Book Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter


Book Title and Author: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Publication Date and Publisher: August 8, 2017 by William Morrow
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime Fiction
Pages:  528 pages
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Date Read: July 26, 2017

5 Stars



Goodreads Synopsis:

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

 My Review:

I could go on and on for hours, no days, about what a phenomenal crime fiction/thriller writer I think Karin Slaughter is but I won’t. There really is no need since all her books speak for themselves with their dark, dangerous, realistic, uncompromising, and visceral style of writing, and The Good Daughter is no exception. This is not your average, every day, unoriginal crime novel. Everything Slaughter writes is unique, absolutely audacious, and unequaled. Right from the very beginning, The Good Daughter enthralls its reader in every single sense of the word, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. In fact, I strongly believe this is her best piece of writing yet. In my humble opinion, Slaughter is easily the best crime fiction writer alive today. Certainly, it came as no surprise to me that I devoured her newest novel in a matter of hours and found this to be not only a 5 Star read but my favorite book of 2017 to date.

What I probably love most about Slaughter’s latest book, The Good Daughter, and all her books actually, is that she doesn’t only focus on the crimes that need solving but focuses heavily on her main characters. Oh yes, Slaughter’s books are so character driven that she weaves a tale about them that will draw you in and not let you go until each character is completely and utterly under your skin. You care for them. You mourn for and with them. You shatter in pieces when they do. You love them. And with gut-wrenching, shrewd, and finely-honed detail Slaughter once again creates that same emotional attachment for the reader to Charlotte and Samantha Quinn in this book. Oh, what stunning and flawless characterizations! It has been a very long time that I wept so much, felt such a wide range of emotions, or became so emotionally immersed in the welfare of any book characters, but I did here and days later I’m still reeling from all the emotions I shared not only with Charlie and Sam, but with Ben, Charlie’s husband, Rusty, their daddy and Gemma, their momma. When a novel touches your heart and emotions this tenderly, heartbreakingly, and this intensely, then you know you’ve truly found an extraordinary book with amazing, wondrous characters, especially a book from this genre!

While this might be a novel of two horrific crimes, one that occurred 28 years ago to the Quinn sisters, shattering their family in millions of pieces, and another that occurs in the present that Charlie witnesses, causing the past and all her childhood memories to flood back, this more than anything is a story about family. It is about two sisters struggling to overcome the violence of their past, both together and separately, a family fighting to surmount the evil and darkness that permeated their past—and filled it with secrets and lies, and a family learning to accept, forgive, and love another again. Yet, even though the novel is heavily invested in the characterizations of the Quinn’s, Slaughter never once lets you forget that this a crime fiction thriller, and it is at times brutal, very violent, graphic, and horrific. And with that said, I want to add a Trigger Warning for graphic violence, abuse, and rape for the book in case these are triggers for you. However, these sections can be quickly sped over if they are a problem without there being any loss of the book’s overall meaning. 

But, The Good Daughter is no different than any Slaughter books; she always has and does use violent and graphic imagery to excellent effect in her books, and I’m a reader that admittedly shies away from certain types of violence in crime and thriller novels. But never when Slaughter writes it because she always writes it with a specific point in mind and uses it brilliantly. The violence is not used as a filler like it is in many, many novels but Slaughter uses it to further her characterizations and so the reader can get a better understanding of who her characters are and what makes them think, react, act, love, hate, kill, die. Slaughter knows exactly what she is doing with the vicious, horrendous violence she layers throughout the story since that is how the reader learns exacting details about Sam, Charlie, Rusty, and the other perpetrator(s) of the crimes committed in both the present day of the novel and in their pasts.

And this is truly a story of layers—layers of crimes piled upon crimes, family dynamics, family scars, sisterly wars, sisterly love, spousal drama, love, hate, rage, and so much more. Reading each page was like a slow reveal of each layer she wanted you to know about next—and only the plot information she wanted you to know when she wanted you to know it. It was mesmerizing like a slow, sexy strip tease when it needed to be and then like flying 100 miles an hour down the highway in the dead of night at others. The plot twists were classic Slaughter, and they were as always adrenaline-charged and unforeseen. I know I didn’t tell many details about the plot, and I won’t because I believe doing so will ruin the full enthralling experience of this book. Trust me on this one. This is the kind of book where the reader needs to go into the book almost blind so the plot and those carefully placed layers can fully reveal themselves in a shocking, stunning, and no-holds barred way.

