August 7, 2017

[Review] The Good Daughter - Karin Slaughter

Summary: Decades after a horrific confrontation that left her mother dead and her sister traumatized, a New York-based lawyer returns to her hometown of Atlanta to assist her father save the life of a young woman accused of a school shooting. (Pub Date: Aug 8, 2017)

Honest review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. I also want to thank the publisher for giving me this opportunity.

I'd give it 4.5 if I could. This was one of the best reads I had in a long, long time.

It's the story of two sisters whose family was broken after one of their father's former client invades their house and kills their mother. The incident left them with permanent scars, which aren't merely physical. Now they'll have to deal with the past when a girl is accused of a school shooting and the sisters can't help but join forces to help their father do her defense.

This book was the first Karin Slaughter I've read and it is much longer than I had thought. And yet, it was nothing like what I had seen from her before nor did I really feel all those pages.

In these other three books, Slaughter basically focused on investigating crimes, although the main character was a doctor and not a cop. For this one, I feel her focus shifted from finding out the culprit to the dramatic part of the case—not that we don't have mysteries in here as well. Also, we get more of the legal part than the footwork. I'd say the style here resembled a lot what I've seen from Jodi Picoult. Because my previous reads were from older books, I can't say when her style changed but she has really improved—and I'm not into stories about lawyers, I confess.

As for characters, we get the story from two points of view, Sam's and Charlie's. To be honest, I liked Charlie's parts far better. Because they don't really alternate—the first half is by Charlie, most of the second is by Sam and then we go back to Charlie—I think changing to Sam was a low point. I mean, the prologue is also done on her POV and it was very exciting but I was so much involved with Charlie that I never recovered my love for Sam. Now I can't tell if it was just me not liking the focus on Sam or perhaps the story also lost rhythm there. Had it not, I would have given it five stars.

When we talk about thrillers and mysteries, I think two more things are important: plot twists and the solution to said mystery. And that part was also a little lacking. But hear me, this book was just so good that when I say lacking it is just because it had set the bar too high. There were some twists but nothing that amazed me—but a big one I had guessed for knowing Slaughter's style, a first-timer might have not seen that coming. The conclusion was good but again it wasn't ground-shaking. I confess I also expected more of the school-shooting case. I think that may be what left me not as satisfied about the ending, although I liked how she tied everything with the sisters' backstory. This is really a book for you to enjoy the ride, although the destination isn't one to fear. I'm sure you'll like it.

If you haven't read any of Slaughter's work, go ahead. This is really good—it's the best book of the year, in my opinion. At least, so far. If you know her, I can't say anything about her most recent ones but she has managed to go far beyond what I had expected of this book. A great for book clubs or for reading on your own, just make sure you leave your schedule open.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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