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Monday, September 28, 2015

(69)Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Claire is devastated when her wealthy husband, Paul, is brutally murdered in a random street crime. When Claire arrives home from the cemetery on the day of his funeral she discovers that someone has broken into her house.  During the investigation Claire discovers something troubling on her husband's computer.  That something challenges everything Claire thought she knew about her husband. As she digs deeper she begins to wonder if her husband may know something about her sister, Julia, that went missing over two decades ago.  Once Claire starts to unravel the the truth she reaches out to her estranged sister Lydia, and together they will not stop until they know everything, no matter what the cost.

WARNING:  Pretty Girls has some pretty disturbing subject matter, I won't give it away, but I think it is safe to say that the average reader may find it too much to take.   But, having said that,  oooooooooh, Pretty Girls is so good!  From the very beginning we learn that Claire is just coming off house arrest and is on parole, but you are well into the second half of the book before we learn why.  That kind of suspense is sheer genius. The reason wasn't even crucial to the main story, but I was dying to know why she was on parole!  Claire and Lydia have been estranged for a very long time, but their relationship has so many layers and complexities.  When we learn the cause of their estrangement it is enough to make one sad and maybe even a bit angry, but they are together now and you hope their relationship will survive beyond this moment in time.  In the end there are some shocking revelations, some scary situations, and some downright horrifying experiences.  But the author remained true to the story and it ended the only way it could.

Bottom line - Karin Slaughter is one of the most beloved crime novelists in the country.  With Pretty Girls she deviates from  her familiar characters and goes darker than she ever has before and with great success.  Like I said earlier, though, Pretty Girls is pretty dark and twisted, but if you have the stomach for dark and twisted , you will love this book.