“Protecting someone always comes at a cost.”
Last Breath by Karin Slaughter is a short story which serves as a prequel to her 2017 standalone, The Good Daughter. Looking at one of Charlie Quinn’s earliest cases as a lawyer, we see the early days of Charlie’s career after making it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past and is powerless to say no. But honour-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: How far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?
When I read The Good Daughter a few years ago, I came away from the story wanting to hear more about Slaughter’s fantastic characters, so it’s great to get to see a short story led by Charlie Quinn. And although I read The Good Daughter over two years ago now, I could remember her personality, her background, and her location even before I opened the first page. That’s just how good a writer Karin Slaughter is.
Because it’s only a short story, I don’t know if readers would enjoy this not knowing who Charlie Quinn is, as The Good Daughter goes into great detail about her past which there isn’t enough time to cover properly here. But it is a tense and exciting – even if concise thriller – that gives an appealing teaser into Slaughter’s writing and storytelling, so I’d recommend it to anybody that wants to get into her books because I’m sure you’ll be wanting to read more after this.