Audiobook: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter, narrated by Kathleen Early

Pretty Girls
Karin Slaughter

Narrated by Kathleen Early


Claire Scott’s older sister, Julia, vanished over twenty years ago. Her disappearance has been largely forgotten, except by her broken family. Pretty Girls is the story of how Claire, her sister, Lydia, and their parents have coped with losing Julia, who is now presumed dead.

Set in Atlanta, the story begins in the present and its main character is Claire, who is celebrating her first day without an ankle monitor, terms of an assault conviction. But Claire considers herself lucky, because Paul, her devoted and highly successful architect husband, supports her, two hundred percent. Tragedy strikes almost immediately, however, and Claire must think for herself to protect and save her family from a sinister and twisted rapist and murderer.

Claire soon discovers that one crime doesn’t mean it’s over and, as she digs, she learns about a sadistic series of crimes and a massive dark web network. Is Julia’s disappearance somehow connected to this current violence? Claire will need to take a hard look at all the people around her and decide whom she can trust. Pretty Girls is a suspense story, but it’s also a story about self-actualization, in which Claire, for the first time in her life, takes control and realizes her strength. In addition, Slaughter includes themes of family, broken relationships and closure to round out the story.

If you choose to read or listen to this dark thriller, be warned. The book includes many scenes of detailed graphic and extreme violence. If it were not for my interest in seeing Claire get revenge, I would have put it down. I felt the violence was over-the-top, and perhaps the audio version made it even more so. The narrator did a great job with voices, and in particular captured the manipulative tone of the killer’s both seductive and evil voices. But at times, she seemed a little too into the crime descriptions. Of course, she was just reading someone else’s words… The author’s surname should have been a warning to me! So that’s why it’s just a 3-bookmark rating for me.

With over thirty-five hundred reviews on Amazon, Pretty Girls has received an average 4-star rating. You can check out these reviews here and decide for yourself.

Karin Slaughter is an award-winning crime writer and has written eighteen novels. Pretty Girls is a New York Times bestseller. Her novels Cop Town, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her are all in development for film and television.

I read Pretty Girls as part of my library’s Summer Reading Challenge to listen to an audiobook from our system’s catalog.

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7 thoughts on “Audiobook: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter, narrated by Kathleen Early

  1. I appreciate your honest review. At first, while reading, I thought this is definitely a book I’d enjoy, but thank you for mentioning the extreme violence. I really can’t read stories like that anymore. Enjoy your evening!

  2. Violence is tricky in fiction — handled well, it can be riveting (which maybe says something dark about me!) — but it’s rare that it’s not over done, or simply yucky.

  3. The plot sounds intriguing! But I admit I’ve never read Karin Slaughter’s books just because of the violence. I don’t mind some in a story, but I don’t enjoy it when it’s over-the-top, or when the author feels the need to include all the details. That’s just me, of course.

  4. I really like her writing–she draws you right in–but I agree, the violence in this one was off-putting. I liked her novel Cop Town because of the glimpse into the life of female cops back in the 70s (which wasn’t pretty). Didn’t care as much for the first book in her Will Trent series. I heard her interview Giilian Flynn at ThrillerFest a few years back though, and she was hilarious! Both of them were.

    1. I’ll have to take a break from the genre for a bit. Maybe I’ll try Cop Town some day. I should look up the interview. Thanks for reading and commenting, Carrie. Happy weekend and happy writing to you!

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