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Pieces of Her (Andrea Oliver, #1)
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Group Read - Pieces of Her > Group Read - Pieces of Her chap 1-6 Spoilers Welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Discussion topic for the first six chapters of Pieces of Her, taking place Aug 20, 2018. Spoilers welcome on this thread.
If the first to post, please briefly summarize to guide the discussion.


OMalleycat | 1448 comments Prologue
Inner dialogue of a woman reminiscing about a man who’s charming and “full of fury.” He hurts people and moves on to new things. Suddenly his charm expires and “a life is taken, a death sentence passed” and the narrator almost lost her life. Together they raged against the system. She had ignited the first spark of his rage because she believed that the only way to change the world was to destroy it.

August 20, 2018
Chapter 1

Andy (Andrea) and her mother, Laura, live in a satellite of Savannah, GA. They’re having lunch at a local mall for Andy’s 31st birthday. We learn Andy isn’t in good shape—lethargic, doesn’t take care of herself, scattered, owes huge student loans, has lost track of her ambitions, working the graveyard shift as a 911 operator. She’s been living for three years with Laura who had breast cancer. Laura is the antithesis of Andy—direct, successful, organized, forceful. At lunch Laura is encouraging Andy to move out and on with her life when they’re interrupted by Betsy, a woman who’s known Laura professionally. A gunman opens fire in the diner, killing Betsy’s daughter, then Betsy. Laura pushes Andy out of the way and engages the shooter, who now has a knife. Laura is seriously injured but kills the shooter.

Chapter 2
In the chaotic aftermath of the shooting, Laura makes Andy promise not to talk to the police. At the hospital, Andy waits for Laura to come out of surgery and we meet her stepfather, Gordon, a lawyer. Andy, in shock and remembering her promise to Laura, says nothing when questioned by detectives They aggressively question Andy and Gordon, asking if Laura had any military or self-defense training. Andy and Gordon watch a video taken at the shooting in which it looks like Laura willfully killed the shooter when she could have disarmed him, raising the possibility of murder instead of self-defense. Laura, just out of surgery, appears and demands to be taken home. When she’s alone with Andy, Laura coldly orders her to move out of the house tonight.

Chapter 3
On her way out of the hospital Andy is accosted by an overly solicitous man. She asks if he's a reporter or a detective and gets no reply. He bulls in to help Laura into the car. As Andy’s family drive away, he stands and watches them. Gordon reveals to them that the shooter was from a law enforcement and military family and his father, a sheriff, was killed by a bank robber six months ago, about the time the shooter started planning his attack. Gordon is disturbed by Laura’s countenance on the video when she was killing the shooter—serene, everyday. Laura refers to the police as “pigs.” At home, Andy reflects on her family, the birth father she never knew, and his parents whom she only knows from a photograph of them with her when she was a baby.

Chapter 4
Andy planned to pack to move to Gordon’s house, but fell asleep. She wakes at 1:30 a.m. to find CNN is now focusing on her mother’s role in the shooting more than the shooter. She catches a man prowling around the house. She creeps in, and hears the prowler threatening her mother. Her own phone dead, she texts 911 from Laura’s phone in the kitchen. She hears the prowler begin to strangle Laura. She gets a cast iron frying pan, slams it into his head and he dies. Laura hears the approaching sirens and quickly retrieves a hidden emergency bag of cash, burner phone, and keys. She tells Andy to take the prowler’s car, go to a town across Georgia, to a storage unit where there’s another car. Don’t use GPS, credit cards, contact no one. Take the stored car and go west, far away. Laura will call her on the burner phone when it’s safe.

Chapter 5
Evading police, Andy retrieves the prowler’s truck. She realizes she’s left a visible trail of her presence in Laura’s house and in the neighborhood. She is successful in making it to the highway without being stopped. She realizes that in her hurried instructions, Laura had revealed that Andy’s birthday is different from the date Andy has always celebrated.

Chapter 6
Andy reaches her destination but must find the storage unit. She goes to the library to use the computer for directions. She researches a name the prowler mentioned and finds how to locate that woman in Texas. As Andy leaves she sees a man peering into the prowler’s truck. She walks to the storage unit, abandoning the truck. In storage there's a well kept vintage car, ID, money, clothes, emergency rations. The ID and car registration are Canadian. Andy also finds old photos, including some of Laura showing evidence of a serious beating. Andy also finds pictures of herself as a toddler in snow, and evidence the picture of her with her father’s parents is a fake.


