Pieces of Her

Pieces of Her

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?Andrea knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life....

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Title:Pieces of Her
Author:Karin Slaughter
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Pieces of Her Reviews

  • Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    4.5 Stars!!

    Andrea Cooper and her mother, Laura are having lunch and celebrating Andrea's thirty-first birthday at the Rise n’Dine restaurant at the mall of Belle Isle.

    Just as they are about to finish up their lunch...

    People are screaming and crying, trying to take cover. Andrea’s mother tackles her to the ground. What happens next shocks Andrea

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    4.5 Stars!!

    Andrea Cooper and her mother, Laura are having lunch and celebrating Andrea's thirty-first birthday at the Rise n’Dine restaurant at the mall of Belle Isle.

    Just as they are about to finish up their lunch...

    People are screaming and crying, trying to take cover. Andrea’s mother tackles her to the ground. What happens next shocks Andrea to her core. When it's over, Andrea tries to make sense of what happened. Laura Oliver is a quiet middle-aged speech pathologist. She's been a great mother to Andrea. She's not the type of person who keeps secrets.

    Why is her mother telling her not to speak to the police? She wants her to claim she can’t remember what happened. “

    Then on top of everything else, her mother wants her to move out. She wants her to leave that same night. She says she needs space. Andrea is confused. Why is her mother acting so angry and cold towards her? Andrea wonders what she did wrong. But as she's packing up to leave that evening something else happens that changes everything....and sends Andrea spiraling in a whole new direction.

    As she tries to figure out just who her mother really is, Andrea learns more about herself as well. But is she strong enough for what's ahead?

    Karin Slaughter excels at storytelling. Her novels are known for their heart-pounding intensity, twists and turns, and well-developed characters. This was an exciting and intense read that had me gripped, wondering what was going to happen next.

    The majority of the story alternates between Andrea's mother’s point of view in the past and Andrea’s point of view in the present. I liked the length of the chapters and found it easy to follow the alternating viewpoints.

    I am a proud member of the "Slaughter Squad" and I can't wait to read what the author writes next.

    I'd like to thank William Morrow for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • Crumb

    Be prepared to get goosebumps..

    I was first introduced to

    when I read her grizzly, suspense novel,

    . I was floored. Instantly, I became a die-hard Slaughter fan. You can find my review of The Good Daughter

    .

    This is my second read by her, and this one was even better. It was more shocking. It was more thrilling. It was just

    of everything in a terrifyingly good way.

    Andrea is a

    Be prepared to get goosebumps..

    I was first introduced to

    when I read her grizzly, suspense novel,

    . I was floored. Instantly, I became a die-hard Slaughter fan. You can find my review of The Good Daughter

    .

    This is my second read by her, and this one was even better. It was more shocking. It was more thrilling. It was just

    of everything in a terrifyingly good way.

    Andrea is a devoted daughter to Laura, her mother. When Laura received a diagnosis of breast cancer, Andrea was there to support her every step of the way. Eating together in a diner, a gunman comes in. Andrea is terrified, but Laura..

    She reacts in a calm, almost placid way. Laura effortlessly kills the gunman in a militaristic fashion, that suggests Andrea knows absolutely nothing about her mother. Besides,

    This book had me plowing through the pages. I couldn't eat, sleep, or drink without wanting to return to my reading cocoon. This novel satiated me in a way that few can. Not only was

    filled with gripping suspense, but it also brought up a lot of discussion worthy topics for book club.

    expertly delves into the minds of her characters, giving the reader a candid, up-close and personal look into the protagonist's brain. In addition,

    effortlessly weaves between two different timelines in a technique that can either be done brilliantly or terribly. It was done with ease and adroitness.

    also maintains a delicate balance between pulp and an appropriate amount of violence.

    I can't sing enough praise about this read. If you can, you should definitely make some time for it.

    will be ranking among my top ten of 2018.

  • Debra

    3.5 Stars

    How well do you know someone?

