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Girl Unknown

by Karen Perry

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13422165,409 (3.71)6
Girl Unknown by critically acclaimed author Karen Perry is a powerful novel that"Explores emotional danger with relentless, surgical accuracy." --Tana French,New York Times bestselling author ofThe TrespasserandIn the Woods David and Caroline Connolly are swimming successfully through their marriage's middle years--raising two children; overseeing care for David's ailing mother; leaning into their careers, both at David's university teaching job, where he's up for an important promotion, and at the ad agency where Caroline has recently returned to work after years away while the children were little. The recent stresses of home renovation and of a brief romantic betrayal (Caroline's) are behind them.The Connollys know and care for each other deeply. Then one early fall afternoon, a student of sublime, waiflike beauty appears in David's university office and says, "I think you might be my father." And the fact of a youthful passion that David had tried to forget comes rushing back. In the person of this intriguing young woman, the Connollys may have a chance to expand who they are and how much they can love, or they may be making themselves vulnerable to menace. They face either an opportunity or a threat--but which is which? Whathappens when their hard-won family happiness meets a hard-luck beautiful girl?… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Girl Unknown is the first thriller that I've read this year, and I have to say that it was a nice change of pace. Although this book wasn't everything I wanted it to be, there was a lot to love. Imagine a family that is trying their best to knit their lives back together, when suddenly a bomb is dropped in their midst. A previously unknown person, an unexpected daughter, falls right into the middle of their rocky relationships. That's the premise behind Girl Unknown. How do you deal with someone who might not be exactly who they say they are?

The fact of the matter is that this book is not what I was expecting, because I was expecting more of the thriller aspect and less of the familial drama side of things. That being said, Girl Unknown is going to greatly appeal to any reader who is very into character personalities and drama that you can cut with a knife. Karen Perry uses most of this book to show us the character perspective of what Zoe is to each of them. As the story unfolds, we find out more and more about how Zoe is definitely not what she seems to be, and see why the choices that David and Caroline make are really pushing things towards their climax. If we're talking intense studies on character psyches, this book has that in droves. What it lacks though, because of this, is real forward movement.

See, the book spends so much time dealing with the slow decline of David and Caroline's relationship and Zoe's manipulation of them, that it doesn't have a lot of time to spend on the thriller portion of the story. This felt like a read that was very easy to anticipate. The plot was well formed, but it was also easy to see where Zoe's story was going next. As such, there was never that surprise or shock that usually comes along with books like this. It was interesting, well-written, and had great characters. It just didn't have any oomph to it.

So, that's why I'm on the fence about this book. Technically, it's fairly perfect. It's not a bad read, by any means, and actually flies by pretty quickly. It just didn't catch me up in its web like I expected it to. I wanted more punch, and more pizzazz. If you appreciate thrillers that are more formulaic, and take a deep dive into the the inner thoughts of the characters, you'll definitely love Girl Unknown. ( )
  roses7184 | Oct 1, 2018 |
3.5 STARS

As I read Girl Unknown I knew there was more to the story. There had to be a catch with Zoe. I had so many guesses and loves trying to follow the clues. Karen Perry threw so many twists and turns into the book that I knew the truth was buried in there somewhere.

My struggle was David and Caroline. Their marriage was troubled before Zoe entered the picture and when she came into their life it became even more troubled. I didn’t like that David didn’t even consider Caroline’s concerns about Zoe. He didn’t put any thought into them, didn’t try to understand where Caroline was coming from, and just brushed her off. I got it, Zoe is his daughter he wants to love and trust her yet the signs were all there that she was trouble.

The ending was the wonderful. When I got to the last few chapters I could not stop reading. The pace picked up, the secrets were shared, people were held accountable for their actions, and the final twist…never saw it coming. ( )
  Charlotte_Lynn | Jul 26, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I guess I might call this a good beach read - the pages keep turning, with not a lot of characters or plot points to keep in mind. Although it is written by two authors, a man and a woman, and is framed in alternating chapters, by husband and wife, I didn't find the voices of the latter much different.

The plot is fairly straightforward, quite obvious from the very beginning. There's something wrong with Zoe - what is it and what will happen because of it? The ending comes with a not very satisfying twist, and the lack of depth of character, particularly Zoe, was disappointing in a purported psychological thriller. Not very psychological and not very thrilling. ( )
  bobbieharv | Jun 8, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book.

Tension throughout and a little creepy. David is a professor at university, working hard to get the next promotion. After one of his freshman courses one day, a young woman approaches him and tells him that she is his 19-year-old daughter. Zoe soon weaves her way into the lives of David and his family. The resulting turmoil makes for an un-put-down-able book. Loved it. ( )
  ravensfan | Mar 10, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Girl Unknown is not one of the better books I’ve read. To begin with it was slow but the pace did pick up as the story of a very dysfunctional family continued. I appreciate LibraryThing allowing me to read this book but I do not recommend it as a good read. ( )
  CandyH | Mar 7, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Girl Unknown by critically acclaimed author Karen Perry is a powerful novel that"Explores emotional danger with relentless, surgical accuracy." --Tana French,New York Times bestselling author ofThe TrespasserandIn the Woods David and Caroline Connolly are swimming successfully through their marriage's middle years--raising two children; overseeing care for David's ailing mother; leaning into their careers, both at David's university teaching job, where he's up for an important promotion, and at the ad agency where Caroline has recently returned to work after years away while the children were little. The recent stresses of home renovation and of a brief romantic betrayal (Caroline's) are behind them.The Connollys know and care for each other deeply. Then one early fall afternoon, a student of sublime, waiflike beauty appears in David's university office and says, "I think you might be my father." And the fact of a youthful passion that David had tried to forget comes rushing back. In the person of this intriguing young woman, the Connollys may have a chance to expand who they are and how much they can love, or they may be making themselves vulnerable to menace. They face either an opportunity or a threat--but which is which? Whathappens when their hard-won family happiness meets a hard-luck beautiful girl?

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