OMalleycat | 1448 comments This book opens just as intriguingly as I'd hoped from the book description. Andy and Laura are both interesting characters in their different ways. I'm guessing Andy will find drive and guts as she does whatever she's going to do from here. As for Laura, it's a great contrast to realize that the woman "who knows where all the Tupperware lids are" has a secret and messy past.

I don't know if it will continue to play out in the rest of the book, but I liked Slaughter's cynical yet (imho) correct depiction of TV news. The pressing need to fill 24 hours leads to misdirection or crazy focus. Yes, we know that there's more to Laura than meets the eye, but they don't, yet turn the focus to her instead of the mass shooter. Whack.


Geri OMalleycat wrote: "This book opens just as intriguingly as I'd hoped from the book description. Andy and Laura are both interesting characters in their different ways. I'm guessing Andy will find drive and guts as sh..."

I so agree with you about the slanted news stories about Laura. The more sensational angle gets more focus. And the video airing over and over is crazy. I hate when news does this. Sometimes I fast forward during some segments after watching a particularly violent video too many times!

I am finding the book so far very suspenseful and yes, very gruesome at times. I really hope Andy does become less panicky and more gutsy. She doesn’t do well in an emergency at all! How Laura has kept her past a secret is confusing to me. Laura has left town regularly and was probably doing something totally unexpected. The book is getting intriguing with the stashed money and items that Andy has discovered. I’ll try to read the next section tomorrow.


message 5: by Ann (last edited Aug 27, 2018 10:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Great summaries Jan! They are an excellent recap- much appreciated!
Wow! I just finished this segment, the shooting in the diner really took me by surprise. I think it was due to the previously calm setting and Andy's mental side notes about her relationship with her Mom as they ate; and the "normalcy" of an acquaintance dropping by to chat, then boom.
Two things struck me
Karin Slaughter is reminding us how quickly and tragically gun violence can change everything and how crazy it seems that someone would manage to record a video during the actual event.
I agree with both of you, the television news media sometimes seems to salivate over sensational slants to stories and love replaying sensational videos. Laura would find it hard to get a jury that hasn't heard of the event if she is tried.


message 6: by Ann (last edited Aug 28, 2018 11:16PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments I also find the characters interesting and look forward to some layers peeling back in the next segment. Laura has some secrets to reveal and Andy, depths to explore.
Are we all capable of murder? Perhaps.
Laura knew someone was coming after her, why else coldly tell Andy she had to move out immediately. I am thinking she was hiding out from someone / something and getting the video exposure let whoever is after her know how t o find her. She seemed surprised and incredulous at the idea she was a spy when Andy asked.
I almost expected that Andy would find a passport or id for herself too in the storage room, but I guess Laura thought Andy was safely away from home in NYC before she got sick.


message 7: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments What past trauma makes Andy turn inward and react by not speaking during the shooting and later interrogation? She's smarter than first glance.


Geri Ann wrote: "I also find the characters interesting and look forward to some layers peeling back in the next segment. Laura has some secrets to reveal and Andy depths to explore.
Are we all capable of murder? ..."


Yes, my initial reaction when Laura told Andy to leave was a mother protecting her child. It feels like Laura could be a spy. But maybe there is more to the story.


message 9: by OMalleycat (last edited Aug 29, 2018 07:52PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: ". . .how crazy it seems that someone would manage to record a video during the actual event. ."

I almost didn't believe this, Ann. Why would someone video instead of hiding or fleeing? How could anyone have the cool to keep filming as two people are killed and two gravely injured? Most importantly: how about using that phone to call for help?

Then, at the same time I was reading, there was that video from Houston on the news. Did y'all see it? A car is pulled over for a traffic stop. The driver tries to flee and the policeman tackles him. They struggle and a bystander moves in to help. A uniformed security officer gets out of her car (admittedly off duty, and not employed at this spot, but still. . .) and starts videoing the incident. The driver hits the officer in the face and grabs for his gun. She continues videoing. The officer begs, "help me, help me. Stop filming and her me!" The videographer circles the fighting men apparently trying to get closer, or get a better angle.

And, of course, the reason we can all see this is because someone else was also videoing the whole thing. So Slaughter nailed the whole mentality. I get most of my news from the radio, so I probably miss all of these kind of videos. My eyes have been opened!


message 10: by OMalleycat (last edited Aug 29, 2018 07:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "What past trauma makes Andy turn inward and react by not speaking during the shooting and later interrogation? She's smarter than first glance."

