Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Pretty Girls is a dark and intense psychological mystery/thriller that had me not wanting to put the book down almost from the first page.
Claire and Lydia are sisters who have been estranged for the last 18 years. They haven’t spoken to each other since shortly after their 19 year old sister, Julia went missing and was never heard from again. Claire and Lydia now lead vastly different lives…one is a struggling single mom, ex-addict and the other is a well kept, wealthy trophy wife with no children. Both are consumed by the recent news story of a local teenage girl who has gone missing…as both Claire and Lydia can’t help but think of and remember their own missing sister, Julia. When Claire’s husband is suddenly murdered, her entire life is flipped inside out when she starts to unravel deeply hidden family secrets. She is forced to turn to her sister, after almost 2 decades, to try to figure out the possible connection between her husband’s murder, the missing local girl, and her missing sister.
This book was really good! The chapters alternate with the story being told in the perspective of Claire, Lydia, as well as old journal entries from their father. Pretty much from the first chapter, I was totally intrigued. I love murder/crime mysteries and well as psychological thrillers…and this is all of that and more. One warning though…it’s dark and pretty graphic in spots. This is definitely not a “fun” thriller that takes it easy on the gory details of murder, so if you are turned off or grossed out by too much reality in your murder mysteries, this may not be for you. BUT…if you love intensely fast paced stories and you think you can handle some graphic content…this is a must read!
While Pretty Girls is definitely a fictional mystery/thriller, it also lightly touches on the subject of rape culture and the victim blaming that media/society can jump to in cases of missing and/or assaulted women. I really liked all the characters and I feel like they were very well written and believable. The story and details were so engrossing that you can actually feel like you are there, witnessing everyone…which is good and bad due to the subject matter.
This is my first novel I have read by Karin Slaughter and I see that she has quite a few others in the murder mystery & thriller genre…so I think I will definitely be checking out some of her other work soon.
My Rating: 4/5 stars