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Publisher's Summary

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors. 

More than 20 years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss — a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed. 

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: What could connect them? 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...and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it. 

Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful novel from one of the finest writers working today. 

Included with this gripping thriller is Karin Slaughter's chilling short story "Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes." 

©2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.  (P)2015 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about Pretty Girls

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    12,993
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    5,175
  • 3 Stars
    1,735
  • 2 Stars
    700
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    1,113
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    281
  • 1 Stars
    273
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    11,522
  • 4 Stars
    4,588
  • 3 Stars
    1,697
  • 2 Stars
    701
  • 1 Stars
    797

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Definitely needed the trigger warning, but..

Pretty Girls kept popping up as a recommendation but I guess I kept skipping it because so many of the reviews mention disgusting scenes of violent rape. It doesn't take much for me to squirm and that is definitely not a topic that I can think of lightly.
Despite all that, the story itself sounded good to me and I felt like I hadn't heard a truly suspenseful thriller in a long time, so I decided to finally give it a shot.
First things first, the reviews are absolutely true. You're made to immediately like characters that find their way into a violent killing. Then further down the line it gets worse. If you plan on reading this book, do prepare yourself for some seriously, seriously messed up stuff. Ive never had to take so many breaks from a book.
The reason I didn't stop listening, though, is that he story felt like it had a lot of unfolding to do and I wanted to know where all this was going.
The gruesome details are really spread throughout the book, so there isn't any avoiding them, but the story has lots of twists and was incredibly suspenseful during multiple chapters. It really kept me on my toes.
All in all, I did enjoy the thrilling story, but I can't "unsee" the disturbing images painted in my head. That definitely doesn't sound like a recommendation does it?
Narrator was excellent

488 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too much

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, I don't recommend this book. Although well-written and absolutely gripping, the graphic descriptions (again and again) of over-the-top violence including rape and murder, was too much for me. At times I felt it was sensationalizing violence against women. It was very dark and took me to a sad and uncomfortable place. Now, I love Stephen King, the horror and crime genre, etc., and I don't have a weak stomach. But I couldn't even listen to the epilogue of this book. I couldn't hear another about another graphic rape and murder. Slaughter is an excellent writer. Unfortunately, I felt she could have limited the graphic violence. If she had, I would recommend this book. The previous reviewer was correct, this book should have a trigger warning.

275 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Gratuitously, violently graphic

I was excited to listened to this book based on the reviews. I really wish I hadn't. The story arc was good, the narrator was excellent and the pacing kept the story interesting. It had the potential to be an excellent novel but, it was so disturbingly violent it made me wonder if the author was herself psychotic. I have enjoyed hundreds of books within the genre but this is the first time I felt sickened by the overly graphic descriptions of the crimes against the young women in this book. They go beyond story development. It saddens me that a woman would put this kind of material out there giving more ideas to the worst predators of society. Don't waste your credit unless you enjoy the worst degradation, mutilation and abuse of women possible. It makes me sad that a female writer resorts to essentially snuff porn to sell some book. Horrific. There is nothing pretty about this book.

273 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

S'nuff for me


I'm trying to think of a clever little one-line cliché to lay down here and move on because having to re-call what I just read, bringing it up to conscious level, makes me want to toss my breakfast. I enjoy a thriller now and then; one that gets your adrenalin pumping and the little hairs on your neck prickling -- because all serious literature and no play makes Mel a dull girl. I start playing just classical music, listening to opera, reading poetry in an affected tone, putting on pearls and shopping for Jimmy Choo loafers just to get groceries. I need junk-reads (as in junk-food, no offense intended) to get me out of the library with my snifter of brandy, and back in the bathroom with my Clorox Toilet Bowl Wand and Jack Purcell's.

Slaughter is not for the weak of stomach and faint of heart (or women living alone). If you are familiar with the prolific author, you know what to expect (and you are someone that probably cranks your neck into a ridiculous backwards angle for a peek when a cop waves you passed the skid marks and around the smoldering wreckage). We don't admit to those kinds of peccadilloes, but we have them, and keep them in check. I get the feeling that Slaughter is the kind of person without those peccadilloes, that she would pull over and take pictures for a macabre scrapbook. This is my third book by the author, I read two in the Will Trent series, and my breaking point because Pretty Girls raised the bile in my stomach instead of the hairs on the back of my neck.

