Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Publisher: William Marrow
Heroine: Claire Scott
Date of Publication: September 29, 2015
Started On: January 05, 2019
Finished On: April 04, 2019
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter is my first foray into books written by the author. Dark, morbid, and portraying a wealth of knowledge and insight into the most evil of humans that walk among us, Pretty Girls is powerful in a way that had me shook, right from the very start. Pretty Girls is brutal in its depiction; there is no prettifying the ugly side for you in this number. It is a story that kept me continually guessing, at the edge of my seat, nervous and panicky & frightened out of my wits at certain points in time.
Pretty Girls is the story of the sister that disappeared and a family that was never the same again. It is the story of the father who never gave up searching for what happened to his daughter, even at the cost of his marriage to the woman he has loved unlike any other. It is the tale of how the members of the family left behind struggle to find a balance and never quite find it, the two sisters who go their separate ways until catastrophe brings them together again.
Pretty Girls delves into the life of Claire Scott, with her seemingly perfect marriage to husband Paul. Claire believes she struck lucky having landed a husband as Paul, who is conscientious in the extreme, taking care of her in a way she had needed. However, when Paul is taken from her life all of a sudden in a brutal and senseless attack, Claire is left to pick up the pieces and start taking care of her own self from that point forward.
Claire, who is at first unable to even comprehend doing anything by herself, suddenly finds herself confronting what could be the ugly reality behind a man she had thought to be a godsend. The sickening pieces of evidence is what propels her estranged sister Lydia to come back into her life, as reluctant as she might be, given how ugly things had turned when Claire had turned her back on Lydia.
As the sisters put together the stark and ugly reality of what Paul stood for, the role he could have played in the events that had begun since the disappearance of their elder sister is one that knocks you down in more ways than one. While Pretty Girls is definitely a page-turner, I had to actually leave the story aside and read something less intense in order to catch my breathe and then return to the story again. Yes, it was that intense. But I would not have had it any other way.
Except for bits and pieces of the story towards the latter half where Claire seemed so indecisive that it grated a little on my nerves, everything else just fits in perfectly into the story. Even as irritated as I was with Claire, I understood where she was coming from – what drove her to do what she did was understandable. What made her so inept in taking charge was also evident given the life she had been leading up till that point.
The ending throws into stark relief the hunter who becomes the hunted, and the truth finally revealed for the world to see. The voice that I loved the most in the novel was that of Claire’s father, whose determination to find the truth proves to the reader the lengths a loving father would go to save his daughter from hell and beyond, even when the odds are stacked against him. Even when he knows that knowing the truth might render him insane and unable to face the ugliness of the world, ever again.
Highly recommended for fans of dark, and I mean really dark thrillers. Slaughter certainly does not disappoint.
Final Verdict: For the shock factor alone, I would recommend this book. The nightmares that plague you at all hours of the day afterwards is totally worth it.
You look up at me. I am startled. Suddenly, quite miraculously, you are a grown-up beautiful woman. You look so much like your mother, but you are still uniquely you. You have thoughts I will never know. Desires I will never understand. Friends I will never meet. Passions I will never share. You have a life. You have an entire world in front of you. Then you smile, and you squeeze my hand, and even in my sleep, I understand the truth: No matter what happened to you, no matter what horrors you endured when you were taken away, you will always be my pretty little girl.