    Andrea Cooper thought she knew her Mother, Laura. Her mother is a speech therapist who is a pillar of the community. She is liked and known by most people in their town. But one day at lunch, their whole lives are turned upside down. In the face of danger, Laura jumps into action and Andrea (and the rest of the world) gets to see another side of her Mother. Just who is this woman? Certainly not the woman that Andrea has known her entire life!

    From that momen

    3.5 Stars

    How well do you know someone?

    Andrea Cooper thought she knew her Mother, Laura. Her mother is a speech therapist who is a pillar of the community. She is liked and known by most people in their town. But one day at lunch, their whole lives are turned upside down. In the face of danger, Laura jumps into action and Andrea (and the rest of the world) gets to see another side of her Mother. Just who is this woman? Certainly not the woman that Andrea has known her entire life!

    From that moment on, Andrea learns that there is more to her Mother than meets the eye. Mainly who she is and the "truth" about her past.

    I can't say much more without giving away any spoilers. I will say this is the first Karin Slaughter book that I did not devour. It was slow going for me initially. At first I thought "Oh no! I'm not really digging this..." but then it got better! Although, it did get better, I found this book to be not quite as enjoyable as her other books. Having said that, this is still an enjoyable book. I just found this lacked the edge of your seat, pulse pounding, I-can't-put-this-book-down feel that I experienced from her other books. I found this to be a little bit of a departure from her other books. This story is told in alternating timelines with the chapter headings clearly labeled so you know what "time" and what character you are reading about.

    The last third of the book was my favorite! Things really picked up and began to make sense which made the book more enjoyable. As the past and present collided- personal secrets, family secrets, hidden agendas, lies, and deceptions become known.

    As with all of Slaughter's book, this book is well-written. It was not the roller coaster ride I am used to being on while reading a Slaughter book but it was still enjoyable and entertaining. A departure form her police procedural crime books. Although there is crime here and a HUGE mystery to solve, it didn't have the same feel as her other books, which I think some readers will really like and others may not. I liked that she did something different. I had to remind myself not to compare this book to her Grant County or Will Trent books. This is one of her stand-alone novels.

    Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins/William Morrow Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    See more of my reviews at

  • Melissa

    If you didn’t know before, you certainly will now—I’m a

    junkie with a capital

    and a #slaughtersquad chick-a-dee (

    ). It was over a decade ago that I picked up my first

    novel and found myself instantly enamored with

    ’s brand of dark. My love for the blood and guts splattering her crime-lines, enmeshed with

    If you didn’t know before, you certainly will now—I’m a

    junkie with a capital

    and a #slaughtersquad chick-a-dee (

    ). It was over a decade ago that I picked up my first

    novel and found myself instantly enamored with

    ’s brand of dark. My love for the blood and guts splattering her crime-lines, enmeshed with the thriving emotionality driving the multi-faceted beings present on the page, have landed me in perpetual countdown mode—tracking the days from one

    fix to my next.

    A slight departure from her previous work,

    is an exploration of the mother-daughter relationship. I think so often we only see our mothers as just that. We don't acknowledge who they were

    taking on that pivotal role or even seek it out—we compartmentalize them in a way. To Andy, her mother Laura has always been the confident, reliable, even-keeled woman who’s happy living life in a small beach-side town. After 31 years, what would ever make her think anything different?

    , who shockingly enough could probably find work as a standup comedian, if this whole writing thing hadn’t of panned out, (

    )—

    delivers an

    . It's pretty much guaranteed she'll get the pages good and bloody, while simultaneously grabbing your heart and holding it captive as she sets out to unravel the mystery at hand.

    A few horrific scenes, and a plea from her mother to run, puts Andy behind the wheel of an 80’s wagon headed cross-country, destination unknown. Similar to a fledgling pushed out of the nest, and forced to make a go of it, Andy is unsure of herself. Trying to remain calm, while making quick decisions, lands her in a few debacles on her quest to find the answer to the very question burning a hole in the pages:

    ? It’s a few chance meetings, disguised as coincidences, that offer some quirkiness to the storyline and a longing for Andy to figure her life out—to stop

    existing.

