Pretty Girls; Karin Slaughter
Blackstone Audio - 2015
Kathleen Early - Narrator
Pretty Girls is a gritty, disturbing, psychological thriller. The Carroll family has never been the same since the disappearance of daughter and sister Julia from her college dorm some 24 years earlier.
After Julia's disappearance the two remaining sisters, Claire and Lydia haven't spoken in years and their lives couldn't be more different. Lydia is a single mom and recovering substance abuser with an ex-con boyfriend. Claire married a wealthy architect but, the effects of Julia's disappearance has affected her as well. She's spent time on house arrest and just when her monitoring device is removed, her husband is killed right before her very eyes.
As police begin to ask questions it appears that Claire did not know her husband all that well. And, what exactly happened to Julia when she went missing? Lydia and Claire reconnect to do a bit of their own investigation.
I haven't read this author in several years and always enjoyed her psych thrillers previously but, wow, has her writing become disturbing. It's overridden with violence and brutality against women and, was very tough to listen to. I had to fast forward over some of that violence. Definitely not recommended for the faint of heart.
The Girls She Left Behind; Sarah Graves
Dreamscape Media - 2016
Kirsten Potter - Narrator
A few months ago I listened to the first book of a new series by Sarah Graves. The book was Winter at the Door, with protagonist, Lizzie Snow. In that story Lizzie had just relocated to rural Bearkill, Maine to accept a job as Sheriff's Deputy. Previously, Lizzie had been a homicide detective in Boston but, relocated hoping to follow a lead concerning her missing niece Nicki.
Now in this second mystery, while fierce wildfires threaten homes nearby and a young girl named Tara goes missing, Lizzie has her work cut out for her, meanwhile her missing niece Nicki is always on her mind. The latest missing girl, Tara, has run away before but her mother is sure this time is different. Meanwhile, a psychopath named Henry Gemmeil has escaped and in the past he has kidnapped women and kept them hidden.
Although this story is the second book of a series, there is plenty of background information provided so that you need not feel compelled to read book one before trying this one. Overall, I enjoyed listening to this mystery. It's a bit darker than book one but, not overly so. Lizzy is a decent protagonist but she can be a bit of a flake when it comes to romantic interests. I loved the cold, dark, rural Maine setting of both of these books which makes the mystery aspects more atmospheric. Kirsten Potter is a great audio book narrator as well.