Pretty Girls: A Novel by Karin Slaughter. New York: William Morrow, 2015. 388 pages. *****
Julia has been missing for twenty-four years at the age of nineteen and the impact on not knowing what happened to her was huge for her family. The book begins with a letter from a grief stricken father to his missing daughter. Flash-forward to the present day when her two sisters have moved on in their lives and the unresolved issues of her disappearance have forced them back together. After her husband dies, Claire visits his grave only to find her sister, Lydia, urinating on it. Claire soon discovers that her privileged life in Atlanta, married to Paul Scott, a highly successful architect, came at a high cost and her husband wasn't what he seemed. Claire and Lydia join forces to discover the identity of a serial sadistic killer who has tortured and brutalized women for decades.
Slaughter's stories are not for the faint of heart. A sadistic murderer who has escaped detection for decades targeting the innocent, this story is particularly haunting and brutal towards women. Slaughter's strength is in her ability to paint a vivid picture with words and while I recoiled from the brutality and sadistic acts, I couldn't stop reading. Just like watching the classic black and white horror films, I found myself holding my breath and fearing what was next. If you are a horror genre fan, you will not be disappointed, but if you shy away from TV shows like Criminal Minds and Bones, this is not for you.
I received an Advanced Reader's Edition from BookSparks for a review.
Karin Slaughter is a New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author. She is a native of Georgia.