Page Count 400
Publication date June 2022
Publisher Harper Collins
-A small town hides a big secret…
Who killed Emily Vaughn?
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 that 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…
As much as I adore Slaughter novels I must admit I hadn’t read the precursor to this; Pieces Of Her- though I did watch the Netflix adaptation and loved it. If you’ve not read or watched Pieces Of Her you can still pick up Girl, Forgotten but everything prior to this story is summarised so you would spoil the previous title.
Girl, Forgotten takes place almost 2 years after the events in Pieces Of Her when Andrea graduates into the US Marshall service. There are several threads to the story, some of which I will avoid to prevent spoilers.
The main focus being Andrea’s first assignment; protecting a federal judge whilst quietly probing into the forty year unsolved murder of her daughter Emily.
Slaughter takes us through dual timelines in Emily’s past and Andrea’s present perspectives broken up by witness statements given in the original investigation.
As always the pacing is perfection, gripping the reader from start to finish with no lull in sight.
A welcome addition to this story was ‘Catfish’ Bible, Andrea’s first Marshal partner. I don’t usually put faces to characters but I couldn’t stop myself picturing Woody Harrelson as this quirky, cheeky but caring, law enforcer. I have strong hopes Netflix will adapt this novel and cast my ideal!
Emily’s naivety and broken dreams brought an innocence to the story that made her fate feel all the more brutal. The helplessness of a pregnant teenager born to political parents of the Reagan era in a small gossipy coastal town was heartbreaking material.
There was one of the several revelations that I felt fell a bit flat but I was also happily wrong about most of my theories so I still very much enjoyed the ride.
It appears Slaughter has left open a window of opportunity to create an ongoing series with this cast of characters and I really hope she does! I’ll be first in line to read them.