Book Review: Pieces Of Her by Karin Slaughter

“She had dozens, even hundreds, of friends, but not one single person knew all of the pieces of her.”

The 2019 book from Karin Slaughter, Pieces Of Her follows Laura Oliver, the perfect small-town mum. Her daughter, Andrea, has grown up believing that she is the pillar of the community: a speech therapist, business owner and everybody’s friend. And she’s never kept a secret from anyone. But when Laura and Andrea are caught in a random violent attack at a shopping mall, Laura intervenes and acts in a way that is unrecognisable to her daughter. It’s like Laura is a completely different person – and that’s because, thirty years ago, she was. As elements of the past return and put them both in danger, Andrea is left to piece together Laura’s former identity and discover the truth – for better or worse – about her mother. Is the gentle, loving woman who raised her also a violent killer?

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Book Review: Indelible (Grant County #4) by Karin Slaughter

“There were good guys and bad guys, and to protect one, you did what you had to do to the other.”

The fourth book in Karin Slaughter‘s Grant County series and originally published in 2005, Indelible follows medical examiner Sara Linton and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver who take a trip away from the small town of Heartsdale. It should be a straightforward weekend at the beach, but they decide to take a detour via Jeffrey’s hometown and things go violently wrong when Jeffrey’s best friend Robert shoots dead an intruder who breaks into his home.

Twelve years later, Sara and Jeffrey are caught up in a shockingly brutal attack that threatens to destroy both their lives. But they’re not random victims. They’ve been targeted. And it seems the past is catching up with both of them.

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Book Review: Cleaning The Gold by Lee Child and Karin Slaughter

“Twice the action. Twice the drama. Double the trouble.”

Co-written by Lee Child and Karin Slaughter, Cleaning The Gold sees the eponymous characters of Jack Reacher and Will Trent meet for the very first at the heart of America’s military, Fort Knox. Will Trent is undercover. His assignment is to investigate a twenty-two-year-old murder. His suspect’s name? Jack Reacher. Jack Reacher is on his own mission: to bring down a dangerous criminal ring operating at the heart of America’s military. Except now, there’s a bigger conspiracy at play – one that neither the special agent nor the ex-military cop could have anticipated. And the only option is for Jack Reacher and Will Trent to team up and play nicely. If they can…

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Book Review: False Witness by Karin Slaughter

“You thought no one saw you. You were wrong.”

Set to be released on 24th June, False Witness by Karin Slaughter follows defence attorney Leigh Collier who has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She has a good job, a daughter doing well in school, and even her divorce is relatively civilised – her life is just as unremarkable as she’d always hoped it would be. But Leigh’s ordinary life masks a childhood that was far from average; a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, and finally torn apart by a devastating act of violence.

Then, a case lands on her desk – defending a wealthy man accused of rape. It’s the highest-profile case she’s ever been given – a case that could transform her career–if she wins. But when she meets the accused, she realises that it’s no coincidence that he’s chosen her as his attorney. She knows him. And he knows her. More to the point, he knows what happened twenty years ago. And unless they stop him, he’s going to tear their lives apart.

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Book Review: A Faint Cold Fear (Grant County #3) by Karin Slaughter

“An autopsy was an act of violence itself, the ultimate invasion. Everybody tells a story. A person’s life and death can be exposed in all their glory and shame simply by looking beneath the skin.”

A Faint Cold Fear is the third book in Karin Slaughter‘s Grant County series that sees medical examiner Sara Linton investigate a suicide at the local college campus. But while it looks straightforward, it just doesn’t add up to Sara. When two more suspicious deaths follow and a young woman is brutally attacked, it becomes clear that she’s looking for a murderer. The college authorities are reluctant to cooperate and Sara isn’t any closer to finding the answers she needs. With the violence triggering memories of a past she’d rather forget and the clues pointing ever closer to home, can she uncover the truth in time to save the next victim?

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My 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

Over the past couple of years, I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd. As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge every year.

I initially set my target as 25 books this year, but a few things happened that meant I reached this goal quite early on. Firstly, I had a baby, so this meant that I was awake at silly hours with plenty of time to read. Then, there was lockdown. Because of lockdown, I decided to join Bookstagram and NetGalley and get more serious about reviewing books. So now, instead of reading two books at most a month, I’ve been reading up to ten.

I upped my goal to 60 around halfway through the year, and still managed to pass that by reaching 74 books. This year has really rekindled my love of books, and I can’t wait to start 2021 with this new passion.

Here’s how my 2020 challenge went:

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Book Review: Kisscut (Grant County #2) by Karin Slaughter

“As if they could understand what she had been through. As if they knew what it was like to be strong and invincible one day and completely powerless the next.”

