Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Andrea Oliver, Book 1

Synopsis: 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. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

The police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . .

Review: Having started the series on Netflix, I was curious to get into the book and compare the story.

Laura seems to have a mundane life, but that all changes when, during a meal with her daughter Andy, she saves her by killing a knife-wielding man in cold blood. This is the beginning of the end for Andy who realizes that her mother is not the person she thought she was. Determined to understand who this woman is, Andy will investigate and trace Laura’s history. The book also features chapters set in the past tense, allowing us to understand how our heroine’s mother got to this point.

It was an interesting novel, although we have to hang on a bit because some parts are quite long. I find that the series and the book follow each other quite well at the beginning and it’s quite nice to see. However, after half of the series, we move away from the novel and I was a little sad that the end of the novel, which is very nice, was not the same. I was surprised by the conclusion, but I really liked the turn of events!