The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – REVIEW
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 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…
“Charlie had always been the good daughter, the one who laughed at his jokes, the one who challenged his opinions, the one who stayed.”
Karin Slaughter is an auto-buy author for me so I couldn’t resist the opportunity of buying a signed edition of her newest book from Goldsboro Books. This is a standalone book and is a great introduction to this author if you haven’t read any of her books yet. The Good Daughter is not a fast-paced thriller. It takes its time exploring social, political, and familial issues. The tensions and abiding love of family are perhaps the main themes of the story and, as such, it is very character driven. It’s definitely a slow-burning thriller but the ending is fast-paced and unpredictable.
“Sometimes, even if you know the answer, you’ve got to let the other person take a shot. If they feel wrong all the time, they never get the chance to feel right.”
A defence attorney makes an interesting point of view in a crime thriller. It’s easy to revile these people but this book helps you understand their motives for doing what they do. Rusty especially is a complicated man and easy to disparage because of the clients he defends. However, I came to understand his motivations for choosing this job and the justice he hopes to achieve. Charlie and Sam were definitely the most interesting characters. Their intelligence and strength were admirable, and I quickly became invested in them. The relationship between the sisters was nuanced, and it was easy to identify with the connection they shared. Being disabled myself, Sam’s disability also rang true. Her anger and frustration were understandable, and the limitations of a small town when dealing with disabilities were, unfortunately, all too recognisable.
“He talked about how people always obsess about lies. Damn lies. But no one really understands that the real danger is the truth … The truth can rot you from the inside. It doesn’t leave room for anything else.”
I loved the atmospheric setting of a cloyingly rural small-town in Georgia. It’s the type of place where everyone knows everyone else’s business, and tensions are quick to escalate. The violence was dark and harrowing at times, and even graphic, but it was never gratuitous and I felt it was necessary to understand the characters. The reveals came thick and fast towards the end and there was a huge twist that I never guessed. This was one of those books I couldn’t put down and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves crime thrillers.
An intelligent and slow-burning thriller.
|About the Author
Karin Slaughter is the New York Timesand #1 internationally bestselling author of seventeen thrillers, including the Grant County and Will Trent series, COP TOWN, PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER and the e-original short stories “Snatched” “Busted” “Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes” and “Last Breath.”
Slaughter was born in a small southern Georgia community, and now resides in Atlanta. She is widely credited with first coining the term “investigoogling” in 2006.