Date of Publication: 13 July 2017 (hardback and e-book) 3rd May 2018 (paperback)
Date of Review: 29th July 2018
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s childhoods were destroyed by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – a notorious defence attorney – devastated. And it left the family consumed by secrets from that shocking night.
Twenty-eight years later, Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer. But when violence comes to their home town again, the case triggers memories she’s desperately tried to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family won’t stay buried for ever…
I have wanted to read this book since the hardback came out last year so was delighted to receive an ARC copy for the paperback edition release. Although this is the first book I have read by Karin Slaughter, I have heard so much about this author and couldn’t wait to get stuck in to this book.
At first, I found the style very different to the kind of psychological thrillers I like to read. There was a lot of intense action with blood and gore which was a bit too much for me; I almost put the book down. However, I am so glad I never.
With an omniscient third-person narrative, family and relationships are at the heart of this book. The novel explores the themes of love and deceit: how one person will do anything to protect those closest to them including putting themselves in danger; and another will do anything to protect themselves above anything or anybody.
Starting with Samantha and Charlotte Quinn, aged 15 and 13 respectively, we see how the lives of these young girls were torn apart when two masked men came to their house looking for their father. One of the masked attackers calls the other one by his name, and the other calls his accomplice ‘Bro’. The girls then recognise their attackers as two notorious brothers who are clients of their father.
Samantha is determined to protect her younger sister at all costs. Charlotte finally manages to escape with her life by running to the house of a young school teacher, whilst Samantha is shot and left for dead buried in a ditch. But true to its genre, nothing is at is seems. When one of the brothers is sentenced to death, and the other is on death row, the neighbourhood accuses the girls of lying.
Twenty-eight years later and Charlotte is caught up in a shooting at her old school, where a young girl has seemingly shot one of her teachers (the husband of the teacher who came to Charlotte’s rescue) as well as another student. Caught with the gun in her hand it appears straight forward that Kelly is the shooter. However, her defence lawyer, Randy Quinn (Charlotte and Samantha’s father) believes she is innocent.
Set in an old town where nobody moves away and everybody knows everybody’s business, this page-turning plot delves into events of the past, linking them to events of the present day. Not just to solve the shooting, but to uncover the hidden turmoil in the lives of the two sisters.
There are some great twists and turns in this novel; I did guess some of them but that just made me turn the pages all that faster to see if I was right. This was a very satisfying read.
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Under Literature Love’s rating scheme, this book has been awarded 4 out of 5 stars.
I really enjoyed this book. This book is highly recommended.
Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an Advance Review Copy of this book.