Library Journal Review
In her latest thriller, Slaughter steps away from her series to tell the story of Charlotte and Samantha Quinn. Maintaining the dark tone that permeates her other titles, Slaughter sets out two parallel stories, one taking place nearly three decades in the past and one in the present. Twenty-eight years ago, Charlie and Sam lived through a horrifically violent attack that left their mother dead and them forever damaged. The sisters have spent the intervening years distancing themselves from the crime and each other. Charlie, following in her father's footsteps, is now a defense lawyer operating in Pikeville, the Georgia town where the crime happened, while Sam moved away and hasn't returned. One morning, Charlie witnesses a school shooting, but she thinks there's something off about the shooter, and she can't make the events add up. She takes on the defense of the suspect, a young girl named Kelly, but finds herself fighting the town as everyone is out for Kelly's blood. Verdict Though this is a crime novel, suspenseful and thrilling in every way, at its heart it is an exploration of family and the ties that persist through the most difficult moments. As with Val McDermid, Denise Mina, and Tana French, Slaughter delves into our darkest selves to reveal what is truly human. [See Prepub Alert, 2/20/17.]-Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
In the prologue of this gripping standalone from Thriller Award-finalist Slaughter (Pretty Girls), Zach Culpepper and an accomplice break into the Pikeville, Ga., home of attorney Rusty Quinn, who has become an unpopular figure for his advocacy on behalf of "outlaw bikers, drug gangs, and child killers," as well as abortion clinics and unions. Ironically, Zach is someone Rusty has defended in the past. The thugs gun down Rusty's wife and brutalize his teen daughters, Charlotte and Samantha. Samantha is shot in the head and buried alive, her fate left uncertain. Flash forward 28 years: Charlotte, now a lawyer, gets caught in a school shooting that claims the lives of the principal and a student. Charlotte spots a teenager wearing goth makeup holding a gun, but she believes something about the crimes doesn't add up and investigates herself. Meanwhile, the shooting incident revives memories of the trauma that she and her family suffered years before. Slaughter keeps the twists coming, but some plot developments come at the expense of psychological depth. Author tour. Agent: Victoria Sanders, Victoria Sanders & Associates. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Slaughter stays true to form in her third stand-alone thriller (after 2015's Pretty Girls), not pulling any punches when it comes to the sordid things people are capable of inflicting on one another. As teens, sisters Charlie and Sam endured a living nightmare when a local hood, seeking revenge on their lawyer father, murdered their mother before marching the girls into the woods. Sam narrowly escaped being buried alive, while Charlie buried what happened to her deep inside. Nearly 30 years later, both women, now attorneys themselves, are fragile (Charlie, emotionally; Sam, physically) and estranged from one another. When Charlie gets caught in the middle of a school shooting, all hell breaks loose as the past catches up to the present, grim secrets are revealed, and the sisters come together to heal their wounds and their family. It's not hyperbolic to declare that Slaughter is a master of her craft. Her characters even the secondary ones are deep and multifaceted, and here, the tightly packed story unfolds at a perfect pace that leaves readers frantically turning pages even as the harrowing violence within makes them cringe. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Slaughter routinely hits the best-seller lists and is a favorite of both librarians and patrons. She will disappoint neither with her latest.--Vnuk, Rebecca Copyright 2017 Booklist