Thursday, August 31, 2017

Book Review: "The Good Daughter" by Karin Slaughter

You said it, George Takei! I seriously cannot get over this book.

Over the last few months I've seen a number of friends on Goodreads waxing poetic about Karin Slaughter. I like a good crime novel/thriller, so I figured I'd need to check her out at some point. Then I heard about her newest book, The Good Daughter, so I thought, "Let's give this the old look-see, shall we?"

DAMN, Karin Slaughter. You knocked my freaking head off with this one.

It was a fairly typical night for teenage sisters Charlotte (Charlie) and Samantha (Sam) Quinn of Pikeville, Georgia. Well, as typical as it could be considering their house had been burned down by people who didn't like that their father, the local defense attorney, had gotten a rape suspect acquitted, not to mention all of the other criminals he represented. But as the girls and their mother waited for their father to come home, a terrifying attack occurred, one which left physical and psychological damage, causing scars real and emotional, and forging secrets that changed everything.

Twenty-eight years later Charlie has pulled her life together as best as she could, and is now a lawyer like her father. Despite all that occurred that night, and the abuse she dealt with later, she never could leave Pikeville, which isn't always the easiest thing to deal with. And then she finds herself a witness to a shocking, senseless act of violence which traumatizes the entire town. Not only does her role in the incident—and her reaction to it—put her back in the spotlight again, but it causes the memories of that night 28 years ago to resurface, memories which threaten to tear her life and her family—and perhaps others—completely apart.

"...she was such an idiot that again and again she expected her father to be the kind of person who worried about his daughter the way he worried about pimps and gangbangers and murderers."

The Good Daughter gets your adrenaline pumping from the very beginning, and quickly entangles you in the lives of the Quinns and the people of Pikeville. My heart was beating so fast at times while reading this book, because Slaughter is the kind of storyteller who makes you feel you are right there in the middle of the everything as it is happening. Some of the violence is disturbing and distressing, but it's never gratuitous.

The characters aren't entirely sympathetic, so you don't know exactly who to trust, and you know there will be surprises along the way. I just hoped and prayed that Slaughter wasn't going to choose one particular path down which to take her story, and I was really glad she didn't. But so many times as I was reading, I kept thinking to myself, "Yes! This is how you tell a story. This is how a thriller should be."

Was it entirely surprising? Perhaps not. But this book packed a real punch, and has definitely left me with a new favorite author. If you like this genre and can deal with some violence, pick up The Good Daughter. I can't stop thinking about this one and how much I was blown away by it, and I can't wait to get into Slaughter's other books, because if they're this good?

Wow. Just, wow.

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