Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

Release date: August 8, 2017

Publisher: William Morrow

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


The stunning new novel from the international #1 bestselling author — a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.

Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website

I’m going to structure this review a little differently than normal, I feel like I need to do something a bit special to highlight one of my all time favorite authors and show why Karin Slaughter is one of the best crime fiction writers out there. Besides, her books are always really difficult for me to review in terms of the plot as she’s the master of the gut punching twist, so instead I’ll be trying to convince you why you’re missing out if you’re a thriller reader and you haven’t read her before.

She’s bold, unflinching and refuses to be ignored.

Some readers may not be able to stomach such a dark, gritty writing style full of vivid imagery and descriptions, but if you can handle it, there is no better writer. Her prose is sharp and considered, yes it can be brutally graphic and harrowing and Slaughter doesn’t shy away from disturbing subject matter and horrifying crimes against women and children, (think rape, abuse, etc) BUT it serves a purpose. It’s not gratuitous, it’s part of the plot for a reason and is never meant to glamorize victims. 

Her characterization is unparalleled. 

Slaughter has the uncanny ability to craft characters that are extremely complex and beyond fascinating. The Quinn family is no exception and there was much to explore here. Sam and Charlie are sisters so of course they have a complicated relationship, but they also experienced a God awful tragedy when they were just teenagers that has completely shattered their relationship. Their father Rusty is another highly tricky character and the sisters relationship with him was an additional layer to this already multilayered work. I was very invested in the Quinn family and they stirred my emotions in unexpected ways. 

Her plotting is the type that I just know makes other writers jealous.

Brilliant is not a word I use lightly, but there is no more apt description here. The plot of this book was so intricate that I’m scared to even really discuss it here! I was totally hooked by the time I finished the first page and that never changed for an instant throughout the 500 odd pages of this book. Slaughter is a very detailed writer, but she only reveals what is necessary when she is ready and not a moment sooner. Just when things start to come together and you feel like you have another piece of the puzzle, a twist will be delivered that shakes things up again. 

She creates settings that are unmatched. 

The Good Daughter is set in Pikeville, Georgia and has that small town, backwoods feel. The residents are judgmental, unaccepting fools for the most part, but they are real. There is something so immersive about the way she crafts a setting even though Pikeville is a stifling, claustrophobic place. I could feel the hostility, the tension in the air and envision every single scene she laid out. 

There’s an emotional component to her work.

I don’t know about you, but when I pick up a thriller, the last thing I’m expecting is to have an emotional, visceral response to the book. Not only does she create characters that you’ll be totally invested in, they’ll evoke emotions in you that will catch you off guard. Every time I finish one of her novels I have the same initial thought; she shattered my heart then slowly pieced it back together again. 

I want to close by pointing out that I was pleasantly surprised by how diverse this book was. Not that Slaughter’s other books haven’t been diverse, it was just unexpected and appreciated. I really hope I’ve piqued your interest about The Good Daughter, I feel like this is Slaughter at her best, she can really do no wrong in my eyes. 

Overall rating: 5/5 (Can I give it a 10/5?!)

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

26 thoughts on “Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

  1. angiedokos says:

    I get to meet her on Aug. 19th! I’m so excited!!! I so badly wish my mom could come with me. She is my mom’s most favorite author and has been for years. My mom has read ALL of her books. Wish I could say the same. I’ve loved everyone of them I’ve read, but I still have a few to go before I can say all of them. Love your review, as always! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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