Format: Hardcover, 528 pages
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Mystery & Detective
Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville's notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie 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 — Charlie 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. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever…
“Sometimes, your world turns upside down, and you need somebody to show you how to walk on your hands before you can find your feet again.”
Karin Slaughter's The Good Daughter is the story about two different sisters, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn, who survived the unthinkable. 28 years ago, Charlie (13) and Samantha (15) barely survived a horrific night that left their mother dead by two men with a grudge against their father, defense lawyer Rusty Quinn. The date, 03/16/1989, will forever live in infamy for the girls and their father who lost his soul mate. If you've read Last Breath, the prequel to this story, then you've already been introduced to Charlotte. Charlie's life is so much more twisted than when we left her 13 years ago.
But, let's put Charlie aside for a moment. Let's instead talk about her older sister Samantha Quinn. Sam gets half of the storyline in this book which is a good thing. For the first time in 28 years, Sam returns to Pikeville, Georgia to assist her father Rusty with a case that has already received national attention. A case where a young woman is accused of a school shooting that left several people dead. A case that is so twisted, and so bizarre, that you have to read to the last chapter to find out what really happened and why. A case Rusty agrees to handle because he can't truly trust the insufferable asshole they have for a District Attorney to have the girls best interest at heart.
Sam's life is one that would have anyone standing up and clapping for how she ended up battling for her life after the event of 03/16/1989. From nearly dying at the hands of two men, to learning everything all over again, to becoming one of the best lawyers in her field despite all her challenges. Sam's life is 180 degrees opposite of Charlie's. She's brilliant, she's intelligent, she's made a name for herself that has led her to the brink of partnership, and she is now calling NYC home. But, after Sam is called home by Charlie's estranged husband Ben, Sam has to address her past, and her relationship with her father, and her sister. A sister whose life has really sunk to new levels.
Charlie isn't the same character we were previously introduced to. Her life is slowly unspooling out of control which leads her to making bad choices. She's estranged from Ben who is still an Assistant DA. She's still a defense lawyer, but events that happened 28 years ago are really starting to creep into her life. Especially when she becomes part of a story that ends up bringing back memories of the night her life almost ended. But, before we crucify Charlie at the stake for her mistakes, let's allow the author to enlighten us about what really caused Charlie's consternation. Let's allow Charlie to be a broken human being whose family drama isn't something any of us can really understand unless we've walked a mile in her shoes.
What's interesting about this story, is that the author uses the past as a pretty decent filler to explain what really happened to both sisters on the night of March 16, 1989. In fact, we are given the 411 right out of the gate which doesn't give readers much time to take a breath. Charlie's story is probably the darkest of the two sisters because so much has happened to her because of that night and what happened personally to her. I can only describe what Charlie and Sam went through as absolutely horrific. There is so much evil in this world, and especially in this country right now, that we need to stop ignoring it, and bring it into the light. There are scenes that may be a bit too upsetting to those who are triggered by rape, or abuse. Slaughter is an author who doesn't hold back. She's capable of killing of main characters, just as she is capable of writing the darkest, more disturbing scenes imaginable. That, my friends, is what makes Karin Slaughter one of the top mystery and detective writers today.