Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Two sisters, two tragedies, almost two decades apart-all make for a suspense-filled tale. Karin Slaughter has published many mystery/crime books most notably her Will Trent series, however, Pretty Girls is a stand alone story that ostensibly revolves around two sisters, Claire and Lydia and a decades old tragedy. Claire is married to a wealthy business man and Lydia is a single parent of a teenage daughter. The two sisters haven’t spoken in 18 years and the reason for the split isn’t revealed until later in the book. Besides Claire and Lydia’s personal split, their family was also fractured by the disappearance of of their oldest sister Julia, 20 years earlier-their father never gave up trying to look for Julia until the day he killed himself.
The book starts out with a jolt, when Claire’s husband Paul is killed in a robbery gone wrong. Claire is just returning from Paul’s funeral when she is met at her house by the police and FBI because someone has broken into her house and one of the staff catering the after funeral service was attacked. It is unclear what the intruders were after but, Claire is is disquieted. Not long after the attempted break-in, Claire discovers horrific videos on Paul’s computer that she can’t believe are real. This is only the beginning of a story that will link a current murder of a middle aged businessman with the 20-year old disappearance of a teenage girl and in the process uncover long lost truths about the past events and reunite a family broken by lies and deception.
This is a suspense filled, hard to put down book, with strong characters and enough twists to keep you turning the pages. However, I must warn you that there is some fairly graphic violence surrounding the major crime involved. So, if you are faint of heart or simply just don’t like this type of violence you may not want to read this book. Whether or not you choose to read Pretty Girls, I would encourage you to at least try Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent series which begins with Triptych.