The second book in the Grant County series by Karin Slaughter and originally published in 2002, Kisscut sees Sara Linton – the town’s paediatrician and medical examiner – find herself entangled in a terrible tragedy when a teenage quarrel explodes into a deadly shoot-out. What seemed at first to be a horrific but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications when the autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse. But when Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, they are frustrated at every turn. Meanwhile, detective Lena Adams, still recovering from her sister’s death and her own brutal attack, finds herself drawn to a young man who might hold the answers. But unless Lena, Sara, and Jeffrey can solve this case, it’s going to happen again.

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Book Review: Blindsighted (Grant County #1) by Karin Slaughter

“Sara’s hand shook as she pressed her fingers against Sibyl’s carotid artery. A fluttering rose against her fingertips, but Sara wasn’t sure if it was the tremor in her own hands or life that she was feeling. Sara closed her eyes, concentrating, trying to separate the two sensations.”

The 2001 book by Karin Slaughter and the first in her Grant County series, Blindsighted is set in a small Georgia town which erupts in panic when a young college professor is found brutally mutilated in the local diner. But it’s only when town paediatrician and coroner Sara Linton does the autopsy that the full extent of the killer’s twisted work becomes clear. Sara’s ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, leads the investigation as a trail of terror grows increasingly macabre when another local woman is found crucified a few days later. But he’s got more than a sadistic serial killer on his hands, for the county’s sole female detective, Lena Adams (the first victim’s sister) wants to serve her own justice.

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My 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

Over the past couple of years, I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd. As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge every year.

After doubling my goal of 10 books last year (since I went on honeymoon and managed to read a book a day!), I thought I would keep my goal to 20 books this year. However, just missed out on this target, but I was ever so close to making it.

Here’s how my 2019 challenge went, with a short review and rating for each of the books that I read:

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Book Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

“What a rapist takes from a woman is her future. The person she is going to become, who she is supposed to be, is gone. In many ways, it’s worse than murder, because he has killed that potential person, eradicated that potential life, yet she still lives and breathes, and has to figure out another way to thrive.”

Written by Karin Slaughter and published in 2017, The Good Daughter follows the story of two girls who are forced to watch their mother die before they are coerced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind. 28 years later, Charlotte 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, Charlotte 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.

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Book Review: Broken (Will Trent #4) by Karin Slaughter

“Never underestimate the power of a shared history.”

The seventh book in the Grant County series and fourth book in the Will Trent series by author Karin Slaughter, Broken, which was originally released in 2010, follows the investigations of detective Lena Adams and her often drunk boss, interim Chief of Police Frank Wallace, after the body of a female student is discovered deep beneath the icy waters of Lake Grant. With a note left under a rock beside her body, the evidence initially points to suicide. But within minutes, it becomes clear that this was a brutal, cold-blooded murder.

When the prime suspect, Tommy Braham, commits suicide in his jail cell, Dr Sara Linton, back in town for Thanksgiving with her family, is put on the case. Still incredibly angry with Lena over her role in Sara’s husband’s death and convinced that Lena’s callous and reckless behaviour has led to the possibly innocent suspect’s death, Sara calls in back-up from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and is introduced to Agent Will Trent. Despite the roadblocks, he unveils serious errors and deliberate cover-ups in the investigation that definitively points to a murderer still on the loose.

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My 2018 Reading Wrap-Up

Over the past couple of years, I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd. As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge every year.

After reading only 6 books last year, I kept my target low this year and set myself the goal of 10 books. However, I somehow managed to read 20 books this year, mostly due to reading a book a day on my honeymoon.

Here’s how my 2018 challenge went, with a short review and rating for each of the books that I read:

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Book Review: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

“No matter what happened to you, no matter what horrors you endured when you were taken away, you will always be my pretty little girl.”

From the author of the Will Trent series, Karin Slaughter, Pretty Girls is a 2015 thriller that follows two sisters, Claire and Lydia, who haven’t spoken in years. Claire is a glamorous trophy wife and Lydia is a single mother who struggles to make ends meet. When a pretty, young girl goes missing in their hometown, Claire and Lydia are reminded of their sister, Julia, who vanished without a trace when she was a teenager more than 20 years ago. Now, the two are brought back together when Claire’s husband is murdered, something that Lydia couldn’t be more happy about. But what could connect the disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man almost a quarter-century apart? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago.

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Book Review: Unseen (Will Trent #7) by Karin Slaughter

“If only Lena hadn’t found it. If only she could take a razor and slice the images out of her brain. They haunted her. They flickered into her vision like an old movie every time she blinked. They filled her with a constant, unrelenting sorrow.”

The seventh instalment in Karin Slaughter‘s Will Trent series of detective thrillers, 2013’s Unseen sees Special Agent Will Trent return with a secret, something he doesn’t want the woman he loves, Dr Sara Linton, to find out. He’s gone undercover in Macon, Georgia, and has put his life at risk to solve a case involving someone close to Sara – her stepson, Jared, who has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife and also a detective, responsible, so Will knows that she will never forgive him if she finds out the truth. As Will tries to solve his case, Sara is forced to confront her past and, without even knowing it, they become involved in the same crime. Soon, both of their lives are in danger.

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