What is this about?: Charlie Quinn is at a Scout meeting when she meets Flora, who asks her to help her become emancipated from her grandparents. Charlie dives headlong into the case, determined to help Flora, which brings up her own experiences with her family.
What else is this about?: It’s an introduction to Charlie Quinn, her family and her past in anticipation (I think, because that’s how I’m reading it) of Karin Slaughter’s newest full-length novel: The Good Daughter
Blurb: Protecting someone always comes at a cost.
At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home—and after that shocking night, Charlie’s world was never the same.
Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.
But honor-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: How far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?
Razor-sharp and lightning-fast, this electrifying story from the #1 international bestselling author will leave you breathless.
I love a good thriller, but I love it even more when there’s a short story (or novella if you prefer) that helps me figure out if I want to actually read the big new novel that the famous author — in this case Karin Slaughter — has written. It’s like a safety blanket before getting to the big event? Any one else appreciate novels like this?
I mean, it can be a bit of a mixed bag because why should long time fans go for the short story if the longer book has it all, but then they’re just there, mocking you if you don’t read them — that’s me and Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books. And short stories. But I digress…
This is a character-focused story, letting readers get to know Charlie Quinn, her marriage and her past — and her parents. She is a determined woman, shaped by the loss of her mother and her father’s choices as a child — he’s a lawyer too, the one that defends the criminals and stands up for the law. Some of those clients are grateful and others attack his family changing it forever.
Charlie, in this book, is about as settled as she can be — she has a loving and a Star-Trek loving husband, who is ridiculously cute in his fanboy sensibilities. Their relationship isn’t explored much, and the lines of their lawyer-lives are clearly set in this story — they do not discuss their cases, which means Charlie is left on her own in the aftermath of the Flora case.
She’s a young girl who wants to be emancipated from her grandparents. They’re eating into the trust fund her dead mother created for her, and when Charlie hears all this, it resonates with her, and makes her determined to help Flora.
From there, she does some investigating into her grandparents, in an effort to try and understand how to get Flora out of there… however, nothing is ever that simple, not even in a short story. What thrills me with this story is that Karin Slaughter has accomplished a satisfying OMG moment, which is only one amazing part of this short story, and more importantly to me, highlights the strengths of her characterisation.
As introductions go, it’s an effective one into Charlie, into her past and where she now. It’s also insight into how her past affects her choices and her thinking with regards to her clients — which can be prove dangerous in her line of work.
What do you think of short stories based on longer books? Should they be necessary to read to enjoy the longer book? Or should they be separate entirely?