Pieces of Her

by Karin Slaughter

Crime and Mystery Thriller and Suspense Books of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Family Drama Star Books Audiobooks of the Month eBooks of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of Pieces of Her

A hugely thrilling psychological suspense, packed full of fiery explosive energy.

Pieces of Her blew me away, it’s sharp, edgy, and compulsive. I foolishly started late in the evening and ended up keeping the early hours company for some time as I simply had to finish it! 31-year-old Andrea finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about her mum Laura when a birthday trip ends in horrific violence, further danger rushes in and Andy desperately needs to find answers. The prologue encourages intrigue to bubble away nicely then, oh my word… chapter one!

Chapter one brilliantly sets the scene before exploding in the most shocking way, I gulped, settled further into my chair and braced myself for the experience.

Karin Slaughter has the ability to set a tale on fire, she fans the flames, and I needed my wits about me as the time frame changed and left my understanding floating for a while, searching for answers. Andy and Laura are fascinating characters, they challenged my thoughts and feelings in the best possible way. Incredibly stimulating and enthralling Pieces of Her has left me on a heart-hammering high!


Pieces of Her Synopsis

You've known her your whole life... Andrea Oliver knows everything about her mother Laura. She knows she's always lived in the small town of Belle Isle; she knows she's a pillar of the community; she knows she's never kept a secret in her life. but she's hiding something...

Then one day, a trip to the mall explodes into a shocking act of violence and Andy suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. and it could destroy you both... Hours later, Laura is in hospital, her face splashed over the newspapers. But the danger has only just begun. Now, Andy must go on a desperate race to uncover the secrets of her mother's past. Unless she can, there may be no future for either of them... 


About This Edition

ISBN: 9780008150860
Publication date: 9th August 2018
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Format: Audiobook
Primary Genre Crime and Mystery
Other Genres:
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What To Read After Pieces of Her

A Song of Isolation
The Thorn of Truth
The Exiled

Pieces of Her Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

Karin Slaughter is back at her best with a great thriller that will take you through a mum & daughter story with twists and turns until the truth is finally revealed.

Andrea thought she had an open & honest relationship with her mother throughout her life, even through her cancer treatment, but at a simple meal out together and their lives take a new turn. A shooter in the diner they were in shows a new side to her mother and starts Andrea on a journey of finding out the truth. Desperate not to cause her father a problem but a need to follow her mum's instruction, she takes to the road making decisions about where she goes and who she speaks to without understanding the danger she may put herself in but wanting to find the truth. A great story that will keep you gripped and enthralled to the end as we dip into the current year and what happened 32 years ago.

Cathy Small

A unique but lengthy tale.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The plot was unlike anything I had read before but it was too drawn out for my liking and it did not keep me hooked in the way that I thought it would. It started well, dragged on in the middle, then picked up towards the end. The chapters set in the present were more engaging than those set in the past and I found myself speed reading through the backstory just to get back to the present. Overall, it was an average read.

Lisa Davies

Fab book, a real page turner.

Great read. Pieces of her was a great page turner that had me gripped throughout. I loved the way that I didn't have a clue what was going to happen but details of the story were slowly fed to me.

I love Karin Slaughter, I have read a few of her books now and will look out for her new releases.

Krissy Rix

This is an exciting and emotional thriller and is a must read for Karin Slaughter fans.

I recently bought The Good Daughter - one of Karin Slaughter's previous titles, and I really enjoyed it. I jumped at the chance to read her latest book. 

Pieces of Her shows just how much we fill in the gaps with our friends and family, and how far our idea of them can differ from the truth. You'd think there'd be no secrets between a mother and daughter, but Andrea and Laura prove that wrong. Andrea always thought her mother wanted a quiet life in the centre of a small community with no controversy or secrets in her life. But it turns out Andrea doesn't know her mother as well as she thinks. 

This is a great thriller and mystery and such a page turner. The twists and discoveries kept me reading, constantly trying to work out what was happening. The book also flashes back so you have to keep your wits about you while reading to uncover the plot and follow the characters as they reveal their darkest secrets. When I was finished I was questioning how well I knew my own friends and family. 

Britteny Sutcliffe

What to believe? Who to believe? Andy’s world has been turned upside down, the facts seem totally unbelievable. Her mother, her perfectly ordinary mother, a criminal?

A book with two time lines – whichever you’re in the excitement is still tense.
A story which ratchets up the tension – between Jane and Nick, between Andy and all the things she gradually comes to learn about her mother.
Your heart will be in your mouth on the odd occasion, whoever’s side you’re on.
What to believe? Who to believe? Andy’s world has been turned upside down, and she is constantly being presented with facts that seem totally unbelievable. Her mother, her perfectly ordinary mother, a criminal?
The beginning of this journey into finding out who her mother actually was, started with the almost unbelievable witnessing, being involved in, the shooting of people in a lunch-time Diner. And the shocks, the discoveries, the fear, just ratcheted up from there. From that point on Andy lurched from one discovery to another, her own life in jeopardy on more than one occasion.

