Cover image of "Girl, Forgotten," a shocking Karin Slaughter thriller

Karin Slaughter has gained a worldwide reputation for intense and often shocking thrillers. She’s sold more than 40 million copies of them. But none to date has gotten her wider recognition than Pieces of Her, the bestselling 2018 novel in which she introduced Andrea Oliver. The novel reached the small screen in 2022 when Netflix brought out a popular eight-episode production of the story.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In both the novel and the television adaptation, Pieces of Her follows Andrea (Andy) Oliver as a 31-year-old in the present and her mother, Laura, as an even younger woman 32 years earlier. The action unfolds in sections that alternate between the two dates. Slaughter structures the sequel, Girl, Forgotten, in a similar way. Andrea is now 33 and a newly christened Deputy US Marshal. We observe her during her first assignment to the seaside Delaware town of Longbill Beach where she was born. Meanwhile, in alternating chapters, we view events through the eyes of 17-year-old Emily Vaughn, whose now 40-year-old murder Andrea has determined to solve.

A murderer for a father in this Karin Slaughter thriller

The backstory as it unfolded in Pieces of Her is far too complex to reprise here. Suffice it to say that Andrea is the daughter of Clayton Morrow, an anti-government cult leader who has been in prison for many years for murder. He will soon become eligible for parole, and she and her mother are terrified. It was Laura whose testimony convicted him. And, as Andrea quickly learns when in Longbill Beach, her father is the most likely suspect in Emily’s murder. Everyone in town is convinced he did it.

Girl, Forgotten (Andrea Oliver #2) by Karin Slaughter (2022) 397 pages ★★★★★

Photo of Bella Heathcote, star of the Netflix production of the prequel to this novel, another shocking Karin Slaughter thriller
Bella Heathcote as Andrea (Andy) Oliver in the Netflix production of Karin Slaughter’s novel, Pieces of Her. Girl, Forgotten is the sequel. Image: Netflix

Karin Slaughter does not write simple stories

Andrea has come to Longbill Beach in hopes of solving Emily’s murder. But that’s not her assignment. She has been teamed with a veteran federal Marshal named Leonard (Catfish) Bible. They’re part of a protective force around an aging federal judge who has received credible death threats. However, Andrea soon discovers that Bible, too, wants to spend his off hours investigating the 40-year-old crime. In the process, we become acquainted with the judge, her wheelchair-bound husband, the three schoolmates closest to Emily as a teenager, and a handful of others in the town. As the case unfolds, Andrea and Bible waver over the identity of the killer—and we’re all surprised when the circumstances of her death are revealed.

Slaughter deftly portrays all her characters in three dimensions. We may not like them—in fact, most of them are despicable human beings—but we believe they could be real. And violence is never far from the surface in any Karin Slaughter thriller. Girl, Forgotten abounds with shocking revelations. Karin Slaughter doesn’t write pretty stories, either.

About the author

Photo of Karin Slaughter, author of this Karin Slaughter thriller
Karin Slaughter. Image: author’s website

According to her author website, “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 #1 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.” At this writing, Slaughter is 51, having been born in 1971, according to Wikipedia.

For more reading

I’ve reviewed the first of the Andrea Oliver novels, Pieces of Her (Karin Slaughter’s latest novel is unlike her previous work). I’ve also reviewed many of the author’s other books, including the other three linked in the author’s bio above and Karin Slaughter’s well-crafted series of Grant County thrillers.

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