Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter

The year is 1991 and college student Julia Carroll has her whole life ahead of her. She's a bright aspiring journalist, dedicated student, and loving daughter and sister. Her strong investigative instincts lead her to the story of Beatrice Oliver, a local girl who mysteriously disappeared a few weeks ago. Oliver left her home to buy some ice cream for her father and never returned. As often happens in missing person cases, time advanced, evidence was scarce, and the trail went cold.

In addition to her university studies and role at the school newspaper, Julia volunteers her time at a local homeless shelter. The women who live there have all had rough lives, but are appreciative of the charity they receive. When Julia learns that one of the residents has not been seen or heard from in a few days, she fears the worst. Other residents claim that the young lady was snatched by a man and pulled into a van. Julia worries that this disappearance is related to the Beatrice Oliver case.

Determined to find answers and to warn other women of potential attacks, Julia begins researching data to use in an article covering abductions. All of the girls who vanished were young and beautiful, not unlike the blonde hair, blue eyed Julia. She begins to place herself in their shoes, mentally recreating the moments leading up to their disappearances, and trying to find ways that their actions could have prevented their kidnappings. It is easy for Julia to recognize the mistakes that each women made leading up to their vanishing, but she fails to heed her own advice. As she walks home from a party one night, completely alone, there is nothing she can do to prevent the beginning of her own nightmare.

This short novella acts as a prelude for Karin Slaughter's new novel, Pretty Girls. Slaughter creates excellent tension as the story slowly edges toward its inevitable conclusion. There is palpable suspense as Julia investigates the disappearances of the several women. Slaughter includes statistics on rape and abductions that gives the narrative credibility and makes the conclusion all the more terrifying. Despite the excellent pace and competent writing, Julia is not a particularly likable character. This dilutes the atmosphere of anxiety with bursts of unbridled frustration. It is hard to believe that a girl who is investigating the kidnaping of women who share many similarities with herself would make so many foolish decisions. Still, the solid tone and driving pace of the narrative makes this a fine appetizer to Slaughter's main course.

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter is published on September 29, 2015.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and GoodReads.

(2015, 23)

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2 Responses to “Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter”

  1. Hm, this one sounds interesting and like it is a good set up for the rest of the story. I like the idea of her being bold enough to try and investigate for an article but yeah, it does also sound like she is making quite a few dumb decisions in this one. But it seems like it is a great build up with suspense nonetheless! Great review :)

    1. This one gives me great hope for Pretty Girls. I love the suspense, so I feel like having more space to create tension will really benefit the author.


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