughout the novel (and they do pop up from time to time), they are not nearly as harsh as her usual works, which surprised me a little.
While this was not my favourite novel of hers, I had a really good time and would obviously recommend this to folks. Slaughter is good. I mean, really, really good.