Author: Karin Slaughter
Narrator: Kathleen Early
Published: September 2015, Blackstone Audio
Length: 19 hours 59 minutes
#1 internationally bestselling author Karin Slaughter returns with a sophisticated and chilling psychological thriller of dangerous secrets, cold vengeance, and unexpected absolution, in which two estranged sisters must come together to find truth about two harrowing tragedies, twenty years apart, that devastate their lives.
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.
Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful thriller from one of the finest suspense writers working today.
My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Karin Slaughter and wow...this book packed quite a punch! It was dark and twisted and I really liked it. I know she is known for quite a few series, but this is a stand-alone - a brilliantly crafted psychological thriller that is filled with crazy twists and turns and kept me on the edge of my seat!
I do want to say, though, this is a bit violent, so if that's not your cup of tea, this might not be the book for you. There are quite a few rather graphic descriptions of the violent crimes committed against the young women in this book. It is definitely not for the faint of heart!
But despite all that, this really isn't a book that you can skim if you choose to read it. If you do, you will miss important information. It's such a complex and layered story, with twists and turns that will have your head spinning. Each and every piece of information is necessary - there really aren't any pieces left hanging at the end.
The characters that we meet are flawed and fascinating - there is definitely more to them than meets the eye - and it becomes hard to know who to trust and who not to. All is certainly not what it appears to be. A few times I thought I had figured out what was going on, only to be completely stumped and when it got to the end, I was shocked!
This is a terrifying mystery, but I found it to be a brilliant read at the same time. I am definitely going to be looking into Karin Slaughter's others books very soon - both her series and her other stand-alones!
Audio thoughts: This was an intense book to listen to and I think Kathleen Early did a great job with the narration. She gave each character their own voice and her pacing was spot on. It's a chilling listen but once you get past that, it is enjoyable.