    The timeline flips consistently from Andy’s time on the road to a period in 1986, leaving the reader to wonder how the two will eventually collide. As the page count diminishes, it becomes clear—this isn't just an exploration of the mother-daughter relationship. It's also a look at what drives the cult mentality. Through her cast of characters,

    juxtaposes the mindset of the puppet caught in the web of deceit with the mastermind pulling the strings. The innate ability some twisted individuals have to identify the hurt in another and exploit it is mind-boggling to me. Payback certainly is a bitch though, isn’t it? If ever there was an empowering ending, it’s

    one.

    Bloody pulp, sinew and multiple bodies destined for holes in the ground—don’t let it scare you away.

    's signature gore and violence isn’t done simply for shock value. It's one tool in her vast arsenal, used to plant the reader

    that very scene. Sure, it might be uncomfortable at times, but there’s no doubt, you’re going to be

    in that exact moment,

    those raw emotions. Isn’t that

    we all read? So, brush off any trepidation you might have and prepare to wash your hands after handling these blood-drenched pages.

  • Paromjit

    Karin Slaughter gives us a thriller that explores the role of the mother and the mother-daughter relationship. Andrea 'Andy' Cooper is an unambitious woman who has largely gone through the motions of living. She never completed college and she has barely been engaged in any personal relationships. Unhappy in New York, she returned home to nurse her mother, Laura, through the worst of her breast cancer treatment. She has no impetus to create an independent life for herself, and is secure in the k

    Karin Slaughter gives us a thriller that explores the role of the mother and the mother-daughter relationship. Andrea 'Andy' Cooper is an unambitious woman who has largely gone through the motions of living. She never completed college and she has barely been engaged in any personal relationships. Unhappy in New York, she returned home to nurse her mother, Laura, through the worst of her breast cancer treatment. She has no impetus to create an independent life for herself, and is secure in the knowledge that she knows Laura inside out, a pillar of the community, an ordinary woman and everyday mom. Whilst in a diner, a young shooter, Jonah Helsinger, blasts away a mother and daughter, lining up a frozen and immobile Andy as his next target when Laura steps in front of her, telling him to kill her instead. What follows next is captured on mobile video footage that goes viral nationwide, showing a composed Laura killing Helsinger with his knife whilst suffering serious injuries herself. Andy is shell shocked at this picture of her mother as a ninja, with the media referring to Laura as a killing machine. Who is this woman masquerading as her mother?

    With unexpected and horrifying events occurring that hint at Laura's clandestine past, they bring a whole heap of danger in the present, as a disorientated Andrea initially heeds Laura's advice to leave town, go to a storage unit and then head to Idaho until it is safe for her to return. Andy is to make no contact with her or Gordon, the black lawyer she considers to be her father. However, Andy's intense curiosity about Laura has her picking away and peeling away at her mother's past that slowly begins to be revealed through the dual narrative of a younger Laura. Andy's foray into the past brings danger to her and others. It pushes Andy from a woman who has merely reacted to events in her life, to a more independent person as she is forced to handle a world that has gone crazy on her. What Andy does know indisputably about Laura is that she will not let anything happen to her beloved daughter, and she will go to any lengths to protect her. Will this allow her to accept the pieces of Laura she comes to know?

    At first when I had read this latest offering from Karin Slaughter, I was not sure how I felt about it. Upon reflection, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. The focus on the maternal instinct, how far will a mother go for a child is beautifully illustrated here. Whilst perhaps far fetched here and there, I was willing to let that go for the fascinating creation of Laura and her dramatic past and that of Andy, walking on territory that she could never have forseen. I think it would be well nigh impossible to say that we know all the pieces of anyone we are close to, and true to that adage, Andy does not find out everything about her mother. An interesting, different but nevertheless gripping psychological thriller. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: Andy squeezed her eyes shut. Immediately, the images started scrolling like one of Gordon's vacation slide shows.

    Laura holding up her hand.

    The long blade slicing into her palm.

    Wrenching the knife away.

    Backhanding the blade into the man's neck.

    Blood.

    So much blood.

    ABOUT THIS BOOK: What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all?

    Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother Laura. She knows she's spent her whole life in the small town of

    EXCERPT: Andy squeezed her eyes shut. Immediately, the images started scrolling like one of Gordon's vacation slide shows.

