The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – a Review
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…
The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter is the first book in her new series, which is a suspenseful psychological thriller. This was my first time reading Karin Slaughter and after finishing this book, it will not be my last. I loved The Good Daughter, which turned out to be one of the best thrillers I have read this year, and I have read quite a few.
The Good Daughter revolves around two sisters, Sam (Samantha) and Charlie (Charlotte) Quinn, who both survived a horrible tragedy 28 years ago. The story starts in the past, in their hometown of Pikeville, North Carolina; Sam & Charlie were practicing relay running with their mom testing them; they have just moved to a small cabin, after their house was burned down. Their father Rusty, was a defense attorney who made enemies, especially after he always managed to get the criminals off. When they return to the house, someone enters threatening them all, causing a terrorizing event that results in a death, two brutal attacks and a family that is devastated.
We now are in the present, 28 years later, with Charlie stopping at the school to return something, and all hell breaks loose, as the shots can be heard throughout. Charlie and one of the teachers (Mason) race the halls to try to help, only to find two people dead, and the shooter pointing the gun on them self. The police come with guns threatening to kill the shooter, and Mason is determined to convince the police to allow her to surrender. So much of what happens in the school, brings forth terrible emotional memories for Charlie, who continues to live in Pikesville with her husband, and her father. Sam has not returned for many years, having left when she was a teenager. Sam was the most physically damaged in the attack when she was a teen, but she managed to have a very successful career as a lawyer, though she does suffer; when Rusty has a heart attack, Sam will be called home. It has been 20 years since Sam and Charlie have seen each other, as they had become a little estranged, but they still loved each other. While Sam has suffered physically, Charlie is the one who still suffers emotionally, which includes secrets that she has not told her sister or husband. Sam will work on Kelly’s (the young shooter) case while her father is recovering, and Charlie will help. As the present mystery unfolds, we will return occasionally to the past with the point of view of either Charlie or Sam, as we learn more of what happened then.
What follows is an intense, exciting, mind boggling story line that has us holding our breath throughout. Sam will uncover some clues that make her second guess what really happened at the school. One of the things Slaughter has done so well, is show us a small town that has not forgotten the event from the past, which they show with their terrible treatment of the victims; we get the see the narrow minded attitudes of the police, district attorney, and the families involved in that tragedy. We also get to see how much Sam and Charlie’s lives changed, and how it has affected them all these years.
The last third of the book was simply amazing, with excitement, revelations and multiple twists that blew our minds, especially since we needed to keep up with them. Sam and Charlie were great characters that had us also emotionally tied to them. I do not want to tell too much more, as it would be spoilers, and this book is too good to ruin. The Good Daughter was a fantastic read, so very well written by Karin Slaughter. I suggest you read The Good Daughter, as it is a must read.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Publisher