Book Review: Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Pieces of Her  by Karin Slaughter Genre:  Suspense, Thriller Synopsis:   Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows sh...

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Genre: Suspense, Thriller

Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again. The police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . .

Content/Trigger Warnings: Sexual assault, Classism, Misogyny, Violence

Overall rating:  ★★★☆☆

I tend to really love Karin Slaughter - there’s this connection I feel to her since she’s also an Atlanta native. Her novels are intense and gore-y and often hard to stomach, but they’re creative and thrilling and twisty. But Pieces of Her? It was… weird.

The book started out really incredible. I was immediately drawn in. I had to know what the hell was going on, and what was going to happen next. I was excited when Carrollton was talked about in more than just passing - it’s where I grew up for most of my life. But then I got really aggravated once the story got to Carrollton. I get it, authors have creative discretion, but the town was basically referred to as being podunk, and nothing was even close to being accurate. Seriously, Carrollton is an hour west of Atlanta. Slaughter could’ve easily checked out to the town she was writing about. It bothered me an unreasonable amount. Things really went south from there.

"Men never have to be uncomfortable around women. Women have to be uncomfortable around men all of the time."

The way the story progressed was really ridiculous. Andy irritated me beyond belief, and her mother Laura’s story just seemed so unrealistic. (And don’t even get me started on the horrible Netflix adaptation… omg.)

The book is set in both the 80s and current-day, and I did tend to enjoy the 80s setting a bit more, but that mostly because I liked young Laura much more than I liked Andie (though neither were particularly great). This whole story is dark and all the characters are certainly in need of some serious love and support, but this book lacked the grittyness that is typical of a Karin Slaughter novel. In fact, this entire book didn’t feel quite like a Slaughter book at all.

There’s a lot to unpack in this novel, and while it was a bit twisty, and had some good meat to it, overall it was frustrating. I didn’t become incredibly invested, and I have no intention of continuing the new Andrea Oliver series. If you’re a fan of Karin Slaughter but haven’t read this one yet, or if you’re looking to try Slaughter out for the first time, I’d recommend skipping this one and checking out another series in her repertoire.

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