    Laura holding up her hand.

    The long blade slicing into her palm.

    Wrenching the knife away.

    Backhanding the blade into the man's neck.

    Blood.

    So much blood.

    ABOUT THIS BOOK: What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all?

    Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother Laura. She knows she's spent her whole life in the small town of Gullaway Island; she knows she's never had any more ambition than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she's never kept a secret in her life.

    But one day, a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura.

    Twenty-four hours later, Laura is in hospital, shot by an intruder who's spent thirty years trying to track her down. Now, Andrea must go on a desperate journey to follow the breadcrumbs of her mother's past. If she can't uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either of them.

    MY THOUGHTS: Karin Slaughter includes the following by Emily Dickinson in her book. It perfectly describes how I felt on reading Pieces of Her.

    'I felt a cleaving in my mind -

    As if my brain had split -

    I tried to match it - seam by seam -

    But could not make them fit.

    The thought behind, I strove to join

    Unto the thought before -

    But sequence ravelled out of sound

    Like balls - upon a floor.'

    I started out loving Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter. I loved the premise of the book, 'What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all?' I mean, really, how well do we know our parents? We know what they choose to reveal to us. Usually no more.

    I loved the opening chapter. I was firmly hooked, and said so. But as the book progressed, I lost interest. Not enough to make me abandon the read, but neither was it the reading frenzy I usually experience when reading this author.

    Between the title and the opening chapter, I was expecting something deliciously dark. It wasn't to be. The chapters alternate between 2018 and 1986. It is like reading two different stories and it takes an inordinately long time to make the connection between the two. I didn't feel emotionally invested in any of the characters. Andy is extremely immature and her dithering monologues became extremely wearing and repetitive, as was much of the book. Laura's story also became extremely repetitive, and it seemed like a very long read.

    So from the initial excitement, this read deteriorated into a grind for me, and I was relieved to finally close the cover on Pieces of Her.

    😍😍.5 or perhaps 😕😦.5 might be more appropriate

    THE AUTHOR: Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her eighteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programing. A native of Georgia, Karin Slaughter lives in Atlanta. Her Will Trent series, Grant County series, and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television.

    DISCLOSURE: Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers, Australia via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

    Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

    This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

  • Larry H

    It seemed like any other day. Andy was having lunch at the mall with her mother, Laura, celebrating Andy's 31st birthday. They were briefly interrupted when the relative of a former patient of Laura's stopped by with her daughter to thank Laura for all of her help. Then, without warning, gunfire erupted, and the woman and her daughter were shot to death.

    As the gunman approached Andy, screaming at her to "do her job," Laura leapt into action. Andy watched her mother move to protect her, disarm th

    It seemed like any other day. Andy was having lunch at the mall with her mother, Laura, celebrating Andy's 31st birthday. They were briefly interrupted when the relative of a former patient of Laura's stopped by with her daughter to thank Laura for all of her help. Then, without warning, gunfire erupted, and the woman and her daughter were shot to death.

    As the gunman approached Andy, screaming at her to "do her job," Laura leapt into action. Andy watched her mother move to protect her, disarm the gunman, and then finish him off, coldly, as if she were simply a "killing machine." She knows she is in shock from the trauma of the events, but Andy cannot believe what she saw with her own eyes. Could her mother really have done what she saw her do?

    "None of it made sense. Her mother was a fifty-five-year-old speech therapist. She played bridge, for chrissakes. She didn't kill people and smoke cigarettes and rail against the pigs."

    In the aftermath of the incident and another encounter which endangers her life, Laura sends Andy away, telling her to flee the small Georgia town Laura has lived in forever. Andy doesn't know what to think, as she cannot get her mind around what she saw her mother do, and the fear that other incidents will follow. But more than that, she can't figure out who her mother really is, and what secrets she's been hiding from her for perhaps her entire life?

    What would you do if you found out your mother wasn't the person you thought she was? In

    , Karin Slaughter shows you that not only what we don't know might put us in danger, but makes you wonder how you deal with someone who you never really knew.

