Last Breath (Good Daughter #0.5) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: July 11. 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Protecting someone always comes at a cost.

At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home – and after that shocking night, Charlie’s world was never the same.

Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.

But honour-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: How far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?

Review –

The book opens as Charlie is at a career women speaking event with the Girl Scouts. It seems like most of the girls don’t care that she’s there. She’s also not feeling well. Suddenly, she knows she’s about to be sick and bolts for the bathroom. It’s there that one of the girls decides to talk with her. As the girl, Florabama Faulkner (Flora) starts to talk about her life, Charlie feels a kinship with her. At first, Flora is hesitant to say what she really wants to say, but finally blurts it out….“I want to be emancipated”

Flora tells Charlie about everything that’s going on. Charlie feels for this seemingly fragile, young, and lonely girl. (I knew right there that Flora was TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE) She wants to help her. People like Flora Faulkner are one of the main reasons Charlie chose to move back to Pikerville, instead of working at some hotshot firm in some big city.

But not everything is what it seems. Normally as a defense lawyer, she knows more about her clients, their friends, and family etc. than they know about themselves. But this time, Charlie isn’t sure just what she’s gotten involved in.

From there, she does some investigating into her grandparents, in an effort to try and understand how to get Flora out of there… however, nothing is ever that simple, not even in a short story. What thrills me with this story is that Karin Slaughter has accomplished a satisfying OMG moment, which is only one amazing part of this short story, and more importantly to me, highlights the strengths of her characters.

As far as prequels go, it’s an effective one into Charlie, into her past and where she now. It’s also insight into how her past affects her choices and her thinking with regards to her clients — which can be prove dangerous in her line of work. 

It is not necessary to read this prior to reading The Good Daughter, but is does give you more insight into the character of Charlie Quinn.

 

 

 

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Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: August 21, 2018

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Andrea Oliver’s mother, Laura, is the perfect small-town mum. Laura lives a quiet but happy life in sleepy beachside Belle Isle. She’s a pillar of the community: a speech therapist, business owner and everybody’s friend. And she’s never kept a secret from anyone. Or so Andrea thinks.

When Andrea is caught in a random violent attack at a shopping mall, Laura intervenes and acts in a way that is unrecognisable to her daughter. It’s like Laura is a completely different person – and that’s because she was. Thirty years ago. Before Andrea. Before Belle Isle.

Laura is hailed as a hero for her actions at the mall but 24 hours later she is in hospital, shot by an intruder, who’s spent decades trying to track her down.

What is Andrea’s mother trying to hide? As elements of the past return and put them both in danger, Andrea is left to piece together Laura’s former identity and discover the truth – for better or worse – about her mother. Is the gentle, loving woman who raised her also a violent killer?

Review –

“Reading anything by Karin Slaughter is like riding a particularly scary amusement park ride. Reading this one is like booking a season ticket on a ride that never lets you off.” Kirkus Review

I couldn’t have said it better. I am a HUGE fan of Karin Slaughter and have read all of her books and I rate this one FIVE STARS!

Andrea Oliver’s always felt inferior to her parents. Her father, Gordon Oliver, is a trusts and estates attorney; her mother, Dr. Laura Oliver, is a speech therapist. Andy herself has never aspired to any career goal higher than serving as an assistant to someone important. Even when she left Belle Isle, Georgia, for the Big Apple, she got nowhere, and she was only too eager to return home when her mother announced three years ago that she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer.

As the two women mark Andy’s thirty first birthday by sharing lunch in a mall cafe, a crazed shooter opens fire on a mother-and-daughter pair who’ve stopped to greet Laura, and Andy’s life changes in an instant. Or rather two instants, the first when the shots ring out and the second when Laura, after inviting the killer to shoot her next, coolly and dispassionately kills him. It takes the dazed Andy hours to realize that her mother’s not at all who she seems to be, and by the time she’s ready to accept the fact that Laura Oliver is a woman with a past, that past is already racing to catch up with both mother and daughter. Cutting back and forth between Andy’s harrowing flight to nowhere after Laura pushes her out of her home and a back story thirty  years earlier involving the Army of the Changing World, a cell of amateur terrorists determined to strike a mortal blow against greedy capitalists and, it eventually turns out, each other as well, the author never abates her trademark intensity, and fans will feel that the story is pumping adrenalin directly into their bloodstreams. Long before the end, though, the impostures, secret identities, hidden motives, and double-crosses will have piled up past the point of no return, leaving the tale to run on adrenalin alone.

The plot was unlike anything I had read before but the chapters set in the present were more engaging than those set in the past and I found myself speed reading through the backstop just to get back to the present.

Loved it and can’t wait for her new book, The Last Widow, that comes out later this year.

