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Pretty Girls : #AToZChallenge #BookRecommendations

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

I have no clue how we are at the letter P for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but here I am, still writing about thrillers of all stripes, mysteries, and crime novels for 26 days in April, based on the letters of the alphabet. All posts are linked here.

Since I’m writing up thriller and crime novel recommendations, I’m also giving away a 50 USD Amazon Gift card, to support reading, and to help my next novel THE BLUE BAR along on its journey.

Entries involve (go ENTER!):



After One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner, I bring you Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter.

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter: Book Description

Twenty years ago Claire Scott’s eldest sister, Julia, went missing. No one knew where she went – no note, no body. It was a mystery that was never solved and it tore her family apart.

Now another girl has disappeared, with chilling echoes of the past. And it seems that she might not be the only one.

Claire is convinced Julia’s disappearance is linked.

But when she begins to learn the truth about her sister, she is confronted with a shocking discovery, and nothing will ever be the same

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter: Excerpt

When you first disappeared, your mother warned me that finding out exactly what had happened to you would be worse than never knowing. We argued about this constantly because arguing was the only thing that held us together at the time.

“Knowing the details won’t make it any easier,” she warned me. “The details will tear you apart.”

I was a man of science. I needed facts. Whether I wanted to or not, my mind would not stop generating hypotheses: Abducted. Raped. Defiled.


That was the sheriff’s theory, or at least his excuse when we demanded answers he could not give. Your mother and I had always been secretly pleased that you were so headstrong and passionate about your causes. Once you were gone, we understood that these were the qualities that painted young men as smart and ambitious and young women as trouble.

“Girls run off all the time.” The sheriff had shrugged like you were any girl, like a week would pass — a month, maybe a year — and you would come back into our lives offering a half-hearted apology about a boy you’d followed or a friend you’d joined on a trip across the ocean.

You were nineteen years old. Legally, you did not belong to us anymore. You belonged to yourself. You belonged to the world.

Still, we organized search parties. We kept calling hospitals and police stations and homeless shelters. We posted fliers around town. We knocked on doors. We talked to your friends. We checked abandoned buildings and burned-out houses on the bad side of town. We hired a private detective who took half of our savings and a psychic who took most of the rest. We appealed to the media, though the media lost interest when there were no salacious de¬tails to breathlessly report.

This is what we knew: You were in a bar. You didn’t drink any more than usual. You told your friends that you weren’t feeling well and that you were going to walk home and that was the last time anyone ever reported seeing you.

Over the years, there were many false confessions. Sadists rallied around the mystery of where you’d gone. They provided details that could not be proven, leads that could not be followed. At least they were honest when they were caught out. The psychics always blamed me for not looking hard enough.

Because I never stopped looking.


About the author, Karin Slaughter.

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 21 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NYT bestselling stand-alone novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and PIECES OF HER.

Why pick up Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter.

Pretty Girls is gorgeously written, and if you can take gore and darkness, fascinating. The Extreme violence took me by surprise the first instance, and then I knew to skim over the pages (ok, this is more about my weak stomach than Slaughter’s story or writing)–and once i did that, it became this absolutely intriguing tale about family secrets, shared history, and relationships, especially between sisters.

The twists, they keep on coming. Just when you thought the story is going one way, it goes the other. Of course a few of the twists stretch credibility, but they make for riveting reading.

The two narrative voices and the characters are very, very vivid, and that’s what finally kept me reading and sold me on the story. If you can take a bit of  (ok, a lot of) darkness, you might want to pick this up and go, oh what now? A definite yes for hardcore thriller fans.


Have you read the book Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter? If yes, what did you think of it? What crime novels have you read lately ? Do you love or hate thrillers? What is your favorite genre?

A to Z Challenge GiveawayThrough the month of April,  to celebrate the challenge and get some support for THE BLUE BAR, I’m  holding this giveaway:

Enter to WIN a 50 USD Amazon gift card for this


Entries are simple: click the RAFFLECOPTER link above, and follow the instructions. It calls for a Goodreads add, a subscription request, and a follow on Instagram.

If you enjoyed the post,  click on any or all of the following to stay updated:

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • I skim the gore too:)

  • I don’t mind darkness and some gore, Damyanti, but I’m leery of graphic violence, particularly against women (and children even more so). It does sound like a good read, but probably one I’d pass on. Thanks for the intro to Karen Slaughter and her book. 🙂

  • Tamara says:

    Missing person cases are fascinating and devastating.
    I understand that family members are having a hard time letting go as long as they don’t know what happened, and ideally someone is convicted and locked away for it.
    Is the case solved in the end?

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Tamara, yes, without giving away too much that might spoil the book, I can say it is.

  • DutchIl says:

    Thank you for sharing!!.. I like a good mystery (Holmes, Poirot, etc. ) and will read a thriller from time to time as something different.. currently preparing to read Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your day be touched
    by a bit of Irish luck,
    Brightened by a song
    in your heart,
    And warmed by the smiles
    of people you love.
    (Irish Saying)

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      You have a treat ahead of you, Larry–I read that Poe years ago and couldn’t get it out of my head (much like the character lol)

  • Jemi Fraser says:

    Sadly, the older I get, the less I’m able to cope with the gore and violence and too much stress in stories. My daughter loves books like this! Going to pass on the title 🙂

  • Karin is such a great writer. I haven’t read anything from her in a long time. I am way overdue. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog today.

  • Ronel Janse van Vuuren says:

    I like the premise. And I’m not afraid of a bit of darkness and gore.

    Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge My Languishing TBR: P

  • Jemima Pett says:

    I remember reading the blurb when it first came put, and thinking – it sounds great, but no. And it still soudns great. But… no.

  • I’m not sure I could read this one. I really like this idea for the challenge!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I did find it hard reading in places. Heh, fwiw, I love it, too. I can combine my love of reading with blogging. Win-win.

  • cassmob says:

    Thank goodness for GoodReads…I thought I’d read it. My vote was the dual conversations were good but the graphic violence against women was too much. Guess that’s why I’ve mentally deleted it even though my non-serious reading is all crime or thriller.

    • DamyantiB says:

      Yes, the violence was something I could not stomach either! Skimming through that portion was the best option.

  • John Holton says:

    Karin Slaughter is from these parts. I like her books.

  • Finally one I have read. And enjoyed. Though given the subject matter enjoyed makes me worry about myself…

    • DamyantiB says:

      Some appreciate the authenticity of details to enjoy reading. I think it makes it more thrilling for some reader, and that’s fine.

  • I had the same feeling when P popped up on my calendar. How could we be here already! I like Slaughter and this looks great.

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