Audio Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

Title: The Good Daughter
Author: Karin Slaughter @SlaughterKarin
Narrator: Kathleen Early
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Length: 17 hours and 52 mins, 528 pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars


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.

Grace Review

Story: 4.5 stars
A dark and gritty thriller centering on two horrific crimes and how each impact’s the main characters.

I’m going to say this straight out, if you aren’t familiar with this author and her diabolical mind, I can tell you that this is probably the most intense book I’ve read so far from her. This book explores so many sensitive subjects. If this was an Indie book, it would likely have trigger warnings all over it. But since it is traditionally published, I will just say:

What I can’t tell you is what those triggers may be, as they would be HUGE spoilers. Given my high rating, obviously I loved it, but I’m not normal. Just trust me that even my dark soul was saying, “OMG” throughout.

Ok, now that’s out of the way, let me give you my thoughts on the plot.

This story is told from two POVs, Charlotte “Charlie” and Samantha “Sam” Quinn. And we are immediately thrown into the nightmare they both face one-night due to their father’s criminal clients seeking revenge. Aside from the initial perspective we are given from Samantha, the author repeats parts of the story throughout from Charlie’s POV, but adding new details, making all the more horrific.

Fast forward to the present, when once again, Charlie is witness/involved in another tragedy. It’s bad enough what occurs during this highly emotional incident, but the author throws more at the reader to digest.
Police brutality.
Improper confessions.
The emotional and physical state of the main suspect.
And then the whopper, how other witnesses tie back to Charlie.

If anyone passed me while driving and listening to this audio book, they would have likely seen me with a huge O face at one time or another. Or clutching my heart. There are so many moments in those scenes that were like a karate kick to my heart. And after that kick, was the immense sadness of digesting what happened.

Although this book is layered with tragedy fueled by revenge, the heart of the story is the impact of those tragedies on Charlie and Sam, in particular, but also from their Dad, Rusty and other folks in the town. There is a lot of in-depth character exploration in this story. The dynamics between the two sisters were interesting because it took so long for them to break down the barriers that separated them for years. At times I wanted to strangle Charlie for her stubbornness, but as we eventually come to learn, she has been hiding so much pain for so long, she doesn’t seem to know how to handle herself when it all comes to light.

Both sisters are strong in their own ways and given what they have both experienced, it is amazing how resilient they actually are. They also exhibit a great deal of intelligence, as they both realize that what happened with Kelly is not exactly as it seems. Due to their persistence, the truth eventually comes to light. And that revelation had not one, not two, but three OMG moments. Never saw it coming! Just floored!

Performance: 4.5 stars
This was another well delivered performance. The narrator created distinct voices for each character, which I can appreciate, making it easier to follow along. On top of that, she deftly handled the weight of the story, communicating the level of emotion each character was feeling.

One example of her skills was when Sam was having issues as her body was shutting down. The slowed speech, stumbling words, were masterfully delivered, making it feel like a true performance.

Overall: 4.5 stars
If you are looking for an intense thriller that explores highly sensitive crimes, this book will be right up your alley.

– Grace

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