Book – The Good Daughter
Author – Karin Slaughter
Year – 2017
Pages – 500
Genre – Crime
Lent to me by Alex
(Book 1 of 2022)
The beginning of my 2022 challenge of 52 books in a year – one a week. Alex has gotten hugely into crime fiction in the last couple of years, and in an attempt to kick start my reading for the year, lent me this one as a bit of a page turner that is not too tough a read.
Charlotte and Samantha are two teenagers raised by their fiercely intelligent mother and controversial lawyer father. When two armed men arrive at their house, killing their mother and taking them off to the woods to meet the same fate, their family is thrown apart. Nearly thirty years later, Charlotte is a lawyer in the same town, and finds herself caught up in another shooting – this one at her old school – and must confront what happened to her all those years ago.
I started this book expecting some trashy reading to be quite honest. Something pretty easy and unchallenging. And whilst in many ways this is what I got, it is also excellently written. Despite time jumps, it is never difficult to follow. The mystery never goes exactly where you would expect it to go. The action is written quickly enough to be exciting, but not so speedily that you cannot follow. But best of all is the characterisation.
Every single character feels well rounded and understandable. Charlie is brilliantly written as a strong, independent woman – and I hasten to add, not as a “strong, independent woman”, but in a way that is so much more fleshed out. Every choice feels well decided and thoughtful. Her father, Rusty, is a character that I would struggle to pick words to describe – and indeed did when mentioning him above – but despite being an absolute oddity of a person, fits perfectly to the world that Slaughter has created here. Having good and believable characters is hugely important to me in fiction, and it is this more than anything else that made me really get into this book.
Add to this the twists that I didn’t even realise were coming, and an ending that ties things up nice and neatly – I am not one for a cliffhanger ending – and this was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I will certainly be reading more by the same author.