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 novel from one of the finest writers working today.
Included with this gripping thriller is Karin Slaughter's chilling short story "Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes."
©2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2015 Blackstone Audiobooks
The first half of this book had me on the edge of my seat - it's truly a fast-paced thriller and I did not want to put it down. But about halfway through, the graphic violence and descriptions of young women being tortured and killed became really, really hard to take. Descriptions of women's bodies being mutilated, their screams as they are tortured…..This is what the story becomes. I found that I was feeling very angry at the author, and wondered what kind of person comes up with this sick level of violence? Slaughter draws you in, captures your interest, and then she tortures you.
I was excited to listened to this book based on the reviews. I really wish I hadn't. The story arc was good, the narrator was excellent and the pacing kept the story interesting. It had the potential to be an excellent novel but, it was so disturbingly violent it made me wonder if the author was herself psychotic. I have enjoyed hundreds of books within the genre but this is the first time I felt sickened by the overly graphic descriptions of the crimes against the young women in this book. They go beyond story development. It saddens me that a woman would put this kind of material out there giving more ideas to the worst predators of society. Don't waste your credit unless you enjoy the worst degradation, mutilation and abuse of women possible. It makes me sad that a female writer resorts to essentially snuff porn to sell some book. Horrific. There is nothing pretty about this book.
This book starts out a page turner, but as the story continues the main character does one stupid thing after another, while we learn more and more about the evil, perverse nature of the villain(s). The descriptions of that behavior were just too disgusting to listen to.
I think this could have been a good book. The plot was good and could be believed, but the characters' actions were so over the top in stupidity or evil that it interfered with the effect of the book.
Her performance was fine.
Disgust and anger at the author.
I am giving up on Karin Slaughter.
No, I don't recommend this book. Although well-written and absolutely gripping, the graphic descriptions (again and again) of over-the-top violence including rape and murder, was too much for me. At times I felt it was sensationalizing violence against women. It was very dark and took me to a sad and uncomfortable place. Now, I love Stephen King, the horror and crime genre, etc., and I don't have a weak stomach. But I couldn't even listen to the epilogue of this book. I couldn't hear another about another graphic rape and murder. Slaughter is an excellent writer. Unfortunately, I felt she could have limited the graphic violence. If she had, I would recommend this book. The previous reviewer was correct, this book should have a trigger warning.
Life's good when I am listening to a great book.
"Pretty Girls" has a story line that starts out interesting enough but it quickly moves into scene after scene of relentless and descript violent scenes. Geez. I read so many rave reviews about this novel but I just have to disagree. When an author has to resort to repeated scenes of rape and violence, I have to wonder what is the author trying to compensate for? Is this really what mainstream readers are looking for? The story did keep me guessing, i.e., in terms of a mystery, it did keep me wanting some answers but, overall, it was not worth it. I do not recommend.
The sisters overcoming their older sister's murderers
I was disgusted by the book. At no point in the written overview or audible sound preview was there any suggestion of this being a book about a sadistic group of rapists and murderers.
No. Once I start a book, it is difficult for me to put it down, unfinished. At the point where I started questioning whether this one was headed in a direction that I wanted to handle,it was too late. It evolved into a form of darkness with which I am uncomfortable and I considered as unnecessary and distracting. Going there, temporarily, can work; staying there and wallowing in it, did not work for me.
She could have left off some of the more gruesome details; a little of that goes a very long way for me. Also, leaving the impression that one of the characters was considering "hooking up" with a man whom she had previously, intuitively, felt was creepy/ slimy was a little disturbing and magnified the almost total lack of empathy I had developed for her.
No, the main character was fully developed. I do not think the author can "unring" that bell.
At the beginning of the book, I sent my sister a text and highly recommended it; it did get off to a really great start. By the end of the book, I sent her another text and told her it had gone off the grid and to disregard my earlier recommendation.
I don't get all the rave reviews, but I'll admit that thrillers aren't really my genre of choice. Pretty much the whole book focuses on the graphic details around the horrific serial rape and murder of young girls. Maybe I should have done more research into the author/book but it wasn't obvious from the description). If the level of graphic depictions around that in game of thrones didn't bother you, I suppose this wouldn't either (but there aren't any interludes with political or comic intrigue to balance things out in this book). It's not really how I care to spend my free time. The suspense mechanisms and plot were not terribly innovative either. I did read all of it because I felt I'd be more disturbed imagining the ending than knowing it but then I tend to always finish books. The reader's performance was good.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
This book starts out fairly good. Interesting characters, Well thought out plot most of the book. But the author does not know when to stop her descriptions of graphic violence. Out of 20 hours there must be over 5 hours of detailed narration of mutilations, murders, rapes, torture, etc. If this was made into a movie without serious editing it would easily win a triple XXX rating. By the end I was skipping entire chapters.
There are whole chapters narrated by the father of a girl who goes missing, and not to spoil plot she has been murdered (not big surprise.) I skipped these chapters as well. They are quite secondary to the plot. The author adds a last chapter narrated by father that is not needed.
One of key issues of book is depiction of the major female characters. They are shallow,stupid, and selfish. In the end they morph into homicidal maniacs, If you want a better book set in the south with inspiring women roles listen to the Help or To Kill a Mockingbird.. Silence of the Lambs looks like Sesame Street compared to this novel.
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