Having never read anything by Karin Slaughter, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Pretty Girls.
What I got was an awesome psychological thriller that left me on the edge of my seat and unable to fall asleep right after reading.
The book focuses on Claire and Lydia. The sisters are estranged and the whole family’s relationship is awkward because of Julia, the third sister who has been missing for about 20 years.
Then, a girl goes missing and Claire’s husband is killed in a robbery gone bad. Claire discovers some disturbing (to say the least) videos among her husband’s possessions and it gets weirder from there.
Is her husband really dead? Why is the FBI investigating a break-in at Claire’s home but not a murder? Why does Claire turn to Lydia? What really happened to Julia and how much did Paul know? Who can Claire and Lydia trust?
The story is paced with quick chapters and interspersed with letters the girls’ father had written to Julia before his death. It’s a nice way to break up the story and transition back in time without it feeling burdensome.
Seriously, this book had me turning pages as fast as I could get them read. I just had to know what was going to happen next. And the twists and turns, some of them I figured out, but some I was still shocked by.
Slaughter does a great job of setting you up to go left only to take you to the right–hard. According to the book jacket, this is her first psychological thriller and I certainly hope it isn’t her last.
I’m genuinely interested in reading more by Slaughter. Fair warning, however, that the content of Pretty Girls could likely be considered graphic by readers. I can tolerate reading a lot of things, but there were a few points in this book where I reached my limit. Slaughter’s mind went to some dark, dark places when she wrote this book. That much is clear.
I truly appreciated how each character battled their own demons throughout the book and was flawed.
Overall, Pretty Girls is a wonderful foray into a slightly different genre for Slaughter and worth a read!