Pieces of Her: A Novel: 18 Hardcover – 21 August 2018
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- Hardcover : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062430270
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062430274
- Dimensions : 4.06 x 15.49 x 22.1 cm
- Publisher : HarperCollins (21 August 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 180,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"Karin Slaughter has - by far - the best name of all of us mystery novelists. More to the point, The Good Daughter is Karin Slaughter's most ambitious, most emotional, and best novel. So far, anyway." --James Patterson on The Good Daughter
"[Slaughter's] talent for writing convincingly flawed yet sympathetic characters is in high relief here... Readers will find themselves totally immersed in the suspenseful, alternating story lines and won't want either of them to end."
--Booklist (starred review) on Pieces of Her
"All of Slaughter's books... are satisfyingly surprising and plausible, but it's Slaughter's prodigious gifts of characterization that make her stand out among thriller writers.... Slaughter's satirical touches are as deft as her grimmer renditions of real life."--Washington Post
"With an intrigue and suspense-filled plot, Slaughter's well-crafted, tense, and exhilarating story will keep readers on the edge of their seats."--Library Journal on Pieces of Her
"Breathtaking.... Fiction doesn't get any better than this."--Jeffery Deaver, New York Times-bestselling author of Solitude Creek and The Skin Collector
"Enter the world of Karin Slaughter. Just be forewarned, there's no going back."--Lisa Gardner
"A propulsive, high-stakes thriller rife with intrigue and suspense."--USA Today on Pieces of Her
"It's a compelling story that swept me along, unable to resist and unable to stop reading."--Suspense Magazine on Pieces of Her
"The ever-popular crime novelist is back with another pulse-pounding standalone, this one considering the twisted relationship between a mother and a daughter after the latter realizes she may not know the woman who gave birth to her at all."--Entertainment Weekly on Pieces of Her, "20 New Books to Read in August"
From the Back Cover
What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all?
Andrea Oliver knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows Laura has spent nearly her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle, Georgia; she knows Laura's never wanted anything more than to lead a quiet, normal life in this conventional community; she knows Laura's a kind and beloved speech pathologist who helps others; she knows Laura's never kept a secret in her life. Andrea knows that Laura is everything she isn't--confident, settled, sure of herself. Feeling listless, with no direction, Andrea, unlike Laura, struggles to find her way.
But Andrea's certainty is upended when a visit to the mall is shattered by an act of horrifying violence that reveals a completely different side of Laura--a cool woman who calmly faces down a murderer. It turns out that before Andrea's mother was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she's been hiding from the woman she once was, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she's been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.
The assailant was a mentally troubled teenage scion of Georgia law enforcement royalty, and now the police want answers about what really happened in those terrifying moments at the mall. Though she's being scrutinized at every level of the criminal justice system and her innocence is on the line, Laura refuses to speak to anyone, including her own daughter. She pushes Andrea away, insisting it's time for her to stand alone and make a life for herself.
To save her mother, Andrea embarks on a desperate journey following the bread crumb trail of her mother's past. Andrea knows that if she can't uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for her mother . . . or her.
Filled with intriguing turns, surprising revelations, and a compelling cast of characters, Pieces of Her is Slaughter's most electrifying, provocative, and suspenseful novel yet.
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Andy is a girl lost whose mother is not what she seems. Her mother is caught up in a shooting at the local mall which causes her exposure and subsequent danger. She sends her daughter off to who knows where and along the way her mother is revealed.
The story shuffles between present day and the eighties where her mother was part of an underground group bent on using violence to bring about change.
There are parts of the book where Karin lays out various philosophies for the group. These drag a bit but provide the background. The ending borders on trite and it depends your point of view whether it is satisfactory. This is a harsh story dealing with damaged people but it is also a pretty active thriller with lots of twists.
Protagonist Andy is a 31 year old loser, living in her mother’s garage. Her mother Laura on the other hand is a super hero type. While recovering from cancer, Laura takes out a spree killer to protect her child. With her bare hands. The killing starts a sequence of events that sends Andy into hiding. Following super mum’s instructions, Andy flees across the country, using a false identity and a stash of mum-supplied cash. As she fumbles along, stuffing things up along the way, Andy wonders who is her mother really?
I’m not sure if the author ever answers this question. Is Laura an abused mother desperate to protect her young? Or a criminal mastermind who has escaped justice? The end is not a cliffhanger but it doesn’t supply all the answers either. The biggest strength is the characters. The contrast between Andy and her mother is harsh at first, then Andy begins to evolve and find herself. Laura evolves too as her secrets are exposed. Best of all is a bad guy who is arrogant and charismatic. He has the same qualities as a top CEO in this realistic depiction of how evil happens.
Oddly there is not much heart. While you feel for Andy and Laura, none of the characters are deeply likeable. But it’s a fascinating read all the same.
This book jumps right into action: Andrea is having lunch with her mother Laura, discussing her life choices, she is 31 years old, still lives with mum, doesn't have much of a career or a personal life) when chaos erupts and her life is forever changed. The first third of the book is very tense, Andrea finds herself on the run and trying to figure out who her mother really is.
Then the time flips to 1986 and Laura's life takes shape. I admit that it really stalled the momentum at first when it went back in time, but eventually those chapters were just as tense as the present day ones. The chapters alternated between 1986 and present day. Laura's life is explained as Andrea discovers more of it on her own.
I wanted to finish this book to find out who and what was really going on and then when I finished it, I wanted to read more. It is a little gruesome in places, but I didn't want it to end. It is a great story of love and hate and secrets. While the characters are not super likeable the story is suspenseful and it proves that no secret ever really remains a secret forever, no matter how hard we try to run from the truth...