Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Oh dear I seem to be slightly against the crowd so far with "Pretty Girls". I liked it, I didn't love it.
As always with Karin Slaughter the writing is divine, in this case I had issues with the story, so I suppose this review is entirely subjective.
The first half of "Pretty Girls" is quite simply brilliant - a character story, following two sisters and how they dealt with the loss of a third, a hugely emotive and hard hitting look at how family dynamics can go wrong when tragedy hits. At the same time a beautifully woven in mystery element about what may or may not have happened to sister number three and a kind of side tale involving diary entries from the Dad searching endlessly for his lost child. Another tragedy brings the Sister's back together after a division, but not perhaps how they both would have wanted it.
If the entire novel had continued in this vein and kept that line, the family drama interspersed with the mystery side and the beautifully written and VERY cleverly drawn relationship between the sisters had stayed the focus I think that I would have been giving 5 stars and a unicorn to this one..
As it was there is a mid point twist that sends it off in KIND of a different direction (also a twist I've seen done SO many times I had to physically restrain myself from yawning) - from emotive family drama it morphs into more of a thriller/chase/cat and mouse scenario which actually took me out of the moment. After that I never really regained my equilibrium with Pretty Girls and although the rest of it is in no way bad, I kind of felt like the author was throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the plot in order to keep it twisty and exciting. I can't explain exactly what I mean without spoilers which obviously I'm not going to do - but the second half lacked the resonance of the first for me.
Having said that, in general terms there is a lot to love about Pretty Girls. The ending was back to great again, there were some edge of seat moments, and I would definitely recommend it for fans of good thrillers as they are unlikely to have the same issues with it as I did.
Overall a fantastic bit of writing with a story that ended up kind of annoying me.
Happy Reading Folks