Here in the Literature Works office, we think there’s nothing that marks the heady days of summer better than indulging in the hottest new crime fiction, so when we were given the opportunity to review The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter’s latest release, we just couldn’t say no! Nothing provides better antidote to humidity than a spine-chilling thriller and this is a novel that certainly delivers on that point.
Before we begin, I must make a small confession, fitting given the genre… I have read EVERY SINGLE ONE of Slaughter’s novels and short stories and I am well and truly hooked on both her series and standalones. When the opportunity of an early review for this latest release came in, I did something which is entirely outside of my usual practice as a reader. I dived into the novel without having read the blurb… I put my trust entirely in the author’s reputation and my previous experience of her work and I’m glad I did.
The Good Daughter completely knocked me for six with its excellent woven storyline, characterisation and unique approach to the genre. Let me expand. The novel tells the story of Sam and Charlie, two women, two sisters in fact who are both bound and separated by a tragedy that happened in their youth. Now, here’s the strikingly refreshing news: there are NO detectives. I would say that the novel is still a procedural of sorts – but it is a legal procedural.
Following Sam and Charlie in their adult lives, the story, set in Pikeville, Georgia introduces the reader to two women who are fragmented from each other, from themselves and from their sense of what happened to them one chilling day in the 1980s when one girl was shot and one was left behind…
An exceptional look at the meaning and power of family to influence, to support and even to destroy, The Good Daughter is a nail-biting thriller which pivots on the notion of secrets and truths and what happens when these become blurred and ultimately revealed.
With perhaps one of the most affecting crimes ever at its heart The Good Daughter explores the human ability to see things from a certain perspective and to build a version of ourselves that we think is true even if one small detail in the history of us can change everything for ever.
One of the most innovative elements of the narrative structure was for me, the inclusion of the distinctive ‘What really happened to Sam’ and ‘What really happened to Charlie’ additions in the progress of the plot and in their inclusion a most terrible truth is revealed, one that both women have been avoiding – until they are both drawn back together by a new tragedy and new violence in Pikeville which might have more to do with them than they thought. An exceptional novel with a chilling twist and fantastically realised reveal, Slaughter leaves readers with one question, who exactly is The Good Daughter?
The Good Daughter is out now, published by HarperCollins.