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Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
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Pretty Girls (edition 2016)

by Karin Slaughter (Author)

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1,3981228,657 (3.84)46
"More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss--a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed. The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it" --… (more)
Member:sorsopkel
Title:Pretty Girls
Authors:Karin Slaughter (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2016), Edition: Reprint, 592 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2019

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Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

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Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Sisters Claire and Lydia haven't been in touch for many years. Their other sister Julia disappeared twenty years earlier without a trace. Now another girl has gone missing and the sisters are reunited but not in the best of circumstances.

This is the second book I've read by Karin Slaughter and both have revolved around sisters and a family tragedy. I found this story very fast paced and I seemed to fly through the book.

This story however I found brutal. Karin Slaughter writes with no holds barred. This story contains very violent crimes against women with rape, toture and murder. Some parts of the story I found quite difficult to read and uncomfortable. However I enjoyed the story of the two sisters and wanted to see how the whole story was going to pan out. The story did also have a big twist part way through that I didn't guess which in itself made the story.

Did I enjoy the book, well yes I did but did find it a hard read at times. I would read more stand alones by Karin Slaughter. ( )
  tina1969 | Nov 15, 2019 |
Great thriller - one I couldn't put down until I finished. Started this on audio and then went to hardcover because the story was intriguing and so suspenseful that I didn't want to put it down until I knew how it all ended. Too sexually violent for what I normally like to read, so reader beware. Second Karen Slaughter book I've read - she weaves a great tale. ( )
  kglattstein | Oct 9, 2019 |
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter is one of those books that would make an excellent film, even though it sometimes felt as though it’s already been done. I got some proper Gothika and 8MM vibes as soon as the book’s plot became clear. But is that bad? Not in this case. You see, if you find a winning recipe, there’s no reason to change it unless you absolutely want or have to. And while snuff is often used in literature to showcase the most terrifying measures humans will take to inflict pain for the sake of money, it’s not usually executed (mind the pun) properly. Karin Slaughter was able to show the brutality of this industry (and the complex web it’s spun throughout society), without destroying the integrity of those who have been inflicted by it.

The story is heavy reading, and will make you think long and hard about the unimaginable horrors we’re afraid to admit exist. However, it’s also a bittersweet tale of how a family was destroyed by such a crime, and how they strived to become whole again. In other words, if you’re looking for something similar to Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door, you’re out of luck … well, for the most part.

This was my first taste of Karin Slaughter’s writing, and I must say, I’m thinking of picking up more of her work. After all, I do have a soft spot for chick-mysteries. And I did think this was a pretty good book …

I won’t suggest Pretty Girls to the faint of heart. There’s a lot of graphic imagery present; necessary imagery, but graphic nonetheless. Also, if you’re depressed, skip it. The world is a cruel place, and Karin Slaughter did not edit herself when showing just how horrid humans can be.

Review originally posted on:
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  MoniqueSnyman | Oct 3, 2019 |
Wow, pretty graphic stuff at times but a solid thriller. ( )
  LizBurkhart | Sep 5, 2019 |
Warning: Karen Slaughter’s 2015 crime thriller Pretty Girls is not for readers who have weak stomachs or especially vivid imaginations. In fact, this one, with its graphic depictions of bondage and torture, makes the typical Stephen King horror novel read like something from the pen of Jane Austen.

Two decades ago, three sisters, the eldest of them nineteen years old, were part of a close-knit Southern family. Julia was a college freshman living away from home for the first time in her life, and her younger sisters, Lydia and Claire, were still at home with their parents. The girls were growing up, and although their parents were not thrilled about that prospect, their future seemed to be a bright one. But everything changed on the night that Julia disappeared while making the short walk back to her dormitory room from a local bar. Julia was never found or heard from again, and her family came apart at the seams. Lydia and Claire barely acknowledge the existence of the other now and have not spoken for at least twenty years. It is like Julia’s abductor killed the whole family – because he did.

Today, Lydia is a single parent raising a sixteen-year-old daughter of her own and dating the ex-con who lives next door. Claire, on the other hand, is married to a multi-millionaire architect and living the good life in Atlanta. Their worlds and their lives could not be more different. But worlds have a way of colliding, and theirs are about to do exactly that. It is only after Claire suffers a tragedy of her own that she discovers that the life she has been living for the last two decades has been nothing but an illusion. Everywhere she looks, she learns more of the shocking truth – and when the cops and the FBI start threatening her, Claire realizes she can trust no one with what she has learned; she is on her own.