The Good Daughter (Good Daughter #1) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: August 8, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Review –

Five Stars !!!!!!

What a roller coaster ride! Just when I thought I knew where this book was headed Karin Slaughter (one of my favorites) throws in a giant twist.

I had the audio version and listening was very painful in some parts and I won’t say which because it would give too much away.

The Good Daughter is the kind of exceptional psychological thriller that only comes around once every so often—a story as in-your-face shocking as it is tender and heartbreaking. Chapter by chapter, the author unceremoniously  unfolds the history of two sisters, and reveals the horrific past that has both tied them together and driven them apart.

This is a brilliant, bold crime novel that examines the unbreakable bond of family and the lengths two women will go to uncover the truth about the brutal secrets of their past.

It is  tough and dark  and  Slaughter doesn’t shy away from describing violence in graphic detail, yet each moment of violence is purposeful and intentional, driving character development and giving readers firsthand investment in finding justice for the victims of these horrific acts. 

It is character driven and readers who want a straight police procedural or a true legal thriller will be better off looking elsewhere—THE GOOD DAUGHTER is first and foremost a story of a family struggling to overcome its dark and secret-laden past. While this isn’t the kind of read I went into the book expecting, the story’s rich character development and emotional, often horrific flashbacks left me all the more invested in it.

This book is dark, but it’s dark for a purpose. 

I highly recommend it!

 

 

The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: July 14, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A body is discovered in an empty Atlanta warehouse. It’s the body of an ex-cop, and from the moment Special Agent Will Trent walks in he knows this could be the most devastating case of his career. Bloody footprints leading away from the scene reveal that another victim – a woman – has left the scene and vanished into thin air. And, worst of all, the warehouse belongs to the city’s biggest, most politically connected, most high-profile athlete – a local hero protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers. A local hero Will has spent the last six months investigating on a brutal rape charge.

But for Will – and also for Dr Sara Linton, the GBI’s newest medical examiner – the case is about to get even worse. Because an unexpected discovery at the scene reveals a personal link to Will’s troubled past. The consequences will wreak havoc on his life and the lives of those he loves, those he works with, and those he pursues.

But Sara’s scene-of-the-crime diagnosis is that they only have a few hours to find the missing woman before she bleeds out . . .

Review –

There is nobody, and I do mean nobody, who writes the kind of books Karin Slaughter does. Her novels are heavily plotted with twists and turns we never expect and never predict. She creates characters readers love to love, and love to hate. She writes about real people, not some glossy type of imagined characters. With her brand of talent she makes the reader feel enriched after having finished her stories. Slaughter’s latest novel,The Kept Woman,  is saturated with all of these elements which makes it one of her most engrossing thrillers yet.

I’ve read all of the Will Trent series(this is number eight) so I know that background and all the characters very well, but the author does give a hint of background for the characters that it also could be read as a standalone.

The story line is full of high tension, nerve-wracking situations, relentless investigations and an ending you don’t anticipate. For these and other reasons you really need to check out this book. You will definitely not regret it.

I always try to read a Karin Slaughter novel in January and so I’m extremely glad I slipped this one in before the end of the month. Now, I can’t wait for the next book !

 

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Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: June 4, 2015

A missing girl in the news reminds Julia Carroll of herself: nineteen, beautiful, blonde hair, blue eyes.

Julia begins to dig deeper and plans an article for her college paper. She becomes gradually more obsessed with the case, never imagining how close she herself is to danger.

Review –

This is a very short, sixty-seven page, story about Julia, the sister that was kidnapped and killed in Pretty Girls also by Karin Slaughter.

The story chronicles the day she was kidnapped from morning until that night when she is pulled into a van. It;s horribly creepy and sad because the reader knows what awaits her, that being, many days of captivity, rape and torture before she is brutally murdered.

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Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: September 29, 2015

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

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.

Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful thriller from one of the finest suspense writers working today.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

I’ve had this book set aside on a back burner for several months waiting for the perfect time to read/listen to it. I chose to listen to it, although I also had the physical soft covered book in my collection.

The narrator, Kathleen Early, did a fantastic job as the voices of the three sisters, Claire, Lydia and Julia and as a listener it is so enjoyable just to sit back and not have to worry about being able to keep all of the characters separate in your mind.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I started the book other than it was a story about three sister, one who disappears as a teen and causes the other two to become estranged.  It was sooooo  much more than that. It was DARK and I think this is a change for the author. I’ve read several of her books and I don’t remember ever describing one as DARK before.  Parts of it gave me chills and other parts made me sick to my stomach (parts are that DARK) but all those parts were necessary to understand or try to understand the character of Paul, Claire’s husband . He is truly a monster and makes Hannibal Lector look like a boy scout.  The darkness spans decades and involves some people who you would least expect. I refuse to give too much of the story away because it is so much better when you are surprised at some of the convoluted moments.

