Starting last fall and into the new year, I am making a deliberate effort to break from the boy’s club of books and look for more female authors. I was familiar with a few, but my list of favorites was a sausage show. Men have written of women that I aspire to be. Chyna Shepard from Intensity by Dean Koontz is an excellent example, but Karin Slaughter is writing women I relate to currently. I fell in love the moment salty potato chips burned Lydia’s freshly waxed upper lip and she contemplated the nuances of fat. Is fat compared to wealthy trophy wives really fat or are they especially tiny?
Lydia and Claire live in a purgatory. The disappearance of their sister Julia forever leaves a hole in their family and the not know if she’ll ever come back keeps them from healing. Lydia takes drugs. Claire never wants any attention drawn to her to never upstage the real elephant in the room, Julia is gone.
The tragedies do not end with Julia. More members of the family die strangely. Soon Claire and Lydia realize they are not part of the merely the victims of unfair fate. Someone has orchestrated their losses. Someone had been pulling them apart because none of them knows enough on their own but together they could piece together evidence against the monster.
This book is dark. This book is shocking. The disciplined practiced and planned monsters of urban legend live between the pages. The kind of predator you can’t fathom actually exists but you carry pepper spray when you jog just in case. What if there were many? What if all the nightmares knew each other and admired each other’s work? Completely thrilling the whole way through mostly because the average imagination could not craft crimes this fucked up.
One of the best books that I would universally recommend for everyone for the characters a blend of amazing and dysfunctional. The plot is thrilling and the action and horror crescendo. As the sisters unravel secrets they realize they can only trust themselves. This monster is connected and anyone could be an accomplice. The paranoia is delightful and emphasizes the importance of faith in family.
There are enough funny, quirky moments to keep you from dialing your therapist immediately. A wonderful message that people are stronger together and sometimes the most compliant, codependent people are the most capable just waiting to be tested. A perfect 5/5 book.