And then Lydia knocks on Claire’s front door and refuses to leave.

This is the point in the book where squeamish readers may start second-guessing their desire to continue reading Pretty Girls. Claire soon discovers exactly what happened to her sister all those years ago, and that it also happened to a lot of other girls who looked a whole lot like Julia. What Julia suffered is disturbing on its face, but the graphic details of torture, bondage, and humiliation described by Slaughter bring Pretty Girls to a level of horror that few thrillers of this type even attempt – and this is a long book. Just be warned.

While I can admire Slaughter’s writing and story-telling skills, I don’t feel right in saying that I “enjoyed” this one or that it “entertained” me. If it had not been an audiobook that I started while on a road trip, I’m not sure that I would have even finished it. But it was one hell of a ride, and I won’t soon forget it – hard as I may try. ( )
  SamSattler | Aug 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
*****
“My girl, what happened to you now…”

There are tons of cliches that reviewers fall back upon to describe how much effect a book had upon them. It kept me up, all night, I couldn’t put it down, etc. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter brought a new one to life for me. The entire time I was reading this astounding novel I was so jittery and on the edge of my seat that I felt like I had just downed a triple-shot of Starbuck’s strongest.

I have read a few of Ms. Slaughter’s other novels, and she is easily one of the most daring and fearless suspense novelists working today. She takes chances, and has the skill and daring to make them work, and all of her talents are brought to to bear again here, and then some. Pretty Girls knocked me out.

When teenaged Julia Scott disappears, it destroys her family. Her father Sam becomes so obsessed with her fate that it destroys his marriage with his wife, Helen. Older daughter Lydia becomes a drug-abusing party girl, and younger sister Claire subsumes her ambitions and marries Paul, a mild-mannered and orderly architect who becomes a multimillionaire.

We watch Lydia right her life; becoming a middle-class single mother with her own business, she works endlessly with her boyfriend Rick to provide a good life for her daughter, Dee. Adding to her everyday worries is the news that a girl from Dee’s school has gone missing. Claire meanwhile, has become a tennis-playing trophy-wife with a dark underside that is revealed when she assaults another trophy wife with a tennis racket.

Then Paul is murdered during a robbery in front of Claire. Lost in grief she is further shocked to find that her home has been burgled during his funeral. Searching for insurance documents on her husband's computer she comes across some hidden videos that shatters her image of her husband. Not having spoken to her sister for years, she still decides that she needs Lydia’s help.

Understand that this is less than a fifth of the way into the story, and that so many twists and turns and revelations follow that I have opted out rather than try to describe them without spoiling the beautiful house-of-cards plot constructed my Ms. Slaughter. I wasn’t blowing smoke when I called Ms. Slaughter fearless, either; this is a visceral novel that doesn't dissemble or shy away from brutality and violence, both physical and emotional. Yet even as it stares into the abyss I found this to be a work full of strength and hope, both embodied in the touching and psychologically nuanced relationship between the sisters, Lydia and Claire.

Both are fully-realized characters, and they grow and evolve and deepen as Ms. Slaughter steers them into ever deeper and darker situations that test their resolve. Just about every character in the book feels real and true, and Ms. Slaughter’s prose never fails to captivate. Her first-person narration of Sam’s story, the father, is particularly vivid, and just about broke my heart.

If all of this wasn’t enough, Ms. Slaughter shows a very deft hand in action scenes, bringing the physical violence to life without shying from the pain and blood. I may not have mentioned it yet, but her prose is smooth and assured and the setting is vivid and feels true-to life.

As the end this novel comes to terms, with grace and skill, with the fact that life is very seldom about winning and losing, but more often about surviving. That is more than enough.

Review by: Mark Palm
Full Reviews Available at: http://www.thebookendfamily.weebly.co...
 
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Epigraph
A particularly beautiful woman is a source of terror. --Carl Jung
Dedication
FOR DEBRA
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When you first disappeared, your mother warned me that finding out exactly what had happened to you would be wore then never knowing.
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'Een beeldschone vrouw is een bron van verschrikking.'
- Carl Jung
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Do not combine with the short story "The Truth About Pretty Girls."
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More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.
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