REVIEW: The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter

Monday, 29 October 2018

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy smalltown 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 defence 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 archetypal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again - and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatised - Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case which can't help triggering the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried for ever...

Wow! What a bloody brilliant introduction to the work of my new favourite crime novelist! And thank god it was, because I have been slowly picking up all her backlog whenever I see them in charity shops and if this had been shit, I probably would have cried. The Good Daughter was an incredibly fast-paced thriller, its look at family dynamics that have been devastated by tragedy, and the twists and turns that come along with that accompany that examination, meaning that over 600 pages felt like little more than 200.
Over the past year or so, as I have gotten into reading more thrillers, I have frankly, been having a bit of a shit time — the highs are great, but the lows are pretty bloody awful and it seems as though, for every well-written mystery/thriller out there, there’s a whole dozen of terrible ones to be found. But, this book (and more importantly, this author and her incredibly large backlog) really succeeded in all of the ways in which those other books always inevitably fail: writing-style, character development, and the amount of suspension of disbelief a reader would require to believe its plot-twists.
Tick, tick, tick. Yes, yes, yes.
Karin Slaughter manages to nail every single one in a way that makes me believe that she is truly a master of the craft, being one of the rare Queens of Crime Fiction; that she is not another one of the innumerable authors who are willing to forgo any writing ability to try their hand at a supposedly easy genre. Because, no matter how much they kid themselves, thriller/mysteries are not an easy genre to write.
I mean, the book was so good that I didn’t look for clues, because I didn’t realise there were any that needed to looked for! Let me tell you, it has been a damn while since I have been so shocked by an ending. Talk about coming out of nowhere!
Wow, I just— All I can say is that Karin Slaughter is one of the few who shows just how good a book of this genre can be when someone comes along and nails it.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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