‘Pretty Girls’ is the 2nd standalone novel by Karin Slaughter, although she has promised that next year’s novel will again feature her series characters Will Trent and Sara Linton. Whether she writes standalone or series novels, Slaughter is one of the best thriller writers around.
The Carroll family were a close family until the oldest daughter, 19 year old Julia went missing. The search started seriously, then later Julia was dismissed as a runaway. The second daughter Lydia turned to drugs, the father Sam became obsessed with the search for Julia, the mother Helen became seriously depressed and the youngest daughter Claire, desperate to be loved, found the ‘perfect’ man to marry.
Now, 20 years later, Lydia has cleaned up her life. She is a single mother to 17 year old Dee and has an ex-con boyfriend. Claire is still married to multi-millionaire Paul Scott and wants for nothing. The sisters haven’t spoken to each other for 18 years.
Then Paul is stabbed by a robber and dies in Claire’s arms. As the police and FBI start to tear apart Paul’s life, Claire turns to the only person she knows she can trust, her sister Lydia.
As Claire and Lydia try to work out what the police and FBI are looking for, they find out much more than they ever bargained for. Both of their lives spiral rapidly out of control as they discover secrets, lies, corruption and depravity going back decades.
Is anyone in their lives what they appear to be?
Forget about working out what has been going on. Now the sisters just want to escape with their lives.
The book got off to a bit of a slow start, but once it got going, it was an absolutely riveting thriller. The characters were excellent and most of them seemed to live behind multiple masks. These were gradually stripped away with horrific consequences.
There were some extremely gory scenes in this book, so go into it prepared (we expect that from Karin Slaughter anyway).
I’m looking forward to the next instalment in the lives of Will and Sara next year – unless Karin Slaughter has another brilliant standalone novel idea.
Book Published 2015