E.A. Rhodes

An apparently random shooting in a mall, leads to a daughter tracking her mother's past - is she a killer, liar or hero? We have to find out. A compulsive read.

A really thick book on an extremely hot day, even by such a readable author as Karin Slaughter, was not particularly appealing. I opened Pieces of Her without much enthusiasm but how wrong could I be? Laura, the mother in question and her 31 year old slightly odd daughter, Andy, appeared average and boring. A random shooting in a mall where they were celebrating a birthday lunch instantly changed all that. Mother took control of the situation in an unexpected way, ultimately giving Andy bizarre instructions that forced her into chasing down would be killers involved with her Mother's past. Dodging from the 80s to the present day it was an insight into a group of anarchists who had committed crimes against society. Such people have always existed which made it plausible. Full of twists and turns there was no going back, she had to find out.

It was all very compelling, cleverly devised, and almost impossible to work out. Who on earth was mother? It took a long and fascinating trip into the past to discover. Reading the book in two sittings proves how good it is and ultimately only the reader can decide whether mother was a hero, liar or killer.

Jan Kirkcaldy

Andrea doesn't know it yet but her mother has a secret and it's a big one. Karin Slaughter skilfully peels away the layers of lies like skin from an onion.

Andrea doesn't know it yet but her mother has a secret and it's a big one.

Andrea is having lunch with her mother Laura when in walks a man, shots are fired and everything changes. But that's not all.... bit by bit Andrea begins to wonder what Laura is hiding from her and if she really knew her well at all.

The story is a dual narrative told by Andrea in the present and an unknown person called Jane in the past. But how are Jane and her family connected to Laura and Andrea?

The entire book is a puzzle and slowly pieces begin to fall into place as Andrea finds out more about Laura but what is true and what is a lie?

An intriguing and sometimes startling read. Even when you think you have solved the mystery there are still more secrets to be revealed. Karin Slaughter skilfully peels away the layers of lies like skin from an onion.

Rachel Aygin

A story of a mother's past catching up with her and a daughter trying to find out about a mother she didn't know.

I've been a fan of Karin Slaughter in the past and looked forward to this book, however, if I hadn't been reviewing the book I would probably have given up after about 50 pages.

Mother and daughter are having a birthday lunch when it's interrupted by a man shooting at fellow diners. Laura (the mother) confronts the man and kills him. This gets splashed all over the media. So far so good, exciting and ready to go. However, a major problem for me is the daughter Andrea. I wouldn't have been surprised if at some point she was described as mentally disabled. She is 31, lives at home with her mother and seems unable to make an independant decision. If she was 21 I could probably have believed in her a bit more. After a confrontation with a strange man, in which Andrea thinks she's killed him, her mother sends Andrea off on a road trip in which she is completely unable to cope.

At the base of this book is the story of how the US and many other countries, deal or not, with the mentally ill. However, I didn't like the characters and although the book picked up at the end, for me it wasn't up to this authors previous books.

Susan Andrews

Not Karin Slaughter's best work but all in all a good read, some bits confusing and jumping about in time. I'm sure it will sell well.

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter is another great novel but in my opinion not as good as some I have read of hers. I have read her books before and loved them so to be sent this one to review was always going to be a bonus.

From the first chapter I was hooked, from the shooting while Andrea and Laura were having lunch to the way Laura suddenly became this Kill Bill character urging Andrea to run and get away. Andrea was a rather immature it seemed and didn't always comprehend what was going on. From then on the story dipped a little and I struggled to keep interested for a while as I waited for something monumental to happen, I did find it confusing the way the story jumped about in time and made it hard to find the connection to start with, what did 1980's radicals have to do with the shooting and attempted stabbing in present day? The choice of the same names in two cases was odd, two Laura's and two Andy's, different names would have been better. Laura was supposedly the perfect mother and neighbour, a good friend, but then she became this cold killer while Andrea seemed to regress and become a young girl again not able to think for herself and not able to work things out.

I did read this through to the end and was satisfied with the outcome, but I feel this is not Karen Slaughter's finest work.


Brilliant - a Mother and Daughter story. You thought you know your Mum but do you really? Captivating.

Loved this book and it kept me up at night reading later than I should.

Andrea's world is turned upside down on her 31st birthday by seeing her Mother, Laura, do something she never thought she would be capable of. And to do so calmly.

So who is Laura really? This is explored throughout the chapters - set in the present and set in the past giving us the background.

I was gripped from the beginning and enjoyed the journey that Karin Slaughter took me on. It was thought provoking - and in many ways, I was sad when I got to the end.

Alison Bisping

Karin Slaughter is an exceptional storyteller and this is one of her best books. A really good read that will have you up all night.

Andy and her Mom were at the Coffee shop In the Mall. Her Mother was berating her for being 31 (her birthday) and still at home.
A young man with a gun comes in and starts shooting. People are dead and dying. He approaches Andy and aims at her. Her mother steps in the way and says ‘Shoot Me’. 
He draws a knife and in the tussle with her mother, she calmly ends up cutting his throat. Can this be the person that she has called Mother for all her life?
When they get home another man breaks into their house and tries to attack her Mother. Andy hits him over the head. Her Mother tells her to run and where to run and gives her money and information to follow.
She follows this trail and along the way she finds that her mother was a totally different person to the one she had always known. Her mother’s life in peeled away like an onion with each layer amazing Andy.
Her mother’s life in then told from different angles by different people. Who is she? What is this all about?
A great story, well told from different angles and in different times.

