Girl, Forgotten
by Slaughter, Karin

Forty years after Emily Vaughn was murdered on her prom night, U.S. Marshal Andrea Oliver picks up the cold case to find justice in the follow-up to the New York Times best-selling novel Pieces of Her. 250,000 first printing.

*Starred Review* In Slaughter's latest thriller, Deputy U.S. Marshall Andrea ("Andy") Oliver, a rookie on the force, takes an assignment in Baltimore to protect a judge who's been receiving death threats. For Andy, the assignment has a personal element: the judge is the mother of Emily Vaughn, who was murdered decades earlier, and it is possible that Andy's biological father, the incarcerated cult leader Nick Harp, was Emily's killer. Slaughter's Pieces of Her (2018) introduced Andy, but it focused on her mother, Laura; here the attention turns to Andy, who has grown into a strong woman (much like Laura) and is determined to dig deeper into her complex family history. But can she find her way through 40 years of cover-up and conspiracy to uncover the truth about Emily, who was killed just as she was about to graduate from high school? It's a terrific premise, and Slaughter really goes to town with it. Layer upon layer of mystery, a great cast of characters, and some genuinely startling twists. This is Slaughter at her best. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Slaughter's thrillers always draw a crowd, but this one will benefit from the popularity of the Netflix series based on Pieces of Her, which stars Bella Heathcoate as Andy. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Forty years after the unsolved murder of a Delaware teen, a newly minted U.S. marshal on an apparently unrelated assignment is pulled back into the case. Emily Vaughn is well and truly cast out. Discovering that she's pregnant even though she has no recollection of having had sex with anyone, she refuses to follow the edict of her censorious parents to name the father and force him into marriage. In return, they turn on her with a grim intensity only Slaughter could summon. But Emily doesn't do cast-out. Even after she's expelled from her school, she shows up at the senior prom in full regalia and is shunned and shamed by virtually everyone who sees her before she's brutally struck down by a shadowy figure. Decades after her death, newly anointed Marshal Andrea Oliver, who knows more than a little about domestic problems-her biological father is doing time for his misdeeds as a psychopathic cult leader-is assigned as part of her initial rotation to protect Judge Esther Rose Vaughn, who's received a series of florid death threats punctuated by a dead rat. Starchy Esther, it turns out, was Emily's mother, and Andrea's gig will bring her uncomfortably close to both Esther and Judith Vaughn, the daughter doctors managed to keep Emily alive long enough to bring to birth 40 years ago. Slaughter is less interested in revealing whodunit than in showcasing the many ways Emily was rejected by her peers, her teacher, and her family and the bitter legacy her supposed transgression left behind, and she brings her trademark intensity to every relationship she lays bare. Like touching a live wire that continues across three generations. Copyright Kirkus 2022 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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