A Book Spy Review: ‘Pieces of Her’ by Karin Slaughter

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Pieces of herAndrea “Andy” Oliver spends her 31st birthday with her mother, Laura, at a small diner in Belle Isle. In many ways, the day begins like so many before it, as Andy hangs with her mom, whom she’s very close with.

Then, in an instant, everything changes. 

During their meal, a gunman enters the Georgia-based Rise-n-Dine, opening fire and killing two people before turning his weapon on Andy and Laura. In an effort to protect her daughter, Laura, a prominent speech therapist and an important part of the budding community, puts herself between the shooter and Andy. While that maternal instinct may have been expected, what happened next was not. . . as Laura quickly turns the tables on the gunman, wiping the floor with him and ending the threat with an unusual level of lethal efficiency. 

Unfortunately, Laura’s heroic moment was captured on video by a fellow patron in the diner, and her actions quickly go viral, drawing unwanted attention. Meanwhile, Andy is left shaken from the event but also confused. Clearly, like everyone else who’s now witnessed the exchange, she knows that her mother is more than just a speech therapist, and begins going through her past, collecting pieces along the way to help her understand who Laura really is.

What she doesn’t know, however, is that Laura’s past–one that she worked so hard to leave behind and hide from–is now looking for her too, kicking off an adrenaline-pumping adventure with more than a few twists and turns along the way. 

After a slightly slower start, readers expecting Slaughter’s trademark nail-biting suspense and quick pacing are again treated to a fast-moving story with some serious misdirection sewn in. When you expect her to zig, Slaughter zags, always keeping readers on their toes and racing to keep up. For the most part, the characters are well developed, with part of the story being told in flashbacks from Laura’s POV set in the 1980s. Andy flourishes into a compelling lead eventually, but she’s not without flaws, some of which are intended by Slaughter, while others were not. Overall, the plot is solid, and Slaughter remains a talented writer, which she proves yet again with a noteworthy and satisfying ending. 

While readers will have to wait until 2019 for the next Will Trent and Sara Linton thriller, Karin Slaughter’s latest standalone, Pieces of Her, should help hold over diehard fans, satisfying them for another year. 

Book Details

Author: Karin Slaughter
Pages: 480 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0062430270
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 7.0/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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