Riveting, raw, graphic, edgy, unexpected, tender, heartbreaking, real. I could list more adjectives to describe this novel, but I would rather you read it for yourself and discover why Slaughter is without question my favorite crime fiction author (maybe my favorite author!) and the best writers in her genre, hands down.

**Thank you, Edelweiss, William Morrow, and Karin Slaughter for an ARC of The Good Daughter to read in exchange for my honest and fair review. **


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30 thoughts on “Book Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

    1. You will love it! It was truly amazing. Just when I thought Karin Slaughter couldn’t get any better she blew me away! I’m so glad that I made you want to read it even more; thank you, hearing that means a lot when you spend so much time writing and then put so much of yourself in the review. I really hope you enjoy it and look forward to your thoughts on it 🙂


    1. Aww, thank you so much!! That really means so much to me since you know I have such a hard time getting the words that I want to say down on paper, and it is a struggle. It took me 6 hours to finally get this review to fall into place after writing and rewriting and editing and reediting. But I do have a lot to say, lol. I have a big mouth 🙂 I’m kidding…I know that’s not what you mean 🙂 I could probably write a 2000 word review on some books, and on this one I could have but had to reign myself in because I wanted readers going in blind about the main plot. It’s so integral to the story that I think it needs to shock them and the reader needs to discover everything for themself-some books are just like that ❤ But I like details and thoroughness, and I guess it shows, lol. I think it is part of what I do for a living coming out. I'm the lady who assigns 10 page essays for a living and thinks that's no biggie hahaha. Thank you for adding it! I think you will enjoy it and if you haven't read her other books, I highly recommend that you do!! ❤ ❤


    1. Kim, thank you so much! You’re words mean so much to me! There are so many authors and so many books I need to read, but yes, there are too many books that I just haven’t yet 😊 I always intend to but find more and more books, lol. Bookworm problems 📚❤ I really hope you enjoy this book…or any of her books! They are all excellent although I love her series the best ❤ Again, thank you so much for your words! You made my day 😁

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    1. I loved the characters! She writes the best characters!! ❤❤ They just come alive. I’ve got a crush on Will Trent thanks to her writing him the way she has,lol ❤❤ But I’m about to reread the novel just to see what it’s like the 2nd time around..if my heart can handle it. Rusty slayed me! Ugh! I’m telling everyone who hasn’t read Slaughter to read this book!!❤❤


      1. Omg, wasn’t he!! ❤❤❤He reminds me of an older, slightly jaded, warped, but wanting to stand up for all types of injustices just like Atticus Finch!! Atticus was the 1st person I thought of when introduced to Rusty, and I was floored! I looove Atticus so much. There were just a lot of similarities between the two men even if they were subtle. Maybe it’s the English Lit professor in me who is used to analyzing the nuances for character analyses that wanted to see it, lol. But boy, I felt like with that scene between Rusty and Sam at the hospital it could have been Atticus and Scout!! My heart was slayed, and I lost it. I’m still crying 10 days later thinking about the book, lol.


      2. Omg you’re so right! How he thought everyone deserved a chance, I have a weakness for that type of characters 😍 I have a crush on Ben though haha


      3. Me too! Just such a great character! Ben was! He reminded me of my husband so much I cracked up! 😂 They both have the Star Trek collectibles and are total sci-fi geeks, lol. I told my hubby but he wasn’t as amused as I was, lol. I have a total crush on Will Trent…I just want to hold him ❤❤


    1. Thanks, Beth! She is fantastic!! I could just reread her books and be happy they are so good…and I have!! I’ve got a crush on Will Trent thanks to her writing him the way she did! ❤❤ If you think Slaughter is awesome, you are going to love this book! I was blown away!! ❤😊

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