I wouldn’t call Karin Slaughter’s “Pretty Girls” a favorite read of mine, considering how horrifying the events of it were in terms of sexual and physical violence, but it was a completely immersive read for me in the combination of a personal story, mystery and crime thriller. I couldn’t put it down while wanting to know what happened.
This story showcases two sisters whose family was torn apart by the disappearance of their older sister many years before; it takes a more twisted, sinister turn than the point where it starts. I liked that this story had so many levels to unpack from it – from being a story of sisters trying to grapple with horrifying realities and forgiveness to the steady unveiling of the secrets, lies and untrustworthy figures that surround then, then moving into a harrowing rescue story. Slaughter doesn’t mince words on the horrifying details they uncover in their searches, nor the experiences they endure at the hands of a madman far too close to both of them than they believed. There were definitely moments in the book that I felt the characters made decisions that were frustratingly setbacks, but they were true to the characters and I liked the self-awareness of the characters of the situation and their surroundings.
I ended up reading the 17-hour audiobook version of this and loved the performance from the narrator Kathleen Early.
Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.