Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Book Review: Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Pieces of Her
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: Paperback; 496
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Source: TLC Book Tours / Publisher
Genre: Thriller

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy slow burn thrillers with vivid characters.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
The #1 internationally bestselling author returns with a new novel in the vein of the New York Times bestsellers Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter—a story even more electrifying, provocative, and suspenseful than anything she’s written before.

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?

Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother Laura. She’s knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Gullaway Island; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a Saturday afternoon trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one will ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

Twenty-four hours later Laura is in the hospital, shot by an intruder who’s spent thirty years trying to track her down and discover what she knows. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumbs of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . 

This was my first Karin Slaughter book, despite the fact that many people in my book circles love her writing. I wasn't sure what to expect, so keep in mind that my review is based around being a newbie to these books! It helped, of course, that Pieces of Her focuses on a group very similar to the Symbionese Liberation Army. Cults of all sorts fascinate me, and I can't deny I love a really charismatic "bad guy" leader. So into this book I went, sight unseen, and I can tell you that it wasn't a bad ride at all.

First off, kudos to Slaughter on her ability to write one tight, well-plotted out mystery. The beginning of this story pulls no punches, and that's tame compared to what comes after. I can't say that I ever really loved Andrea. She's frustratingly slow sometimes, and hysterical as all get out. However the plot that Slaughter expertly wove together at least made Andrea's emotions understandable. There really isn't anything in this story that doesn't belong right were it is. Each death is carefully calculated. Each violent act, perfectly placed to maximize its impact. This isn't a story that is an easy read, but it's definitely a tension filled one. That, I appreciated.

However, weirdly, this book also manages to move really slowly. I can see how it would be important to move things along as a pace that really amps up the tension, but some of the events in this book moved at a near glacial pace. I didn't so much mind that this book was told as a series of flashbacks between the present and past. I actually thought that it helped bring Laura's past life to the foreground in a really interesting way. Still, it could have been done a faster pace. There was so much fleeing, so much dialogue, and it got to the point where it weighed the plot down. I was torn between loving that the breadcrumbs were so expertly laid out, and wanting to run ahead because prying them off the floor was taking too long. It would probably have helped a lot if Andrea's journey to find answers about her mother hadn't taken so many chapters. I know that it was a plot device, in order to allow Slaughter to slowly lay out the past, but that didn't stop me wanting to skim ahead.

I did love the mastermind behind this group though. Well, as much as you can love an evil, calculating man. It was evident that there was a lot of research, and thought, that went into the character of Nick. He was a man that you could tell would be the perfect cult like leader. Charismatic, persuasive, and always with a simmering undercurrent of violence. If I have anything to tell you about what I loved about this book, it would be that Nick is the perfect villain. He brings this whole beautifully executed plot full circle, and I was extremely impressed.

All in all, I thought that Pieces of Her was a pretty solid story. As my first Karin Slaughter book, I was fairly impressed! I'd like to find another one of her books that maybe has things tightened up a bit, in the forward movement department. I'm generally not a fan of thrillers, but reading one in which the story actually felt like it was beautifully resolved has hooked me! I'll be on the lookout for more.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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