I wonder if it's not so much a trauma as having such a powerful mother. Andy may have developed the habit of letting her mother decide, speak, and act for her. And remember the story of Andy's high school project planned mainly to impress a boy she'd never spoken to? I've been meaning to look back at that story again because at the time I couldn't quite figure out what bearing it had on the story. But for this issue of her helplessness and reticence it has a bearing because, as I recall, Gordon did most of the work of the project and Andy's extreme reaction to her disappointment in Cletus (or disappointment in not having impressed him?) was perhaps the first time she found herself unable to respond verbally to others.


message 11: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Jan: Hmm, I hadn't connected the science fair project and Andy's disappointment when she realized the boy she wanted to impress was a jerk as a factor in her reticence, but why not; and I agree, a powerful mother might be an impact too.
I was secretly glad she didn't continue to hero worship the jerk after he revealed his lack of character.


message 12: by Geri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Geri OMalleycat wrote: "Ann wrote: ". . .how crazy it seems that someone would manage to record a video during the actual event. ."

I almost didn't believe this, Ann. Why would someone video instead of hiding or fleeing?..."


You know, I never thought of that angle. Was someone taping the whole thing? Or were there cameras already there? Cameras are pretty much everywhere. Fortunately, criminals forget this and get caught on camera for police to figure out what they did.

Unfortunately,or in some cases fortunately, we are a society where everyone videotapes everything on our phones. I saw the news story you mentioned. The security guard was fired. I guess she was hoping to tape a story she could sell to the news. I’m glad it backfired for her. Doing the right thing should be a priority over taping a sensational story.


message 13: by Geri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Geri OMalleycat wrote: "Ann wrote: "What past trauma makes Andy turn inward and react by not speaking during the shooting and later interrogation? She's smarter than first glance."

I wonder if it's not so much a trauma a..."


I think you figured out why Andy was the way she was. She was protected her whole life by a mother who knew why she had to be so fiercely protected. Yes, it was good that she realized right away that Cletus was a jerk. She differed from her mother in that. I still found most of Andy’s reactions and reticence very frustrating! Karin Slaughter’s writing was too good at bringing Andy to life for me!


message 14: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Geri: Andy's character really came to life for me too. I think partly because Karin Slaughter shows us a vulnerable starting point and growth. Some other characters were not so likeable. :)


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8300 comments Before I launch into the discussion I have to say that Jan, your summaries are a revelation and a relief! It's so helpful to go over the trajectory of what we've been through so far. I'm a little further along now and thoroughluy confused, but I'm confident your summaries will help set things right.

And I had completely forgotten or blanked out on the prologue, which from where I am in the book now makes a little more sense. So thanks!


message 16: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Carol Ms O’Cat did a splendid job didn’t she! They are terrific summaries! I think it wore her out. So well worth it for discussions.
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "Before I launch into the discussion I have to say that Jan, your summaries are a revelation and a relief! It's so helpful to go over the trajectory of what we've been through so far. I'm a little f..."


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8300 comments OMalleycat wrote: "This book opens just as intriguingly as I'd hoped from the book description. Andy and Laura are both interesting characters in their different ways. I'm guessing Andy will find drive and guts as sh..."

I can now explain what I said in the "no spoilers" post. The beginning of this book drove me nuts. I'll preface by saying I'm listening on CD, and only in my car driving to and from work and whenever else I'm in the car in the evenings and weekends. So probably makes for a little more disjointed listening. But I found Andy SO frustrating. Her mother or whoever is talking to her has to ask the same thing 3, 4, 5 times before they get a response from her. In two separate critical life threatening scenarios Laura has to repeat herself many times to get Andy to focus/obey/act. I had no patience for this young woman at this point and wasn't sure I was going to be able to live with her through an entire book.

Once she was on the road she seemed to focus and be able to think and act the way I would expect the MC of a thriller to, LOL. So I'm a little calmer now.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8300 comments Geri wrote: "I am finding the book so far very suspenseful and yes, very gruesome at times. I really hope Andy does become less panicky and more gutsy. She doesn’t do well in an emergency at all!..."

