Yet another wonderful, well crafted, and presented story from Karin Slaughter which sees her departing from her regular Atlanta duo Well Trent (Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent) and Dr Sarah Linton. In this one off novel we are introduced to the Quinns; Rusty, Gamma, and their two daughters Sam and Charlotte (Charlie) The story is told over two timelines, one set 28 years before the other. One afternoon Zack Culpepper and an accomplish invade the Quinn home where a violent and outrageous event occurs, an event that will have long lasting and damaging repercussions. Moving forward in time to the present somewhat unbelievably another brutal killing occurs, at the local school where Charlie Quinn has attended visiting her lover Mason Huckabee a regrettable one night stand.
What the author excels at his her deep understanding and betrayal of a family in crisis and their attempt to survive. Sam, although badly damaged from the Culpepper attack has managed to map out a career as a patent lawyer in New York but immediately comes to the aid of her younger sister following the school shootings. Dad Rusty is adored by them both even though his chosen occupation as a defence attorney often sees him defending the most abhorrent members of society and indeed the historical Culpeper incident was a direct result of his chosen career.
This is a novel full of mystery, ambition and emotion. It is not so much the storyline that is of importance but rather the depiction of deeply flawed and traumatized characters. At its heart is the love and need of friendship and family and how against all the evil that is present today it is possible not only to survive but to accept the unfolding of life's events however good or bad they may be. Many thanks to the publisher HarperCollins for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.