Pretty Girls crosses so many lines! I understand fans of Slaughter's like this book, from the reviews, they are loving it, but unless you enjoy reading about violence against women so intense that you can't (or won't) even imagine it...just click off this choice. Go on--get out of here because this is some sick sh*t! But, if you are the kind that enjoys a good snuff film now and then, or just kind of wondered about the taboo, wanting to check it out for sh*ts and giggles -- knock yourself out. I am left wondering about the parameters of *Thrillers;* the psychology of it all. I just hope her next thriller isn't about child porn. Did I just hear the gasping in-take of air at the mention of that taboo; did I cross a line?! This book does not hint at the violence, it gives you the smell, the feel, the sounds, the taste, in graphic and excessive detail. It makes it all the worse that Slaughter has talent. Repulsive, gross, sick, twisted, wrong.

271 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I feel Manipulated and Tortured After Reading This

The first half of this book had me on the edge of my seat - it's truly a fast-paced thriller and I did not want to put it down. But about halfway through, the graphic violence and descriptions of young women being tortured and killed became really, really hard to take. Descriptions of women's bodies being mutilated, their screams as they are tortured…..This is what the story becomes. I found that I was feeling very angry at the author, and wondered what kind of person comes up with this sick level of violence? Slaughter draws you in, captures your interest, and then she tortures you.

229 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Over-The-Top Violence, Hard to Stomach

"Pretty Girls" has a story line that starts out interesting enough but it quickly moves into scene after scene of relentless and descript violent scenes. Geez. I read so many rave reviews about this novel but I just have to disagree. When an author has to resort to repeated scenes of rape and violence, I have to wonder what is the author trying to compensate for? Is this really what mainstream readers are looking for? The story did keep me guessing, i.e., in terms of a mystery, it did keep me wanting some answers but, overall, it was not worth it. I do not recommend.

228 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic listen. Ignore bad reviews!!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Once I started My To Do list got ditched and I could not stop listening.

Any additional comments?

I can not figure out why this book got so many bad reviews claiming it as too gory and the sexual violence was too much. The writer only included enough to make you realize how bad the perpetrator was. Without it you would never have known or gotten the full effect of the story. If you tend to be very sensitive to this subject matter, don't listen to this book. If you are not, you will probably love it!

212 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Dark

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. Once I start a book, it is difficult for me to put it down, unfinished. At the point where I started questioning whether this one was headed in a direction that I wanted to handle,it was too late. It evolved into a form of darkness with which I am uncomfortable and I considered as unnecessary and distracting. Going there, temporarily, can work; staying there and wallowing in it, did not work for me.

What could Karin Slaughter have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

She could have left off some of the more gruesome details; a little of that goes a very long way for me. Also, leaving the impression that one of the characters was considering "hooking up" with a man whom she had previously, intuitively, felt was creepy/ slimy was a little disturbing and magnified the almost total lack of empathy I had developed for her.

Do you think Pretty Girls needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, the main character was fully developed. I do not think the author can "unring" that bell.

Any additional comments?

At the beginning of the book, I sent my sister a text and highly recommended it; it did get off to a really great start. By the end of the book, I sent her another text and told her it had gone off the grid and to disregard my earlier recommendation.

180 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

This book needs a major trigger warning

I don't get all the rave reviews, but I'll admit that thrillers aren't really my genre of choice. Pretty much the whole book focuses on the graphic details around the horrific serial rape and murder of young girls. Maybe I should have done more research into the author/book but it wasn't obvious from the description). If the level of graphic depictions around that in game of thrones didn't bother you, I suppose this wouldn't either (but there aren't any interludes with political or comic intrigue to balance things out in this book). It's not really how I care to spend my free time. The suspense mechanisms and plot were not terribly innovative either. I did read all of it because I felt I'd be more disturbed imagining the ending than knowing it but then I tend to always finish books. The reader's performance was good.

149 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disgusting waste of credit

I finished this horrible recording to see if it somehow redeemed itself- but it did not. The story and characters are intriguing at first, but it drags on and on with minutia, corny similes and the most gruesome violence and sadistic torture, mutilation and rape. I was literally rolling my eyes and skipping chapters because it got so repulsive, the characters grew more and more ridiculously shallow/ like cartoon characters- the narrator has some interesting variations of different voices, but the writing is so awful, it's impossible to appreciate the narration. This novel was repeatedly popping up as recommended for me blah blah...and DID NOT indicate on the summary that it contained such graphic descriptions of women being tortured and raped. I am disappointed about that. I WILL NOT listen to anything else written by this psycho author.

146 people found this helpful