Book review: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Once upon a time there are three sisters. Then one disappears, leaving two. The suddenly-smaller family shatters into thousands of pieces, and the remaining sisters don’t speak to each other for 20 years. Until they are reunited by more death; tied together in a story of lies, betrayal and secrecy.

This, Pretty Girls, is the story of Lydia and Claire.

Lydia is an ex-addict who cleans up when she becomes a mother and Claire is a trophy wife to a rich and charismatic man. But neither has recovered from her own heartbreak. Forming a guarded truce, the two sisters look into a dark and distorted shared past to unearth the secrets that broke their family all those years ago.

Another interesting story behind this chilling page-turner is why the author wrote it. Karin Slaughter says that she was working on another book entirely (a Will Trent / Sara Linton story, to add to her popular series) when the idea for this one came to her in dream. She parked the series novel, and jumped into this one.

It was worth it. This is a surprising and fresh offering.

There are lots of twists and turns in Pretty Girls, and all the usual stuff that readers expect from Slaughter. Her style is there. Her pace is there. And her characters are full and textured and…strangely funny. The only thing missing? Cops.

Unusually for Slaughter, Pretty Girls’ narrators are two ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. What is the truth behind the harrowing tragedies, 20 years apart, that devastate their lives? And can they survive them?

You’ll see. Read the book. (Clear your schedule first.)


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