I expected an attention-grabbing thriller, and this book delivered, but it also delivered a surprise: an emotional punch. From the very beginning, in which a mother is brutally murdered in front of her two children, I was moved. I cared a lot about Samantha and Charlie; I cared about their mother; I even cared about their argumentative, rapist-defending lawyer father. This is a novel with family at the core, and I believed in this family, imperfect as it is.
It’s also a novel about fiercely intelligent, accomplished women and the challenges they face, and for me that element of the story is the most powerful. I really rooted for the women in this book; I admired them; I understood well their ultimate goal: to ‘stalk joy with ground teeth’.
Characterisation aside, I found the plot interesting. It wasn’t quite as thrilling as I’d have liked, and it felt a bit drawn out at times; plus, I guessed a key plot twist from early on, which made that element of the plot less intriguing. And yet I felt compelled to read on.
Overall, this is a very well written book with a great deal of emotional resonance. It’s the first book I’ve read in a while that has gone on my ‘read again someday’ shelf, because I know I’ll enjoy revisiting these characters with whom I found affinity.
* My rating: Four and a half stars *
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Karin Slaughter
Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy smalltown family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – Pikeville’s notorious defence attorney – devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself – the archetypal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again – and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatised – Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case which can’t help triggering the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried for ever…
Publication date: 29 June 2017
Length: 512 pages
Available from: Amazon