HarperCollins Publishers | February 2017 | 432 pgs
Source: Library

I'd read a few Karin Slaughter's books in the past and she is one of the best authors I've come across for writing dark and compelling suspense thrillers. Although some of them aren't always easy to read when the subjects are concerned, Ms. Slaughter manages to capture the realism and sensitivity behind those dark horrifying tales that make you feel for the characters and think what you'd do under those circumstances. 

This novel revolves around missing girls, secrets and the relationship between two sisters who have distanced from each other and reunited again under a circumstances which reminds them of a horrifying past incident and how it comes back to haunt them again. 

Claire and Lydia lost their eldest sister, Julia, when the latter was sixteen years old. A missing case and her body was never found. She was last seen at a bar and was later accounted by a friend that she left alone thereafter. No one knew what happened to her and the years move on. As the remaining two sisters grow up with their family being torn apart after Julia's disappearance, they began to distance from each other. Claudia sees Lydia as a girl who smokes pot and living a wild life so she didn't believe a word she had said then, until another case of a missing girl and the murder of Claudia's husband bring back the horror and the heartbreaking past back into their lives. Now the two estranged sisters have to form an alliance to unravel the truth and bring down the evil perpetrator who has murdered countless girls cruelly and destroyed their family. 

Pretty Girls was a really dark, intense psychological thriller with all the thrills and chills. Both suspenseful and heartrending, this story wasn't an easy read with all the horror and the violence inflicted on the female victims. Karin Slaughter didn't pull any punches when it comes to writing such scenes, and I cringed every time I read how the poor girls are cruelly abused and tortured. This aside, I've to applaud Ms. Slaughter for creating two compelling and strong-willed characters who will fight for justice and survival just when I thought the situation was bleak at times and that finding evidence could be a challenge to them. Claudia and Lydia touched me with their fighting spirit and their love for Julia; this was what drove me to read on despite the dark subject and not to mention the riveting plot and my wish to see the case resolved and that justice will prevail in the end. 

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14 Responses
  1. Kay Says:

    I read this one some time ago and remember that it was tough to read and a really good story. Glad you liked it too.

  2. Melody Says:

    Kay - It was good but I've to admit the violence part got to me. That said, Karin Slaughter is a talented author who knows how to write a good and compelling story that sucks you in.

  3. Lark Says:

    It sounds like I really need to read this author...and this book. I don't love violence in books, but sometimes you can't tell a certain story without it. Another great review, Melody! :)

  4. Jenny Says:

    I’ve been eyeing this one forever. I need to just read it. Glad to know it doesn’t skimp on details but I’ll have to prepare myself.

  5. Melody Says:

    Lark - I hope you'll give them a try one day, Lark. I don't love violence in general (who does, right?) and you're right that sometimes a story can't be told without it. I'm wondering what the author has in store for her next book.

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenny - I'd been eyeing this book for a while too and when I found the library copy (finally), I decided it's about time.

  7. jenclair Says:

    When the violence is too graphic, I cringe, too. I'm not sure this one is for me, at least for right now.

  8. Iliana Says:

    I know Karin Slaughter is a popular author but her books haven't necessarily captured my interest until this one. Lots of great reviews from everyone and I definitely want to read it. So glad to see you gave it 5 stars!

  9. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I'm not comfortable with books which are too graphic, but I suppose some are written that way to tell and emphasise the plot.

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Some of her books are a miss to me but generally I liked most of them. Hope you'll enjoy the book when you get to it, Iliana.

  11. The Bookworm Says:

    Pretty Girls was a favorite read last year and I am going to grab another Slaughter book once I'm caught up with my review books. I love her thrilling writing, but yes I cringed through some of it. So many twists and turns in this one.

  12. Melody Says:

    Naida - I need to catch up on some of her books, like Cop Town and her series.

  13. This sounds like a tough read, but good. I have only read one of Slaughter's books so far. One of these days I'll read something else by her.

  14. Melody Says:

    Wendy - It was intense and a bit graphic. Still, it was a good story.

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