The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (3 out of 5)

I am a huge fan of Karin Slaughter. Her book “Pretty Girls” is on my all-time Top 10 list for novels that scared the shit out of me. I somehow skipped “A Kept Woman” but may have to remedy that now. This book is out now in hardcover, courtesy of William Morrow (aka Harper Collins). I would recommend it if you dig many things going on at once. It is that very thing that drove me mad and diminished my enthusiasm in it. Something was just…missing. 

Charlie is in the wrong place at the wrong time. She goes to retrieve her phone from a teacher at the school, only to get caught up in a shooting inside. By the time it’s over, two people are dead, and young “goth girl” Kelly Wilson has been charged with the murder. Then the one teacher steals the murder weapon. Charlie gets involved, gets her nose busted, and gets arrested for her efforts. Her dad Rusty, the guardian lawyer angel for all of the presumed guilty folk in the North Georgia county where they live, gets the case. He’s stabbed by someone not happy that he is taking the case of someone who killed a teacher and a little girl, so Charlie’s brother-in-law contacts her estranged sister Sam in New York City. She travels to North Georgia, against her intuition. This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks. We haven’t even covered the violent crime decades before. Charlie, Sam, and her mother were victims of a violent attack at their home in the North Georgia woods. Their mom, Gamma, is murdered in front of them. Charlie is taken to the woods, assaulted, and left for dead. Sam runs, is caught, loses her sight in the attack, and is then buried alive. Both sisters bear the wounds from those attacks, and that forms the backbone of the book. It also fuels the estrangement, instead of bringing them closer. Slaughter is a whiz at bringing those emotions and human nature into the story, catapulting the story…in present day…into a zone most authors wouldn’t touch. I like that part of her books. I also appreciate, as a realistic reader, the severity of the crimes portrayed by her. If you fawn and preen over Nora Roberts’ crime books (J.D. Robb), you will not love Slaughter’s books. Usually, I love her books, but this one was all over the place. I loved one sister and wanted to beat sense into the other. The final reveals-multiple- made some sense to me, but some of the parties felt forced and I still cannot quite believe the endings brought forth. In a nutshell, I had a hard time getting into the twenty million things going on and the twenty million characters introduced who were hustled off the page into various corners, like a game of errant shuffleboard. Too many loose ends not tied up very well, and others tied up but with cheap shoelaces and faulty rubber bands barely holding it together. Not my favorite Karin Slaughter, unfortunately. That honor still goes to “Pretty Girls”. 

~ by generationgbooks on September 22, 2017.

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