    I have many friends who have been reading Slaughter's books for a long while, but I was wowed by my first experience with her last year, after reading

    (

    ). That book really knocked my socks off, but this one? Not so much.

    While I found the premise of this book interesting, it never really took off for me. First of all, Andy's character vacillates between near catatonia, where she can't answer anyone's questions or move forward in any way, and there are a number of times where she says one or two words and then can't finish her sentences. Page after page of that gets old, especially when it happens more than once. (One character even asks her if she can speak in full sentences.)

    The book picked up speed in the last third, and Slaughter threw in some twists and turns, but the shift in narration between present and past kept either portion of the plot from really picking up momentum. I know others enjoyed this more than I did, so I wouldn't dissuade you from picking this up if you're a diehard Slaughter fan, but for me, this was a thriller that didn't quite thrill. This won't keep me from reading more of her books, but hopefully they'll get my heart racing like

    did!

    See all of my reviews at

    , or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at

    .

  • Emma

    This was not at all what I expected. Instead of the usual clever, multilayered plot with deftly drawn characters, there's this overdone, disconnected, extremely unlikely tale that's more like an airport thriller than her usual works. The main character is tiresome in the extreme and while her mother is much more interesting, there wasn't enough to either to elicit any real emotion. And the thing with Mike? What the hell was that even about?

    It's not just that the author has broken out of her moul

    This was not at all what I expected. Instead of the usual clever, multilayered plot with deftly drawn characters, there's this overdone, disconnected, extremely unlikely tale that's more like an airport thriller than her usual works. The main character is tiresome in the extreme and while her mother is much more interesting, there wasn't enough to either to elicit any real emotion. And the thing with Mike? What the hell was that even about?

    It's not just that the author has broken out of her mould, I loved her other standalone

    , but that she's lost what makes her writing so good: the dark mystery, the complex characters, the genuine feeling of the relationships...

    It's not going to stop me reading her books, but it's a long way from her best.

    ARC via Netgalley

  • Emily May

    Karin Slaughter has been a relatively recent discovery for me. I really enjoyed her dark gritty

    , especially the way she slowly paints in the relationship and backstory between the two female protagonists. It was a nasty, powerful read.

    is another slow-paced book about two women - this time a mother and her daughter - but I found the slowness here

    . And the plot seemed a little ludicrous, honestly (though also tamer than expected). Rather than a gritty

    Karin Slaughter has been a relatively recent discovery for me. I really enjoyed her dark gritty

    , especially the way she slowly paints in the relationship and backstory between the two female protagonists. It was a nasty, powerful read.

    is another slow-paced book about two women - this time a mother and her daughter - but I found the slowness here

    . And the plot seemed a little ludicrous, honestly (though also tamer than expected). Rather than a gritty thriller that concentrated on the family dynamics Slaughter seems to do best, we got a strange terrorist backstory that introduced a number of

    .

    The beginning sees Andy and her mother, Laura, going to lunch for Andy's 31st birthday. Laura has recently come out of intense rounds of chemotherapy to treat her breast cancer, while unambitious Andy is struggling to figure out her life plan after a series of failures. When a shooter opens fire in the cafe, Laura tells him to shoot her next. He doesn't, and instead Laura quickly and coldly kills him.

    Caught on camera delivering the killing blow without emotion, first the police, and then Andy, start to ask questions about Laura's past and who she really is. After that, everything spirals out of control and gets bigger and bigger. Andy makes a number of discoveries that offer up more questions than answers: Who is Laura? What is she hiding? Is someone after them?

    The story leaps between the present and thirty years ago, revealing a past of murder, scheming and secret identities. Unfortunately, though, I just don't think

    contained any of the emotion or urgency I would have expected from this author.

    The reveals are anticlimactic,

    , and none of the characters made much of an impression on me. To be honest, I think that's what it really comes down to: the story was unconvincing because my detachment from the characters kept me at a distance. Andy's naivete at 31 years old is frustrating and quite annoying at times, and I felt like a lot of character development was sacrificed for the sake of throwing in the detailed terrorist backstory.

    I'll still read Slaughter's future books but this one was definitely more miss than hit.

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