Title: Pretty Girls
Author: Karin Slaughter
No. of pages: 378
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Publication date: July 2nd 2015
Date read: November 28th 2017
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.
This was my first full novel by Karin Slaughter. Before Pretty Girls I had only ever read a short story by her, Martin Misunderstood, which I thought was really good. And because her books are widely loved and I see them ranked as “bestsellers” in every bookstore, I bought an ebook of Pretty Girls a while ago.
When I got about a quarter into the book, the story reminded me a lot of the short story “A Good Marriage” by Stephen King. Because of this I thought I already knew where the rest of the story would head to. I was right, but I also wasn’t – Slaughter did a great job on adding some nice surprises to it so the story was still interesting enough to have me on the edge of my seat.
I’m not a big fan of reading blurbs thoroughly and this made the beginning of the book a bit slow – the first three chapters were from three different POV’s and I didn’t know where these were heading to, or when these stories would come together. Because I hadn’t read a blurb I didn’t know that Claire and Lydia were sisters. This is not entirely Slaughter’s fault, of course – after all, I didn’t read the summary. Still, it was difficult to get into the story for me and I think reading a blurb shouldn’t make that big of a difference for the reader of a book. On the other side, this way I had an extra surprise when I found out that Claire, Lydia and Julia were actually connected! So, the beginning was a bit slow for me, but once I reached the second half of the book I couldn’t put it down!
All in all, the story was very disturbing and twisted and as a horror addict I really liked reading Pretty Girls. Beware: this book is not for the faint of heart. But somehow I just didn’t get blown away. Hence the 4 instead of 5 stars!