First The Good Girl, then Lost Girls, and now Pretty Girls. I’m starting to see a reoccurring pattern in the thrillers I read… This book has been on my TBR list for a bit now as a book to get into. Pretty Girls is the epitome of when it rains it pours. After the death of her husband Claire finds herself knee deep in the history of a man she thought she knew.
The Good Bits.
The beginning of this book is fantastic, I could not get enough of it. It starts with an unknown character writing to his missing child. The next chapter is from the perspective of a new character, Claire. She, for some unknown reason has just come off house arrest and is meeting her husband for drinks. In the chapter after that is a yet another character Lydia. She’s a mom watching her daughter play basketball and despises Paul (Claire’s husband). This entire first part had me flipping the pages as wildly as my Kindle would allow going “who is this?”, “what’s happening now?”, and “omg I love Lydia” and so on. Karin built tension almost effortlessly. Moreover she introduces a series of characters in a short period of time that are interesting and memorable.
Something shocking about this book for me, was the lack of censoring. The violence was so detailed, visceral, and raw that I often cringed reading it. Is this everyone’s jam? I know it’s not. But there’s something admirable about not glossing over the murder/crime in your story. That being said, a lot of the things in this book are pretty twisted, so if detailed descriptions of rape and torture are particularly upsetting to you, you may want to skip some bits.
Finally, the perfectionist in me loved that all the little bits and pieces fit together nice and neat in the end. There were no real loose ends, no follow up questions, nada.
The villain was too villainous. First he started off as just being creepy, which was scary, but believable. Then he’s involved in shadier stuff than expected, and he was even more scary. But there was a point where it was all too much. He’s handsome, intelligent, detailed, precise, ruthless, and one step ahead almost every step of the way. I think Karin tried to bring him down a peg by describing him as a geek, but then he never appeared geeky. He was the only character that was unbelievable and unrealistic.
Even though my perfectionist side was happy Karin tied everything up in the end. I still sat there uncomfortable with the ending. Everything came full circle which is nice for feeling complete. You get aa nice fuzzy feeling from it. But I still felt weird. Probably because all the family’s problems came back to a single villain, a super villain, and that feels like cheating somehow.
The Last Bite.
Pretty Girls is great at great at building tension, making you cringe, and/or tear up despite some aspects being a little too conveniently tied up in the end.
Can a villain be TOO evil? What do you guys think?
Let’s do lunch again next week!
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