In Karin Slaughter’s latest, a newly minted marshal on assignment can’t help being drawn into a gruesome cold case...
Good to know
Second in series
A small town hides a big secret . . .
Who killed Emily Vaughn?
Prom Night. Longbill Beach, 1982. Emily Vaughn dresses carefully for what’s supposed to be the highlight of any high school career. But Emily has a secret. And by the end of the night, because of that secret, she will be dead.
Nearly forty years later, Andrea Oliver, newly qualified as a U.S. Marshal, receives her first assignment: to go to Longbill Beach to protect a judge receiving death threats. But Andrea’s real focus isn’t the judge—it’s Emily Vaughn. Ever since she first heard Emily’s name a year ago, she’s been haunted by her brutal death. Nobody was ever convicted—her friends closed ranks, her family shut themselves off in their grief, the town moved on—so the killer is still out there. But now Andrea has a chance to find out what really happened . . .
APRIL 17, 1982
Emily Vaughn frowned at the mirror. The dress was as beautiful as it had been in the store. Her body was the problem. She turned, then turned again, trying to find an angle that didn’t make her look like she’d thrown herself onto the beach like a dying whale.
From the corner, Gram said, “Rose, you should stay away from the cookies.”
Emily took a moment to recalibrate. Rose was Gram’s sister who’d died of tuberculosis during the Great Depression. Emily’s middle name was in honor of the girl.
“Gram.” She pressed her hand to her stomach, telling her grandmother, “I don’t think it’s the cookies.”
“Are you sure?” A sly smile rippled Gram’s lips. “I was hoping you would share.”
Emily gave her reflection another disapproving frown before forcing a smile onto her face. She knelt awkwardly in front of her grandmother’s rocking chair. The old woman was knitting a sweater that would fit a child. Her fingers dipped in and out of the tiny, puckered collar like hummingbirds. The long sleeve of her Victorian-style dress had pulled back. Emily gently touched the deep purple bruise ringing her bony wrist.
“Clumsy-mumsy.” Gram’s tone had the sing-song quality of one thousand excuses. “Freddy, you must change out of that dress before Papa gets home.”
Now Gram thought Emily was her uncle Fred. Dementia was nothing if not a stroll through the many skeletons lining the family closet.
Emily asked, “Would you like me to get you some cookies?”
“That would be wonderful.” Gram continued to knit but her eyes, which never really focused on anything, suddenly became transfixed by Emily. Her lips curved into a smile. Her head tilted to the side as if she was studying the pearlescent lining of a seashell. “Look at your beautiful, smooth skin. You’re so lovely.”
“It runs in the family.” Emily marveled at the almost tangible state of knowing that had transformed her grandmother’s gaze. She was there again, as if a broom had swept the cobwebs from her cluttered brain.
Why I love it
Author, Before She Knew Him
An unsolved murder haunting a small town. A group of cliquish and sinister students. A creepy cult with an evil leader. Just writing these out, I can’t help humming “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. But these are just some of the plot elements from Karin Slaughter’s latest humdinger of a thriller, Girl, Forgotten. It sounds like a lot, but if you are familiar with Slaughter’s books, then you know she can put a lot of balls in the air and keep them up there, in mesmerizing patterns, while the chapters fly by.
Slaughter’s new book is the second featuring Andrea Oliver, following her debut in Pieces of Her. In this standalone sequel, the rookie U. S. Marshal is now tasked with protecting a judge who’s received a series of death threats, while also being asked to secretly investigate that judge’s daughter’s murder from forty years ago. There are many secrets in this book, and toward the end, the revelations come fast and flabbergasting. But what I most love about this story is that Slaughter has written a classic whodunit. There’s a closed circle of suspects, red herrings aplenty, and I imagine that most readers, like myself, will change their minds as to the identity of the killer many times before all is revealed.
A twisty and devilish read, Girl, Forgotten is another excellent thriller from Karin Slaughter. And I, for one, would very much welcome plenty more encounters with the ever-resourceful and gutsy Andrea Oliver.
Member ratings (16,069)
MIAMI SPRINGS, FL
After reading 𝘗𝘪𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘏𝘦𝘳 and now finishing 𝘎𝘪𝘳𝘭, 𝘍𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘰𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯... I am... officially a Karin Slaughter fan. Fast paced. Suspenseful. Gripping. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Columbia City, IN
I always enjoy stories w/ overlapping/intersecting timelines and this was no exception! A lot of twists and not at all the ending I was expecting. Also, Phenomenally/frustrating “villain” characters!!
Lakewood , CO
4.5/5⭐️ this book was slow at first but really got me hooked when it picked up. I never imagined the killer being who it was. I hated almost all of the characters but I think that was the point haha!
I was disappointed at the beginning when I realized it was a sequel. It really stood on it’s own. I really enjoyed how Andrea, the lead character, really came into her own and solved all the mysteries
So good. Love that Andrea was back again and getting to see her character developed more. The book is suspenseful and once you think you e got it figured out *boom* wrong, or I’m just not that smart.