Geri, you've expressed my feelings exactly. And I did cringe when we had to live through the gruesome killing of the shooter not just once, when it actually happened, but again when I think Andy was watching it replayed on television. In the same gruesome detail. Was that necessary? I wondered at that point about Slaughter's penchance (is that a word?) for gruesome detail.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8300 comments Ann wrote: "Laura knew someone was coming after her, why else coldly tell Andy she had to move out immediately. I am thinking she was hiding out from someone / something and getting the video exposure let whoever is after her know how t o find her. She seemed surprised and incredulous at the idea she was a spy when Andy asked. ..."

I was completely caught off guard when Laura told Andy she had to leave.. and so then had a second character I was annoyed with, LOL. I took it at face value -- cold, selfish Laura. I should have know better, did I not know what kind of novel I was reading? ;-)

I was amazed that Andy was with-it enough to ask her mom if she was a spy, which is what we were all wondering at that point. My impression of her up to that point was she was pretty slow on the up-take.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8300 comments OMalleycat wrote: "Ann wrote: ". . .how crazy it seems that someone would manage to record a video during the actual event. ."

I almost didn't believe this, Ann. Why would someone video instead of hiding or fleeing?..."


My thoughts also. Wow, you story about the Houston video is unbelievable.


Sandi (sandin954) | 1237 comments Thanks Jan for the chapter summaries.

Like Carol, I am listening to the audio and find Andy completely frustrating. Also, I agree that the violence was a bit on the gratuitous side but that is to be expected with Slaughter.

I guess I find the whole Laura is a killing machine angle media spin a bit of a reach. No matter what a video showed would the media turn on a victim, especially an older, maternal, cancer surviving, professional, white woman, who not only survived a mass shooting but saved others, no matter how she looked while defending herself and her daughter.


message 22: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Sandi: I agree, the media wouldn't normally turn on a hero stopping a mass shooter. I assumed the pressure from his wealthy and powerful family was intended to be a factor, that they would exert pressure was alluded to but not overtly shown.
Sandi wrote: "I guess I find the whole Laura is a killing machine angle media spin a bit of a reach. No matter what a video showed would the media turn on a victim, especially an older, maternal, cancer surviving, professional, white woman, who not only survived a mass shooting but saved others, no matter how she looked while defending herself and her daughter. .."


OMalleycat | 1448 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: " I have to say that Jan, your summaries are a revelation and a relief! .."

Thanks, Carol. Ann will tell you I struggled with it a bit. I wanted tight summaries but still wanted to leave in all the details that provided hints and clues.

Carol/Bonadie also wrote: " I'm a little further along now and thoroughly confused"

At this point in the book I was completely confused--not just baffled by the mystery, but about where the story was going and who all these people were. I can only imagine the confusion of listening to it and not being able to look back.


OMalleycat | 1448 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: " I wondered at that point about Slaughter's penchance (is that a word?) for gruesome detail. ."

I've wondered about this myself. We all read lots of thrillers and "see" lots of murders, but Slaughter brings a level of description and detail that literally makes me cringe. And I wonder: is it necessary for the story? (I don't think so.) Are there some readers who like this? If so, why? Would you really want to be the go-to author for readers who seek out detailed gory scenes?

For me it's not the violence in Slaughter's books that makes me want to read them. It's the characters and relationships among them, plus interesting plots and breathtaking suspense. If she'd scale back the graphic details by even 10% I'd be a lot more comfortable reading her books. Her suspense is disquieting enough without the violent images she leaves in my head.


message 25: by OMalleycat (last edited Sep 12, 2018 12:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Sandi wrote: "Like Carol, I am listening to the audio and find Andy completely frustrating."

At the beginning of the book I found Andy odd, but not necessarily annoying or frustrating. I wonder if it's something in the audio performance more than the words on the page that makes her a less tolerable character.

Andy at this stage reminds me of many kids I've taught. Until recently I was a Special Education teacher. Kids with processing problems often need lots of additional time to take in information, then even more time to respond. I kind of wondered, but didn't reallyfeel Slaughter was portraying a character with a disability. I thought she'd have enough information from writing the Will Trent character and an adult with a disability could take the story in a number of different directions.

Long term depression alone could make someone this slow to respond.

But another reason kids with special needs sometimes have slowed responses is that they're so used to being wrong they don't have the confidence to speak up. I really think this is Andy's story--without the special needs. Given a forceful mother like Laura, Andy may have grown up doubting her own instincts and habitually waiting for someone to tell her what to do (or do it for her ala Gordon). She'd be slow to commit to thought or action.

