Monday, August 22, 2022

Girl, Forgotten

Girl, Forgotten by Karin Slaughter
8/23/22; 400 pages
Andrea Oliver series #2

Girl, Forgotten by Karin Slaughter is a very highly recommended, exceptional procedural and thriller. THIS is how it's done! Girl, Forgotten may be a sequel to Pieces of Her, but it will certainly work as a stand-alone as the back story is provided. Truly an un-put-down-able novel and one of the best of the year. Slaughter remains at the top of the list for excellent, dependable and reliable go-to authors.

Andrea Oliver is now a US Marshall. She has been assigned a position to join Marshall Leonard (Catfish) Bible in Longbill Beach, Delaware, to protect federal judge Esther Vaughn who has received a series of threatening letters. Since this is also the hometown of Andrea’s psychopathic father, Clayton Morrow who is now up for parole, what she is also doing is looking into the 1982 story of the judge's daughter, 18-year-old Emily Vaughn and her clique of 'friends', Clay, Blake, Nardo and Ricky. Clayton has always been a suspect in the murder of Emily and if she can prove Clayton is guilty, Andrea can keep him in prison. But Marshall Bible has his own private agenda and is looking into a series of suicides that have occurred in the area.

The narrative moves seamlessly back and forth between the story of what happened to Emily in 1981-1982 and Andrea's present day assignment and complicated multifaceted investigation which include the death threats to the judge, a near-by cult, and what really happened to Emily in the 80's. The investigations are eventually linked and interrelated. This is a novel focused on uncovering and exposing the truth, but it is also about a mother's love for her child.

The writing is absolutely pitch-perfect and extraordinary. The plot is intricate and full of tension. The characters are portrayed as complex, multidimensional, flawed and realistic individuals. Bible adds some humor as well as keen insight in the investigations. The investigation is unpredictable and multi-layered. There is a sharp contrast between societal expectation and norms in 1981 versus 2022. Having lived as an adult in both decades, it rings true, although Slaughter's 1981 feels harsher than it was in reality.

Another excellent novel from Karin Slaughter! 
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.


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