Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Claire Scott leads a seemingly perfect life - she's beautiful and adored by her wealthy husband, Paul. However, Claire's life is shadowed by the disappearance of her eldest sister, Julia, over twenty years ago. Julia went missing while in college and was never seen again. In the aftermath, Claire lost not only Julia, but her other sister, Lydia, as the sisters have been estranged for years. As a result, Claire has clung to Paul and the comfort and security he provides . However, a new tragic event changes everything for Claire - and will eventually lead her to look at everything in her life differently, including Julia's disappearance and her relationship with Lydia.
I really enjoyed this novel - it's engaging and suspenseful: filled with twists and turns. Sometimes you see them coming and other times you don't. It's a quick read, but not a particularly light one - be prepared for a dark read. The book is raw, violent, and even heartbreaking at points. Most of the story unfolds from Julia and Claire's point of view, but we also hear a little bit from their father between chapters. As the novel progresses, we learn not only about the present day mystery (which is captivating) but what happened to their sister, Julia, so long ago.
The book's strength is that it presents not only a compelling and interesting mystery tale, but a chilling portrait of its characters, as well. You get a good look into the lives of Lydia and Claire and their own psychological motivations. It goes beyond a thriller into a story of parenthood and sisterhood. Frankly, as a parent, there are parts of this book that break my heart and made me want to never let my children out of my sight! But, truly, that was what made it so good - it deftly portrayed the evil that can befall them in the world.
Some of the plot points are a bit fantastical and it suffers from the trope where Claire and Paul Scott just have unlimited financial resources, but overall, I found this one fascinating. Definitely a worthy read.
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