And I give her a total pass on not responding quickly in the midst of the shooting. She'd be totally scrambled, not to mention in shock.

Sandi also wrote: "No matter what a video showed would the media turn on a victim, especially an older, maternal, cancer surviving, professional, white woman, who not only survived a mass shooting but saved others, no matter how she looked while defending herself and her daughter.."

I'm on the fence about this. I distrust the news enough to believe they could completely skew a story, in order to provide a new angle on "the same old mass killing" story.

On the other hand in my town we recently had an attempted restaurant mass killing (two injured, no deaths). Two customers separately left the restaurant, went to their cars to get guns, and shot the shooter dead. There were no charges against them, not even a question. And I don't believe either man was identified in the news.

The bottom line is that Slaughter needed that video to gain enough interest to be played over and over on the news to further the plot. And I think she also used it to deliberately stir the pot of confusion about who this woman is and what's going on with her.


message 26: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Jan: the additional insight from a special needs perspective is great information! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on that possible explanation for Andy’s lethargic seeming responses. We certainly don’t know what goes on in someone ekse’s Head and this review of it makes that point doesn’t it?
I chalked her reactions up to depression as I read with a suspicion that her Mom might have been a factor too. Part of that comes from my knowledge from previous Slaughter books where the Mother /Daughter relationships are often a bit strained. (Not exactly the word to describe those past relationships but close)
That Laura is a strong assertive person is possible part of it too.
My main bet is on depression.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8300 comments OMalleycat wrote: "At this point in the book I was completely confused--not just baffled by the mystery, but about where the story was going and who all these people were. I can only imagine the confusion of listening to it and not being able to look back..."

Yes, exactly right. This is always the problem with complex audios., and why I try to reserve a print copy at the same time I reserve the audio from the library. Didn't do that in this case for some reason, or maybe I did but the print hasn't come in yet. The audios usually come in quicker, I assume because there is less demand for them.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8300 comments OMalleycat wrote: "'ve wondered about this myself. We all read lots of thrillers and "see" lots of murders, but Slaughter brings a level of description and detail that literally makes me cringe. And I wonder: is it necessary for the story? (I don't think so.) Are there some readers who like this? If so, why? Would you really want to be the go-to author for readers who seek out detailed gory scenes?..."

Yes to all the points in your post. I'm further along in the story now, and I will just say that whenever there is a violent death, even if it's fast, you get the goriest details that one could want (or not). Not as awful as her first novel (the one that put me off) but enough so that I said to myself "Ew. There's a mental picture I can never un-see."


message 29: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Sep 13, 2018 10:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8300 comments OMalleycat wrote: "At the beginning of the book I found Andy odd, but not necessarily annoying or frustrating. I wonder if it's something in the audio performance more than the words on the page that makes her a less tolerable character.
..."


I enjoyed your full post on the topic of Andy's slow responses, but wanted to comment on this because I think you are exactly right. Even now that I'm further along in the book, when I am listening to a scene where someone (usually in a stressful situation I'll admit) asks Andy a question and she is silent or says "umm...." so that the person has to ask their question two or three times before they get an answer, well, it drives me insane. There, I said it. And I think you're right that hearing it is much more crazymaking than reading it. ;-)


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8300 comments OMalleycat wrote: "On the other hand in my town we recently had an attempted restaurant mass killing (two injured, no deaths). Two customers separately left the restaurant, went to their cars to get guns, and shot the shooter dead. There were no charges against them, not even a question. And I don't believe either man was identified in the news...."

This is a fascinating anecdote, thanks for sharing it. I've never been one who believed the guns-rights argument that if people were armed they could help with a crime-in-process situation, but this is one real life case where they are proven right, or so it seems.


message 31: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Carol, my last book has someone who stutters as one of the main characters who, as asides, gives her opinion of the reactions she gets when she tries to speak (ranging from contempt, pity, ridicule and acceptance which was rare) This makes me wonder a bit more about what Andy was thinking as she delayed responding.
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I enjoyed your full post on the topic of Andy's slow responses, but wanted to comment on this because I think you are exactly right. Even now that I'm further along in the book, when I am listening to a scene where someone (usually in a stressful situation I'll admit) asks Andy a question and she is silent or says "umm...." so that the person has to ask their question two or three times before they get an answer, well, it drives me insane. There, I said it. And I think you're right that hearing it is much more crazymaking than reading it. ;-)
..."



Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8300 comments Ann wrote: "Carol, my last book has someone who stutters as one of the main characters who, as asides, gives her opinion of the reactions she gets when she tries to speak (ranging from contempt, pity, ridicule..."

Interesting comment, Ann, and the whole topic is food for thought. I wonder if I would have more patience for this characteristic or series of characteristics of Andy a) if we were told that this was a condition of hers rather than just see it in action, or b) if I saw someone exhibiting this behavior in real life.


message 33: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Carol: it stopped me in my tracks too, wondering what my in person reaction would be. I love when authors give us food for thought like this.

Carol/Bonadie wrote: "...patience for this characteristic or series of characteristics of Andy a) if we were told that this was a condition of hers rather than just see it in action, or b) if I saw someone exhibiting this behavior in real life.
."



OMalleycat | 1448 comments I wrote: ". . . in my town we recently had an attempted restaurant mass killing . . . Two customers separately left the restaurant, went to their cars to get guns and shot the shooter dead..."

and Carol replied: I've never been one who believed the guns-rights argument that if people were armed they could help with a crime-in-process situation, but this is one real life case where they are proven right, or so it seems.

I had exactly the same response, Carol. I think the proliferation of shootings these days is the result of a proliferation of guns. Adding more armed people to the mix doesn't seem like a solution (and do I need to say that the idea of arming teachers to deal with school shootings makes me crazy?) But, as you say, in this situation it worked.


message 35: by Ceelee (last edited Nov 25, 2018 12:40PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ceelee | 211 comments Karin Slaughter is an amazing writer and I like that she excels as both a series writer and in stand alone novels. Not every author who is known as a series writer can do as well in stand alone work. . PIECES OF HER got me hooked from, the beginning! It was tough having to read about the shooter in a restaurant at the mall. This is a situation we are seeing all too often in our society and is a very frightening scenario. The sensationalism of these tragedies by news is also something we see daily as news outlets try to milk the "big story" for all its worth. I think it desensitizes many of us to the violence that is so common and thrust upon us in endless news loops. I think with many who video such violent nd/or unusual scenes are mostly looking for their 15 minutes of fame, and don't consider the cost to those involved. A video of a violent incident can go viral in minutes and network news outlets will offer compensation for using the footage. It is another big downside to social media and says a lot about our culture that it is more important to get the story than it is to help save a life.

The relationship between Laura and Andy is fascinating to me. I agree with those who say that maybe Andy's behavior might not be from a bad relationship or event in her past but growing up with a successful mother. Some women expect their children to be as strong and independent as they are and they push too t hard to make a "mini Me". It got to the pint where Andy may have just opted to let her mother run things in her life and she ended up being confused and unable to cope with things or make decisions on her own. I felt that way in some of the dialogue between them when Laura was trying to tell Andy what to do and she acted like she didn't understand any of it. She is not a kid but she is stuck in a child like made of handling her life.

I am sure that it was a big shock to Andy when her mother is wanting her to go away and telling her about the storage facility and giving her all the instructions what to do. It must have been a shock when Andy went into the storage facility and found the money and even a car. I wondered how the heck Laura planned all this stuff without anyone in her family knowing. Andy asking Laura if she had been a spy made me wonder but it just seems impossible.

The story really took off for me in Chapter 4 with Hoodie and Andy and Laura gibing her all the information she needed and the makeup bag. It was dizzying to say the least. This incident was not just some random home invasion and I can;t wait to see how it is all connected. I love the atmosphere Slaughter created in the scene with the big storm which added a lot of intense feelings and tension to the scenes.

I also feel that somehow the shooter in the restaurant is related somehow h through the killer or the victims. In most stories, either in books or films, a scene like that is not as random as it seems and there is some connection that reveals itself later on. True enough it is an excellent commentary on out society but I can't help feeling there is something else that will come out about the relationship to Laura and will be part of the bigger picture.

I know that I am super behind here and you all know the outcome but I am determined to get caught up on the books I missed in past two months. I will explain what happened in my November Monthly Reads report.


message 36: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15059 comments Ceelee- it’s great to see you catching up with Pieces of Her. The relationship between Laura and Andy is intriguing and you make good points about a strong powerful Mother’s influence in her daughter sometimes backfiring instead of producing a “mini-me”!. Those relationships are a hallmark of Karin Slaughter’s - I think she likes to write about complicated Mother Daughter relationships, especially from the daughter’s point of view.


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