I have realized that the length of a book has nothing to do with the amount of time I spend reading it. How else could I explain breezing through two giant thrillers of about 500 pages each in hardly two days, while I just abandoned a 200-page book that I couldn’t get myself to read any more? Life is short, after all, and my to-read list is insanely long.
The first two books that I picked up this year were thrillers. I started the year with ‘Into the Water’ by Paula Hawkins and followed it up with ‘The Good Daughter’ by Karin Slaughter. Paula’s book won the Goodreads award for the ‘Most Popular Thriller of 2017’ while Karin’s book has an endorsement from Paula herself.
Last year, I had read ‘The Girl on the Train’ and enjoyed it immensely. The book kept me on the edge of my seat till I completed it. Since most authors fail to deliver on their second books, I did not have huge expectations from ‘Into the Water’, but I’ve badly mistaken the author’s prowess. She has struck gold yet again. I whooshed through the book in no time.
Just like the river water, the author makes us traverse through broken relationships, teenage angst, adultery, beauty, love and human instincts in a small riverside town. The book, a psychological crime thriller, explores the difficult relationship of two sisters—one of them turns up suddenly dead and the other must return to her hometown and attend to the responsibilities that has been thrust upon her.
The shifts between the various POVs has been smoothly done by the author and we find the stirrings of a sense of empathy for her. Once I finished ‘Into the Water’, I was so impressed by the author’s writing style that I wondered if there are any other thriller writers who can get this right. The very next book that I picked up, ‘The Good Daughter’ answered my question.
In this psychological thriller, Karin Slaughter talks about an incident that happens in the house of a Defense Attorney that leaves his wife killed and two daughters scarred for life. This incident is what you read about in the first chapter, a chapter that will make you hold your breath at many places. After this, the children grow up, pick up the shattered pieces of their life and make something of themselves but the past doesn’t let go of their present. Meanwhile, the first chapter is repeated in the book at a couple of places and each time you get a different perspective of what exactly happened. I loved the way the author had worked up the story and built it up till we finally reach the climax.
This was the first book that I picked up from Karin Slaughter. I’m going to slowly work my way through all the books that she has written. Also, I’m hoping Paula Hawkins comes out with her next book soon. Being a writer of psychological thrillers, I’m happy to see that psychological thrillers ruling the publishing world at present.