Book review ‘Pieces of her’

  • Author: Karin Slaughter
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers UK
  • Publishing year: 2018
  • Number of pages: 365 (Tolino e-reader)
  • ISBN: 978-1460706626 (ebook)
  • ISBN: 978-1460751756 (paperback)
  • My rating: 3,5 (4)/5


Mother. Hero. Liar. Killer. How can you tell when all you have is…


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.

Now a tv hitseries on Netflix!


Karin Slaughter is called the Queen of Crime for a reason, this book proves that as well… but before I get into it in a little more detail, I wish to explain my rating for the novel… I had seen the tv-show on Netflix before I read any of the books in the Andrea Oliver series (now containing two with Girl, forgotten recently published) ànd I read its sequel first (got a review copy from HarperCollins Flanders and read it before this book); all this leads to me having a somewhat distorted experience reading this novel… this in combination with the fact that the novel has long chapters made it a slow burner for me… but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the novel, because its content is a great mystery novel about Andrea Oliver’s live being turned upside down after her mother saves her from a shooter in a restaurant and suddenly all kinds of weird things come to the surface about her mother’s past… and Andrea discovers she was being lied to her entire life. We see her change from a very naive and weak character to a strong woman that tackles on all the problems in her situation only to find out what really is going on and what her mother hid for her entire life!

The switch between 2018 and the past in 1986 is done really good… we are left in the dark enough till the end, so that we (as readers) learn what Laura (aka Jane Queller) did what she did for reasons you wouldn’t expect. Her past is one of desire, despair, death and disappointment… Tension is kept high in this crime and mystery novel, proof that Slaughter knows how to captivate her readers and audience!

The reason why I had some trouble finding the right pace in the novel is on the one hand I read a chapter each night in bed before I went to sleep and on the other hand because I watched the tv-series first and the changes they made to the show in comparison to what happens in the novel are (in hindsight) regrettable… If I would have read the book first, I wouldn’t have liked the show, I’m afraid… (in the tv show Andrea only makes the wrong decisions)

So my experience was somewhat biased by that… unfortunately (because I adored Girl, forgotten very much!) But thus does not mean I will not read another Slaughter novel because she is a really good writer, a smart writer as she knows how to keep her readers guessing at what’s really going on, long enough to keep them wanting to know the real deal!

My advice: read this novel, skip the tv-show (or watch it but don’t compare) and you will definitely enjoy the book! (Why can’t they stick to the source material when adapting it to a movie or tv-serie?)

Dutch translation: Gespleten
Netlix tv-show based on this book (with Toni Collette)

Synopsis Dutch:

Nu ook op Netflix met Toni Collette en Bella Heathcote in de hoofdrol! Sterke personages, bloedstollende spanning, met verve en vakmanschap geschreven: Pieces of Her (Gespleten) is Karin Slaughter op haar best.

Andrea Cooper kent haar moeder door en door. Maar wanneer het restaurant waar Andrea en Laura lunchen onder vuur wordt genomen en een doodgewone middag in een bloedbad verandert, ziet Andrea een heel andere kant van haar. De koelbloedigheid waarmee Laura de schutter overmeestert en doodt, verbijstert Andrea.

Dan blijkt dat Laura zich al dertig jaar schuilhoudt onder een andere naam en dat alles wat ze over haar verleden heeft verteld gelogen is. Wat heeft Laura op haar geweten? Waarom zien anderen haar liever dood dan levend? En hoe kun je iemand nog vertrouwen die een leugenaar, of erger, blijkt te zijn?

Andrea Oliver reeks: dé perfecte zomerlectuur

Korte Nederlandse review: door eerst de tv-serie bekeken te hebben, wist ik min of meer het verloop van dit verhaal al, maar zoals steeds hebben ze het bron materiaal gewijzigd voor het kleine schermpje en dat is dan weer zo jammer… had ik maar eerst het boek gelezen, denk ik dan! En toch is dit een spannend verhaal, met genoeg twists en genoeg mysterie om je op de rand van je stoel te laten zitten terwijl je leest en ontdekt hoe het verhaal in elkaar zit! Karin weet haar lezers te entertainen en wordt niet voor niks ‘Queen of Crime’ genoemd natuurlijk! Het vervolg dat deze zomer verscheen (Gewetenloos, zie eerdere review op blog en IG-pagina) was ook een schot in de roos! Ontdek beide boeken zelf maar, en de serie… bekijk die enkel als je benieuwd bent wat ze ervan maakten nádat je het boek las best! 🙏

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