Jun 4, 2016

Audiobook Review: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

PRETTY GIRLS is the first stand-alone book I've read, or in this case, listened to by Karin Slaughter, though I'm a huge fan of her Will Trent Series. I was curious to see how she wrote and developed other characters apart from the series I was so used to. What I found was more intense, very complex characters, and in this case, a very difficult storyline. She takes psychological thrillers to a whole new level.

This is the story of a family deeply divided over events that started over twenty years prior. There used to be three sisters. Lydia and Claire were the oldest with Julia, a teenager, the youngest. The family was blown apart the day Julia disappeared without a trace. The not-knowing what happened to her leaves emotional scars on teh rest of the family. Claire and Lydia's relationship falls completely apart, with their mother adamately taking Claire's side leaving Lydia feeling totally alone and their father sinking into his own abyss of grief, guilt and despair. Lydia is, feeling totally ostracized from her family takes out on her own, cutting them off, with all loyalty from her family gone. It's now twenty years later and Claire's husband has been murdered right in front of her during a mugging. Claire's life is a fairy-tale compared to Lydia's, Her husband was extremely successful and she didn't want to for anything. Lydia scrimped and clawed for everything she has, which isn't much. While looking into her husband's dealings during the investigation into his murder, Claire finds shocking and frightening evidence that she didn't know her husband at all. In fact, what she discovers puts her in fear of her own life. Not knowing if she can even trust the police, she turns to the one person who has no reason at all to help her. After twenty years, Lydia knew that if Claire called her, it must be something very important, but there was no way she could have prepared herself for what was to come.

My Thoughts on the Story:
(No Spoilers!)

Having read Slaughter's Will Trent Series, I already knew that she doesn't hold back when writing her stories. I will state right off that this book, nor any of her books, really, are for the faint at heart. If you are easily offended by violence this book is probably not for you. I would have to say this is one of her most violent that I've ever read. Having said that, this was nothing less than what I've come to expect from one of the best suspense/thriller writers of our generation. It was a twisted, disturbing story but I was all in. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I read for an escape, which is why most of us read, I imagine. She is a no holds barred writer and is fearless, in my opinion. I have read that some readers thought this book in particular was too violent and there is an argument for that, I suppose, but like I applaud her unapologetic approach to writing great thrillers. It's important to not let the violence in the book take away from the incredible writing and storytelling with all of it's twists and turns. One thing I love about KS's work is that it's never predictable. She continues to surprise me with every book I read and this one was no exception.

My Thoughts on the Audio Performance:

I have listened to one or two of the Will Trent books and I didn't love the narrator but I was very pleased with Kathleen Early's performance in PRETTY GIRLS. She has a unique cadence to her voice and her storytelling kept me on the edge of my seat. In referencing her previous work, I learned that she has narrated Slaughter's Grant County Series, which I have not read. That encourages me to listen to that series as well.

At about 20 hours, this is a longer audiobook, but, for me, it flew by. At the time I was listening to this I had sold my home and was packing up to move to Ohio. It's tedious work but this audio make that task less daunthing. It kept me from being overwhilmed with what I was doing. That's why I love audiobooks. I listen when I'm cleaning or cooking and I get totally absorbed in the story and before you know it, my task is done. If you appreciate extreme psychological thrillers you should add PRETTY GIRLS to you listening list.

PRETTY GIRLS (Unabridged Audio Version)
Author: Karin Slaughter
Narrator: Kathleen Early
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Published: September 2015
Audio Length: 19 Hrs 59 Mins
Source: Purchased thru Audible

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