THE GOOD DAUGHTER by Karin Slaughter
Release Date: 8 August 2017
My Rating: 4.5/5
Rusty Quinn works as a defense lawyer for the scum of the earth. His sleepy Georgia town is ungrateful for the work he does to ensure that even the most depraved criminals receive the best representation at trial. After Rusty defends the wrong criminal he puts his daughters’ lives at risk and the unthinkable occurs. Now, nearly 30 years from that night of horror, another terrible crime, a school shooting, is committed. At first the crimes seem unrelated, but as each increasingly troublesome detail emerges the Quinn family is dragged back to the night that changed everything.
It is hard to be impartial here–Karin Slaughter is my favorite mystery/thriller writer. The characters, as expected, are complex and flawed, but entirely sympathetic. The mystery, while suspenseful and engaging, takes a backseat to the relationships and character development. With Slaughter we are typically gifted a tale that is closer to a police procedural. This novel is a departure from her previous work. As a standalone, between two excellent series’ that both feature cops as leading narrators, this novel held its own. Slaughter’s strength as a mystery writer lies in her ability to make the crime the most important, all-consuming thing in her characters’ lives. Here the mystery fell away and, while an excellent novel, the thrilling aspects suffered. If you’re looking for a mindless summer ride, this is not your book. It isn’t meant to be–released in deep summer this isn’t a “buy it and toss it” beach book. With themes of forgiveness, changeability, family, and abuse this tale is a slow burn. Worth it.