The whole story was a journey of “it can’t get worse than this” and then it would. But the weak become strong and the bad get punished and there is a semi HEA for some. 

If you enjoy murder mysteries with lots of twists and turns, this is definitely a book to add to your “to be read” list.

Five stars *****

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Busted (Will Trent #6.5) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: May 28, 2013

Detective Will Trent is standing in a Georgia convenience store, waiting on an obstinate Icee frozen drink machine. To the surveillance cameras and bored staff of the Lil’ Dixie Gas-n-Go, however, Will appears to be someone very different—the menacing ex-con Bill Black. Going undercover as Bill, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent is about to infiltrate the most corrupt town in the most corrupt county in the new American South. But first: his Icee.

Everything changes in one horrific instant, as all hell breaks loose at the Lil’ Dixie. A cop is shot. A bag of cash goes flying across the floor. A young woman disappears while a killer takes off in a battered pick-up truck. Within seconds, Will is in pursuit.

Review –

This is a short novella which leads up to the novel Unseen, which I read  in September of 2013 and don’t know how I missed this one. 

Poor Will Trent, in the wrong place at the wrong time, and all because of an Coke flavored Icee!

If you are familiar with the Keystone Cops, that’s what part of this story felt like. There was chaos, chasing a hold up man in a beat up  pick-up down the Interstate, finding out that an 84-year-old grandmotherly woman lied about everything ad finally getting the bad guys put where they belong.  That’s really all I can say without giving away too much.

If you’ve never read or listened to anything by author, Karin Slaughter, you should really give this a try.  It is short and you’ll get a sample of her writing style. It will not disappoint.

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Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

Book Description

June 24, 2014
Karin Slaughter, author of the bestselling Will Trent novels, is widely acclaimed as “one of the best crime novelists in America” (The Washington Post). Now she delivers her first stand-alone novel: an epic story of a city in the midst of seismic upheaval, a serial killer targeting cops, and a divided police force tasked with bringing a madman to justice.Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It’s also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who’s feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart.Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, Cop Town is Karin Slaughter’s most powerful novel yet—a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.

Review –
This is a very well written stand-alone novel by Karin Slaughter, who is known for her Will Trent Series.
It takes place in Atlanta, Georgia in 1974 when women were new to police departments and blacks barely tolerated. It is realistic and the bad language and four letter words are plentiful but the story wouldn’t be realistic without them. 
A fantastic read and another win for Karin Slaughter,
I gave it 5 stars *****
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Snatched: A Will Trent Book #6 by Karin Slaughter

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Book Description

Publication Date:May 14, 2012
A gripping, action-packed short story available only as an eBook—from a master of character, crime, and urgent suspense. Will Trent, a dedicated agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for fifteen years, knows that there’s definitely such a thing as a cop’s intuition. Which is why he should have listened to his own.
While in an airport restroom at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, Will overhears a girl’s pleading, plaintive voice: “Please, I wanna go home.” Something isn’t right here, thinks Will. He feels it in his gut. But he waits too long to act, and now the girl and the anxious, angry man she’s with have disappeared into the crowds at the busiest passenger airport in the world. After a desperate search and with time running out, Will makes a call to his supervisor, Amanda Wagner. Will’s partner, Faith Mitchell, immediately sends out an abducted child alert. The entire airport will soon be grinding to a halt: Almost 100 million passengers a year. Five runways. Seven concourses. Six million square feet of space that sprawled across two counties, three cities, and five jurisdictions. All shut down on a dime because Will has a hunch that he is certain is true: a girl, maybe six or seven years old, has been snatched from God knows where. And he intends to bring her back—no matter what it takes.
Review –
This was a short story in audio book form and held my attention  from beginning to end.
I have read other books in the Will Trent Series  so I’m familiar with the characters and their interactions which made this story even more enjoyable.
If you like a good action packed crime drama you should really think about this series to your “to be read” list.

Fallen by Karin Slaughter

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Book Description

Release Date: October 16, 2012
There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s
mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain
above the knob. Everything Faith learned in the academy goes out the window when
she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the
laundry room, a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her
mother. When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many
questions. She’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and trauma doctor
Sara Linton to get some answers. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore, she’s a
witness—and a suspect. To find her mother, Faith will have to cross the thin
blue line and bring the truth to light—or bury it forever
Review –
Another excellent book by Karin Slaughter that grabs you by the throat in the first 16 pages and doesn’t let go.  If you’ve never read a book by this author, start here and get ready for the ride of your life.  I believe this to be her best so far.