If you like murder mystery or thriller novels, then forget about Gone Girl and Girl on a Train because Karin Slaughter’s Pretty Girls will take you on an explosive physiological ride that will make those stories appear to be fairy tales. Slaughter is a New York Times best-selling author with 35 million books in print. Recently The Washington Post said Slaughter was “one of the best crime novelists in America.” If you’ve ever read one of Slaughter’s books you would either agree or believe that to be an understatement.
“It was always my dream to write for a living. I always wanted to be a writer. In the beginning, I thought I had to rewrite Gone with the Wind but eventually I found my way and realized that wasn’t me,” said Slaughter.
Pretty Girls, unlike many of Slaughter’s other titles, is a stand alone novel that doesn’t encircle the life of Will Trent who is a cop brought to life by Slaughter within her other books. Pretty Girls is about two estranged sisters, Claire and Lydia, who must come together to discover the truth about two tragic murders that occur twenty years apart. The sisters and their family were torn apart and left with a seeping void in their life after their sister went missing. With no real closure, each family member went through the motions of life separately and never received the closure that they needed to move forward.
Many critics and readers bring up the gruesome brutality that is depicted in Slaughter’s books. “If you’re going to write thrillers you have to make a decision if you are going to be realistic or go off and over. I grew up reading thrillers. Honestly, I was always drawn to the very detailed ones like Patricia Cornwell,” said Slaughter. “I love details. I like knowing exactly what’s going on - not to glorify it. Honestly, people who are violent against women rely on us to not talk about it. So it was important to me to talk about it.” Pretty Girl provides a sense of hope after undergoing a devastating experience. In reality, there is no way to portray a murder with sugar coated details because then you’re not being true to the reality of the tragedy. Slaughter does an excellent job of providing explosive details that allow you to visualize and feel the stream of emotions that the characters are feeling.
Right now Pretty Girls is the novel Slaughter is most proud of. “I love the story and the characters. I feel very close to it,” she said. There is so much depth to Claire and Lydia’s story that you’ll feel compelled to believe that they exist as you pick your jaw up from the floor and wipe away the tears. Slaughter's words are so powerful that you feel like somehow their loss and heartache has become your own.