Review: The Good Daughter

Book Title: The Good Daughter
Author: Karin Slaughter
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Series: None
Genres: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Goodreads
Pub Date: 08/08/17
5 STARS

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a Grade-A, Karin Slaughter junkie. I can’t get enough of her stuff; it’s like crack for nerds who like all the dark things in their reading repertoire. I began devouring her books right around my 18th birthday and have continued to do so for almost 10 years. She’s the only living author that I have continued to read for such an extended period of time; I tell you all this so that you are aware just how good these books truly are. I’m going to keep my review spoiler free for The Good Daughter, but the following paragraphs will have some spoilers for her previous series, mainly the Grant County books. If you haven’t read them and are planning to, or if you’d rather skip the backstory, I’d recommend skipping the section between the stars.

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If I may I would like to share my journey (so far) with Karin Slaughter, as I have had so many people ask me on Goodreads why I am obsessed with her books and how I fell in to reading them.  I was lucky enough to grow up with an aunt who’s a librarian in Georgia and has continually connected me with authors she knew are just phenomenal. She was the first person who understood my need for consuming mysteries, thrillers, and all-around dark themed novels; the fact that I was able to pick up Blindsighted right as my mother was going through a scary breast cancer diagnosis and treatment was not lost on me. The Grant County series wasn’t just another set of books to teenage Chelsea; they were a “real” place that I could escape to when my mom’s tumors were being cut out of her body or while the chemo ravaged her body. I could go someplace else where all that wasn’t happening, but also where these people understood darkness, suffering, and pain. This is why I think it’s so important that people write books containing such dark content.

I blew threw the Grant County series; I literally read them all back to back and couldn’t get enough. I grew up in Atlanta and went to Auburn University, so if there has been a more relatable series written for myself I can’t think of what it might be. When I turned the last page of Beyond Reach and I saw what Slaughter had done, I’ll be honest, I was ready to rage and rant and throw books and cuss people out. HOW COULD YOU KILL MY BELOVED?!?!?!?! When I was ready to make the transition into the Will Trent series, I thought I would be done. No way could this woman make me love another man with Sarah. How dare she? I’ll admit, it took me a bit of warming up to Will but then it hit me; the reason I had so many feelings about these books was due to the dang characters! Finally, I blew threw the remaining Will Trent novels with ease and care for this new family I’d accumulated. I also loved her standalone novels of late and thought they were a fantastic way for new fans to dip their toes in the great expanse of the Slaughter kingdom. So that brings us up to speed for The Good Daughter.

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If I’m being honest, it’s always nerve wracking to pick up a new book by your favorite author, especially once they’ve been writing long term. What if it isn’t as good as those before? It’s a real fear; so many authors burn out or try to keep writing the same story over and over while losing their viewers. That fear was unnecessary here; you heard me, this one gets Chelsea’s “Holy Guacamole” stamp of approval! Being another standalone, I wasn’t really sure what the feel would be here, as each of her solitary novels are all quite different. Cop Town had the feel of historical crime fiction that was heavily character driven and tied in to the past of some familiar previous characters, while Pretty Girls was a highly disturbing thriller wrought with tension and graphic content. I believe the reason I was so drawn in by The Good Daughter was due to the nostalgic vibe it gave off.

As a massive Grant County fan I was delighted to discover that TGD had such similar structure to Grant County and it’s characters while simultaneously establishing it’s own groove. We are presented with an estranged couple we desire to reconcile set in a small town off of Atlanta with major drama that is kept within that close circle. I did really enjoy that we were able to follow a family of lawyers this time; it gave a fresh spin on the procedural formula that seems to work so well for the author. This story did have a little more action than some in the past, but as we all know the reason to read any book by KS is due to her master characterization skills. The lady can write some relatable, intriguing, and empathetic characters! Once again, this aspect was portrayed at it’s best and I can’t applaud how well the different personalities shined through in the writing.

