It's always nice to dip back into the writings of an author who demands your respect and grabs your attention from the first page. What Karin Slaughter is the master off is telling stories around small communities, the people that live therein and the cruel and often dysfunctional lives they lead. The central theme in Pretty Girls is do we really know or understand the family/husband/wife that we live with? Everyone it would appear has secrets that they strive to keep hidden and this is true of the lone family man stretching right up to the top decision makers in our community.
Claire Scott's sister Julia went missing some 20 years ago and such a devastating incident ripped her family apart resulting in the suicide of her father Sam and the drug addicted hell of her other sister Lydia. Throughout all the years of this heartbreak Claire has always been able to rely on the solid unmoveable influence of her husband Paul. She is deeply in love with him, and he with her, as he controls and organises her life on a daily basis. One night tragedy strikes and Paul is brutally murdered when the happy couple are returning from a downtown Atlanta restaurant. What follows is an exploration and an undermining of all the values that we hold true as Claire attempts to discover why her husband was murdered. This will lead her on a journey into the heart of her family and when the shocking truth about her dead sister becomes clear she will question her very sanity as she begins to realize the truth was staring her in the face all the time.
The pace and the characterization is of the highest standard. There is an edgy and macabre feeling of doom as the strands of the story unfold and a very satisfying conclusion and possibly the saddest final 5 pages I have ever read.