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Pretty Girls: A Novel by Karin Slaughter (Review #2)


Reviewed by Allen Hott

Pretty GirlsA family devastated by the loss of their oldest daughter seems to have come apart at the seams. The girl was kidnapped and no one knows what happened. The parents divorce, the father commits suicide, one daughter becomes a druggie party girl and the other quietly retires into the shadows until she later becomes a millionaire’s wife.

But a whole lot goes on in the lives of this crew as Karin Slaughter takes the reader on an interesting journey. She gets the show on the road by having Claire’s (the millionaire’s wife) out in town waiting for her husband to join her. While she waits she hears of a young girl missing and assumed kidnapped. When Paul, her millionaire husband, finally shows the two of them walking down the street. In a strange manner her husband pulls her into an alley and appears to be planning to have some type of sexual encounter with her there. However about that same time a hooded man approaches and begins making threats. Paul tells Claire to give up her wallet, earrings, and such but still the man thrusts a knife into Paul before the man takes off. Claire tries to keep Paul awake and alive as the police and medics arrive but to no avail. They advise that he is dead and she is left alone and devastated.

In the meantime Lydia the other sister who finally straightened out her life is living next door to her boyfriend and raising her daughter who was born while Lydia partied. Lydia and her mother go to Paul’s funeral where Lydia and Claire begin to somewhat come together again. Due to lifestyle’s they have not been friendly since sometime after their other sister had disappeared.

As they become more like sisters again Lydia notices that Claire appears to be having problems of all sorts in dealing with Paul’s death. Paul was very peculiar in many ways and now Claire is faced with trying to clear away some of the remnants of the man’s quirks and strange behaviors. He always worshipped her but he also kept her at a distance as he completely ruled the roost. Everything had to be in a particular place and the household was run like a business. He also have tons of electronic equipment and Claire knew very little about any of it.

As she and Lydia begin digging into places in the huge house they begin finding more and more strange things. Things that lead to the possibility of some sort of movie making, running a business of selling movies, or something.

The story then becomes more of a sinister, scary happening as one weird thing after another occurs. The sisters become scarily involved first together and then, not by their own choosing, separately!

Quite a story that covers lots of happenings, lots of looking into the minds of the individuals involved, and even into what goes on in today’s world. In not only illegal and immoral activities but also in what goes on in the part of the world that is supposedly policing these activities.

An avid reader who is willing to work through some tough parts in an otherwise good book will enjoy this one!



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