Author : Karin Slaughter
Title : Girl, Forgotten
Series : Andrea Oliver #2
Pages : 400
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : June 23, 2022
Source : Owned
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
A girl with a secret…
Longbill Beach, 1982. Emily Vaughn gets ready for the prom. For an athlete, who is smart, pretty and well-liked, this night that should be the highlight of her high school career. But Emily has a secret. And by the end of the evening, that secret will be silenced forever.
An unsolved murder…
Forty years later, Emily’s murder remains a mystery. Her tight-knit group of friends closed ranks; her respected, wealthy family retreated inwards; the small town moved on from her grisly attack. But all that’s about to change.
One final chance to uncover a killer…
US Marshal Andrea Oliver arrives in Longbill Beach on her first assignment: to protect a judge receiving death threats. But, in reality, Andrea is there to find justice for Emily. The killer is still out there – and Andrea must discover the truth before she gets silenced, too.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Honestly, at this point, I’m pretty sure that Karin Slaughter could write a grocery list and I’d devour it and love it and sing its praises because she is just that good. She’s been my favourite author for decades and while some may come close, she is still hanging on to that spot. However, if I were forced to tell you which novel of hers would be my least favourite, I would probably say ‘Pieces of Her‘, which didn’t bode well since ‘Girl, Forgotten‘ is a follow-up. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the writing as I always do, and it even received five stars from me but boy, was that Andy character an annoying pile of utter aggravating annoyance. Case in point, I didn’t even make it through the second episode of the Netflix series because I was instantly reminded of why I didn’t like her. So I wasn’t at all thrilled to have to hang out with Andy again!
Andy desperately needed to grow up and to my surprise, it looks like she may have listened. At the beginning of ‘Girl, Forgotten‘, Andy is just about to graduate as a US Marshall, much to the chagrin of her mother. Her first assignment seems straightforward enough : to protect a judge who is receiving death threats. But in reality, Andy is there to find out the truth about what happened to the judge’s daughter forty years ago and if Andy’s father, currently lounging in prison, might have had something to do with it.
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I realised that Andy wasn’t nearly as annoying as I remembered her to be. In fact, I actually quite liked her this time around. I really enjoyed watching her trying to find her feet in her newly chosen career and learning the ropes from her partner, Bible, who is the absolute bee’s knees! Bible is one of those characters who gets the reader on side from the second he arrives on the page with genuine warmth and a healthy dose of humour. I do so hope we get to see more of him in the future. Anyway, this Andy is nothing like past Andy. She is learning from her mistakes, she is seeing things from different perspectives, she’s showing how smart she is and she is determined to bring her first assignment to a good end. She grew up.
Unfortunately, forty years ago, a seventeen year old girl called Emily wasn’t as lucky. She would never grow up. She would never even see her eighteenth birthday because by the end of prom night, Emily would be dead. Discarded like trash in a dumpster. Her tight-knit group of friends, her clique, closed ranks. Life in the town of Longbill Beach moved on and Emily’s murder was never solved. Will Andy be able to bring closure to Emily’s family and finally get Emily’s so-called friends to talk about that night?
Friends. Ugh. With friends like those, who the hell needs enemies. The clique, minus Emily, is comprised of four of the most toxic and awful people ever! It’s true for them as teenagers and they didn’t get any better as adults. It absolutely makes sense to think right from the beginning that one of them is responsible for the things that happened to Emily. But if so, which one? Or are they all in it together? And what about Emily’s teacher, who left the school shortly after she died? And how does any of this involve Andrea’s father? Every time I thought I was getting a handle on things, I started to have doubts again. Everyone in this small town is a suspect.
I absolutely devoured ‘Girl, Forgotten‘. I loved both the present and past chapters equally and that hardly ever happens. There is so much harmful and destructive behaviour in this novel. It’s not only in the actions of the clique but also in Emily’s home environment. Her mother, a judge, whose career will always be more important than anything else. Who puts appearances above a healthy family life. It broke my heart to see that the only person Emily could ever turn to was her grandmother, who suffered from dementia. There are a multitude of skeletons in cupboards that will be discovered as Andy’s investigation continues and it makes you wonder how different things could have been if people had just been willing to put the truth out there. Maybe Emily would still have been alive.
‘Girl, Forgotten‘ is another compelling and cleverly plotted novel from Karin Slaughter. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: she can do no wrong in my eyes. I didn’t think I wanted to spend more time with Andy but I was proven wrong. Furthermore, I’m actually looking forward to hanging out with her again and if the last few pages are anything to go by, …. well, I’ll leave you to find out for yourselves.
Highly recommended and definitely a contender for my book of the year.
Girl, Forgotten is available to buy! Bookshop UK
20 Books of Summer : 9/20