‘From the New York Times bestselling author of Pieces of Her, comes an electrifying thriller featuring newly minted US Marshal Andrea Oliver as she investigates a cold case with links to her father’s past.’
– Girl, Forgotten
[ 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 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 Review ]
Girl, Forgotten by Karin Slaughter will be published June 23rd with Harper Collins and is described as ‘an electrifying thriller’. It is the second book in the series featuring Andrea Oliver, with the first book, Pieces of Her, now on Netflix and starring the renowned actor Toni Colette. I read and reviewed Pieces of Her in 2018 and was, admittedly, frustrated by a weakness I felt was present in Andrea Oliver’s character. Now in Girl, Forgotten, Andrea returns but she has had a make-over. Her character is re-introduced on her graduation day following a very tough program training as a US Marshal. In Pieces of Her Andrea was shocked when she discovered that her whole life had been a sham and that her mother, Laura, wasn’t all that she had said she was.
‘She had created the legend of herself as a small-town speech therapist whose anti-government sentiments made her a perfect fit for the disillusioned veterans she worked with at the VA hospital‘
Following on from a truly horrifying experience, Andrea felt that she had been inadequately equipped to deal with the trauma that came her way so she made the decision to train as a US Marshal. Her reasons are many and very complex but it’s something she needed to do to help protect her and those she loves.
‘Mentally, in my head, I keep grabbing onto explanations like, being a Marshal gives me a sense of purpose or I should try to make up for the destruction my biological parents tried to cause, but the honest truth is that all I’m doing is putting one foot in front of the other and telling myself that running forward is better than falling backward’
When an elderly judge receives death threats Andrea gets assigned her first job as a US Marshal in the town of Longbill Beach, Delaware. Andrea is partnered up with Leonard Bible and together they get allocated the night shift, keeping an eye on the judge and her family during the late hours. But Andrea also has an additional agenda. In an unexpected twist, she finds herself secretly investigating an unsolved murder from forty years ago. Emily Vaughn was bludgeoned to death the night of her prom but the investigation was never completed as nobody was ever convicted.
Emily Vaughn had a reputation of being a good girl but before her tragic death her life had changed. Emily was pregnant and suddenly a pariah among her fellow students and friends. Her mother and father had a high standing in society with her mother a Reagan appointee, a judge, the judge Andrea Oliver has now been sent to protect. Andrea Oliver has a link to the town of Longbill Beach, it being the home of her birth father, Clayton Morrow. Clayton Morrow is currently in jail with parole on the horizon. A dangerous man with a warped and psychopathic view of the world, he had been a so-called friend of Emily Vaughn and also a suspect in her murder. If Andrea can find evidence that her father was somehow involved, it might keep him locked up for a while longer, which would mean that her mother and herself could breathe easy for another while.
Longbill Beach is a close-knit town, one where secrets are buried deep. When Andrea and Leonard start to ask questions, they are met with a wall of silence. Andrea is not the insipid character that she once was and is unafraid to take risks. Fitter from all her training as a Marshal, she is stronger in body and mind. Using this new discipline she starts to unravel this murder mystery that has hung over the town of Longbill Beach for nearly four decades but in doing so, a Pandora’s Box is revealed.
Longbill Beach has chosen to turn a blind eye to Emily Vaughn’s death with folk just getting on with their lives. Sinister activities of violation and abuse have been covered up by those whose own shame is buried deep. Karin Slaughter brilliantly captures the American small-town vibe, with the strong claustrophobic nature of Longbill Beach emanating off the pages. Misogyny is rife in Longbill Beach adding to the many obstacles in Andrea’s way but she is wiser in this book and handles herself much better.
For me, Girl, Forgotten is a much better book than Pieces of Her, from the perspective of Andrea Oliver. She has matured and her actions and general behaviour now match her age, making the whole experience a less frustrating one. Girl, Forgotten is a complex tale switching between the past and the present. I did feel the chapters were quite long which did unnecessarily drag out some bits. Short snappy chapters would have added more to the sense of urgency as the novel progressed.
Girl, Forgotten is a twisty tale that most definitely keeps you guessing. It was a real bonus to see Andrea start to flourish which I hope continues as this series progresses. An entertaining thriller that grips the attention Girl, Forgotten is a suspenseful novel, one that will surely please all fans of this author known as ‘The Queen of Crime’.
[ Bio ]
Karin Slaughter is the author of more than twenty instant New York Times bestselling novels, including the Edgar–nominated Cop Town and standalone novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her. She is published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe. Pieces of Her is a Netflix original series starring Toni Collette, and False Witness, the Grant County, and Will Trent series are in development for television. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta.
Twitter ~ @SlaughterKarin