Pretty Girls 1
Paperback / softback Publication Date: 01/07/2015
- Contemporary fiction
- Paperback / softback
- Publication Date:
- Penguin Random House
- Country of origin:
- United Kingdom
- Dimensions (mm):
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Another brilliant read!
“You couldn’t turn on the TV without hearing about the missing teenage girl. Sixteen years old. White. Middle class. Very pretty. No one ever seemed quite as outraged when an ugly woman went missing.”
Pretty Girls is the second stand-alone novel by popular American author, Karin Slaughter. Claire Scott’s sister has been missing for twenty-four years, so she notices reports of missing girls. But her attention to the latest case understandably deviates when Paul, her husband of eighteen years, is stabbed to death before her eyes in an alley behind the bar they have just left. And when she comes home from his funeral to a police and FBI presence in response to a disturbed-in-progress burglary, she feels the loss of her beloved husband even more acutely. Her grief turns to confusion as she searches Paul’s computer for files his business partner needs. Shock and anger have her turning to the one person she knows she can trust.
Slaughter employs three narrative strands for this novel: two tell the story from the point of view of her (eventually) very gutsy heroines; the third is in the form of a heart-broken but determined father writing to his still-missing daughter. Slaughter demonstrates how the heartbreak of a missing child or sibling can break apart even the closest family. She also broaches a seldom-mentioned subject, the universal reaction to which will be utter repugnance, except, of course, by its vile proponents. The power of money, OCD and the need for control, corrupt law enforcement officers and greed also feature. Some of the heroines of this tale (and there are at least three) will surprise readers with their courage. And of course, none of the characters is quite what they first seem.
Slaughter manages to relieve some tension-filled moments with the black humour that laces the two female narrators’ inner monologue. Her characters also display insight and wisdom: “…if a man rejects a woman, she goes home and cries for a few days. If a woman rejects a man, he can rape and kill her” and “Claire had realised a long time ago that if you lie with enough conviction, you can usually fool yourself” are a two examples. Once again, Slaughter gives the reader a real page turner, full of twists and surprises. She occasionally allows the reader to relax momentarily before once again throwing a shocking revelation at them. Fans may hold their breath, wondering: can she do it again? The answer is a resounding yes! Another brilliant read!