Pretty Girls, by Karin Slaughter; 2015
I took a break from the laborious reading process of Purity to enjoy Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. Maybe it’s because I haven’t a read a mystery in forever, and mysteries used to be pretty much the only genre I read, but I LOVED this book.
Lydia Delgado and Claire Scott are estranged sisters whose family was broken down by their eldest sister Julia’s disappearance twenty-four years ago. After another young girl from their town goes missing, Claire and Lydia come together again to finally figure out what happened to their sister.
This reminded me of a Mary Higgins Clark crossed with an episode of Criminal Minds. Slaughter obviously plotted out Pretty Girls carefully before she started writing; it’s fast-paced and there isn’t a moment’s letup in action. All of the characters have multiple layers with surprising twists, and no one is quite what they seem. The only drawback was that the violence against women at times was too excessive and taken too far for me. It’s not too graphic, but the implied violence is enough to disturb. So, weary readers be warned…Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery/thriller and though the mystery was just scary enough to not be over the top.
I’m really picky when it comes to mysteries because it’s hard for me to find a balance between engaging writing and a good thrill/scare that isn’t too low key, but isn’t crazy disturbing. But Slaughter met all of my criteria. I had never heard of her before, but now I definitely want to check out some of her other mysteries this summer to read on the beach.