My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Let me start by saying, I love the library. I love getting books for free. I love the variety and availability of titles. However, I don’t love waiting for holds. For anybody who isn’t familiar with the library, most places have a certain number of copies available for people to check out at any given time. If those copies are already checked out, you get placed on a wait list. Example: currently I am #902 on the wait list for like 30 copies of Before We Were Yours. Major sad face. So I’ll probably read it sometime 8 months from now when it finally gets released (unless I break down and buy it first).
Needless to say, rather than constantly be waiting on a hold, I often dig through older titles in search of something that might be available immediately (i.e. no wait list). That bring me to Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. It was available now and I snatched it right up. I had never read Karin Slaughter before, I knew nothing about the story line, but I did know it was a mystery/thriller so I jumped on it.
Okay, first off, this book is not for the faint of heart. Major disclaimer: When I say there is graphic material in this book, that’s perhaps an understatement. If we were rating movies, this would definitely be rated R. It was violent. It was disturbing. Maybe even bordering more on horror than thriller. But, it was also extremely well done!
Also, side note, when you’re listening to a super effed up book on audio, make sure your bluetooth headphones are connected before hitting play. I’m just going to throw that out there.
The story centers around Claire and Lydia, sisters whose relationship has been strained, estranged even, for years following the disappearance of their third sister Julia. But their lives suddenly come colliding back together after the death (ahem, murder) of Claire’s husband Paul. In the wake of his funeral, Claire discovers that her husband may not have been the man she thought he was (can you say double life?). For fear of giving anything else away, I won’t divulge much more pertaining to the plot, but I will say that there were multiple times that my jaw hit the floor. Like right down to the gas pedal in my Cadillac SRX. Full on shock value.
But, did I mention it was disturbing? Just remember that. That’s my last warning.
Karin Slaughter was masterful in her development of the characters, the evolution of the story from beginning to end, and the way in which she tied all the elements together. Like I said, I had not previously read anything by her, but Pretty Girls won’t be my last.
Let me also just give a shout out to Kathleen Early whose narration brought Claire and Lydia to life, particularly during some of the more stressful chapters. With almost 20 hours of story, she kept me engaged from beginning to end.
Another little morsel. There is a short story at the end of the main novel (around 2 hours long) that details the day leading up to Julia’s disappearance from her perspective. I thought that was a great added touch, and brought a little something extra to the table.
Thoroughly enjoyed it. Not even sure I can compare it to something else I’ve read lately. It was truly unique, and any true horror fan would be smitten.