Unflinching, complex and visceral, The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter is character-driven story that focuses on the involvement of the main characters in two separate crimes. The first crime is one that took place in the past, though it’s definitely still strongly felt. Two males had entered the new home of a family who just lost theirs in a fire, murdered the mother and nearly did the same to her two daughters, Charlie and Sam. These girls grow up to become lawyers and due to circumstances, find themselves trying to help another girl involved in the second crime: a school shooting.
This book isn’t what I had expected it to be, but it’s great—a little long but well-written and with an emotional depth that made it incredibly human. I find it refreshing that the focus was placed more on Charlie and Sam than the actual crimes, though this did make a few parts feel like information dumps. Nevertheless, I could properly understand and feel for the characters which I really appreciate despite how annoying some of them can be. The characters are developed brilliantly, that’s for sure.
Moreover, because of the aforementioned focus on the sisters, the way secrets are unraveled is clever, but admittedly, some events can get too repetitive and thus, feel redundant. The revelation of how involved Mason actually is felt like a too try hard attempt in including a surprising twist. Sure, it makes sense, but it also felt a little out of the blue and forced, in my opinion. The involvement of Mrs. Pinkman, though? That was surprising and felt so natural. I didn’t see it coming at all.
I like the ending of the book and how it reiterates the fact that the story is more than just the crime, twists, whodunnit and all. Everything considered, I would recommend The Good Daughter to those who love details, character-driven stories and are not triggered by graphic descriptions of violence, gore and rape. The author doesn’t gloss over things, which I’m fine with, but may not be everyone’s cup of tea.