Speaking of, THIS is how you develop the people telling your story. THIS is how you write inclusive, diverse crime fiction. THIS is how you incorporate graphic content in a respectful manner that furthers the story and emotionally ties the reader to the characters. There was no awkward writing in of a few diverse characters to cover the writer’s backside. Characters covering various forms of minorities are present here, but it’s done so in a way that feels right. It feels like real life and what we all desire from mainstream fiction. Tough, timely issues are covered here, such as the life of a transgender woman in the deep south, the using and abuse of a child with diminished mental capacities, and the long, seemingly impossible journey to healing and restoration after such a brutal incident as described in the prologue were all just pieces of what made this book such a strong contender for my Top 10 reads of 2017.

I’ll shut up now, as I’ve done enough damage, but my hope is that you’ll give this book a chance, even if it doesn’t sound like your typical read. To answer many folks question, I felt this one wasn’t quite as gratuitously graphic and violent as Pretty Girls, but it definitely is founded on a highly disturbing, brutal attack. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a procedural that makes you feel things that we, as humans, should never grow numb to. I apologize for the lengthy review and hope you enjoy this read as much as I did. You won’t find characters written quite like this anywhere else.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here. 

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About The Suspense Is Thrilling Me

Chelsea is a happily married mother of two who's love of mysteries can be traced back to her first Nancy Drew experience. When not reading and writing book reviews, she likes to drink wine in her jammies and pretend that she exercises.
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31 Responses to Review: The Good Daughter

  1. Pingback: Award: One Lovely Blog Award – ReadRantRock&Roll

  2. Loved this book so much! My first ever Karin Slaughter I am embarrassed to say! Which would you recommend that I read next? There are so many! Fantastic review, it’s as if you have got into the authors head.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Karin Slaughter – Angie Dokos

  4. Good review. This: “There was no awkward writing in of a few diverse characters to cover the writer’s backside.” Oh, so tired of this. I don’t care who the diverse is so long as they belong in the story. I love the way you complimented her on doning it well and keeping the reader. Excellent point.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Annie says:

    She’s the best and this one was truly fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jona says:

    Great review!
    I believe that KS indeed was meant to write thrillers with a name like that 😜 On her european book tour in June, she came to Belgium, Ghent to be specific. The new library thereis called “The Krook” … if that’s not meant to be, I don’t know what is! Had my copy of The Good Daughter in Dutch signed and was able to talk to KS briefly, abdolutely love her and her sense of humour!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bookishinbed says:

    I recently read Pretty Girls and loved it so much. I’ve been eyeing this one ever since. Deff need to catch up and read all her other books as well. Are the others as graphic as Pretty Girls or no?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Stephanie says:

    Love your review, Chelsea!! You love KS as much as I do!! ❤ ❤ I have all reread all her Grant County and Will Trent books more than once because I'm a glutton for punishment and because I love her characters with a passion and KS just as much! She can do no wrong in my eyes, which is like you said why it's nerve-wracking reading a new book when you love an author that much!! I knew TGD would be phenomenal, but still…. I just read a short story she co-wrote with Michael Koryta in the thriller anthology Matchup, and she used a pre-Sarah Jeffrey as her character; I thought I was going to lose it even though I'm madly in love with Will Trent hahaha!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That is seriously the author’s name?! She was clearly destined to write this type of book! Wonderful review, lovely! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. raven avery says:

    Great review! This sounds like a book I need to read! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great review! I’m really looking forward to reading this!
    It will be my first Karin Slaughter book. I heard so many wonderful things about her books, I cannot wait to see what we has to offer 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Literary Friday, ya’ll…. – Traveling With T

  13. novelgossip says:

    Girl lets just start a creepy stalker fan club for KS, Mary Kubica and David Bell 😂 Who else am I forgetting?!
    Really awesome review, you hit all of the things that make her one of the best! I’m thinking of going back and re reading the last couple of books in the Grant County series for TBT. Why? I guess I like to torture myself. Never mind the fact that I have no business re reading anything 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. annelogan17 says:

    I’ve heard such good things about this book, and seen it everywhere lately! I’ve never read a Slaughter book (tell me that’s a pen name!) but I’ll make sure to pick one up when I get the chance…

    Liked by 1 person

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