Jocelyn F Garvey

Gripping. Intense. Emotional. Thought provoking. If you haven’t discovered this author yet you must! You’re onto a winner!

This novel had me gripped from chapter 1. I became involved with the characters straight away. The protagonist's journey from weak, helpless childlike creature to the beautiful butterfly she becomes is done decidedly, and well throughout the text. The antagonist is, to start, a loveable rogue, but by the end, well...
The story itself I found very thought provoking. It made me think about how things are in the world. The text is written so that it flows easily, she hasn’t flung in a lot of ‘big words’ just for the sake of it. I actually found myself on the edge of my seat at some points, to physically crying with sadness at others. She has clearly done her research, for example, one of the characters is a pianist and she uses the correct terms and words to show she knows what she’s talking about, but not baffle us. I loved the way the story was broken in two, by having the historical element, a whole other story in itself, it helped the present day story to develop and gave you further insight into the present day characters and their own happenings. An amazing novel. This shall have a permanent place on my bookshelf and I have a feeling I shall be reading it many times in the future.

Amanda O'Dwyer

A fast paced thriller with intriguing characters.

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter is a book that alternates between the present day and 30 years earlier. It begins with a violent, shooting in a diner in which Andy and her mother Laura are involved. During this incident Andy sees a completely different side to her mother, which then results in her questioning everything she has previously known about her.
Gradually the two stories from different time periods start coming together and results in a thriller of a story.

This was the first book by Karin Sluaghter I had read and I was very excited to read it as I’d heard good things about her. This book didn’t quite live up to my high expectations and although I generally enjoyed it, I did find it quite confusing it parts and it took me a lot longer than I expected to read it.

Nicola Edwards

A tense thriller, packed with suspense, deceit and secrets. Andy is 31 and her boring, dead-end life is about to change forever when she discovers the earth shattering truth about her mother’s past life.

This book has a strong opening. Andy and her mother Laura are having lunch when a gunman opens fire and Laura steps in to stop Andy being shot. Then Laura does something totally out of character and the gunman lies dead on the floor. Andy always thought her mother lived a perfectly ordinary life and had a perfectly ordinary job as a speech therapist. Later in the hospital Laura insists that Andy has to move out immediately. Andy is very upset and confused, but things are going to get a whole lot worse. She starts out on a dangerous journey to piece together her mother’s past and learns a lot about how strong she can really be. This book was a bit confusing at times, but overall it was an addictive read.

Adrienne Kinsella

Karin Slaughter Press Reviews

`Slaughter has outdone herself with Pieces of Her-a novel that sets the standard for psychological thriller writing. Rarely in fiction have the past and the present collided with such force and in such a distinctive and compelling voice' Jeffery Deaver

`One can trust Karin Slaughter to consistently come up with captivating stories, stocked to the rafters with credible and engaging characters, superb dialogue and twists that take you by surprise no matter how hard you try to anticipate what is coming...amongst the world`s greatest and finest crime writers' Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Praise for Karin Slaughter:

`This is a great writer at the peak of her powers. Karin Slaughter is at her nail-biting, heart-stopping, emotionally-draining best' Peter James

'Karin Slaughter has - by far - the best name of all of us mystery novelists. More to the point, The Good Daughter is Karin Slaughter's most ambitious, most emotional, and best novel. So far, anyway' James Patterson

`Simply the best book you'll read all year. Raw, powerful and utterly gripping - yet written with a tenderness and empathy that will break your heart' Kathryn Stockett, bestselling author of The Help

`The darkness of the past is very present in this utterly chilling thriller. With heart and skill Karin Slaughter keeps you hooked from the first page until the last' Camilla Lackberg

`It's big, dark, rich, satisfying, and bloody - like a perfectly cooked steak' Stuart MacBride

`The best yet' Lesley Pearse

`A great read' Daily Mail

'The best suspense novel of the year' Daily Express

`Fierce, savagely well-written' Metro

`I'd follow her anywhere' Gillian Flynn

`One of the boldest thriller writers working today' Tess Gerritsen

`Her characters, plot, and pacing are unrivaled' Michael Connelly

`Passion, intensity, and humanity' Lee Child

`A writer of extraordinary talents' Kathy Reichs

`Fiction doesn't get any better than this' Jeffery Deaver

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008150853
Publication date: 18/04/2019
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008150822
Publication date: 09/08/2018
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9780008150860
Publication date: 09/08/2018
Format: Audiobook

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About Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe, her novels have all been Sunday Times bestsellers. Slaughter lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. Her standalone novel Pieces of Her is now a Netflix series, and the Grant County and Will Trent series are in development for television. www.karinslaughter.com Author photo © Alison Rosa The Silent Wife is the 20th book by Karin ...

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