Friday, August 11, 2017

(68)The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter


It has been nearly thirty years since the night the world fell apart for sisters Charlotte and Samantha Quinn. Their father had made a lot of enemies as a defense attorney in Pikeville Georgia.  Little did any of them know that retaliation was going to come in such a swift and brutal manner.   Rusty Quinn wasn't even home when the two masked intruders entered the house and destroyed their lives.

Now it is nearly thirty years later and Charlotte's world is crumbling all over again.  She and her husband have separated after nearly twenty years of marriage, she has a one night stand and accidentally swaps phones with the guy.  When she stops by the middle school where he teaches to get her phone back Charlie gets caught up in a school shooting. Instead of running to safety, Charlie runs towards the gunfire.  A teen girl has fired shots, killing the principal and a student. Of course - her father decides that he wants to defend the accused, he even believes that he has found a unicorn - an innocent defendant.   The whole shooting forces Charlie to face some things that she would have been perfectly happy to leave buried in the past.  Like her estranged husband and the events of that dark day nearly thirty years ago.  But the question still remains - did Kelly Wilson really pull the trigger in that school?

The Good Daughter quickly sucked me in.  The story starts out in the past with Charlie, her sister Sam, and their mother as that dreadful night gets started.  The details are tough and gritty and definitely not something that everyone can read.   When the story jumps to the present I immediately liked Charlie.  She was tough and seemed like the kind of woman who did not put up with bullshit - from anybody.  But really she was a broken and battered woman - even after decades.  I really liked her husband, Ben.  And that surprised me - usually in this kind of story - the husband is a douche and easy to hate.  Not Ben, even though they were separated, he loved his wife and was there to take care of her when she needed him the most.  There is a lot going on in this book - it seemed like the end came upon me quite suddenly. In fact, I wondered how the author was going to wrap it up with just a few pages left.  I know that I should never question the great Karin Slaughter, but the end did seem rushed.  -- Click Here For Spoilers

Bottom line - While I have been a Karin Slaughter devotee for years, I know that her graphic descriptions and gritty storylines are not for everyone.   The Good Daughter has to be one of the more graphic novels she has written, but the character development and complex relationships really made me glad that I read the book.  If you take the risk to read it, you won't regret it, but don't say that I didn't warn you!

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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