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Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes

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Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes

4/5 (34 valutazioni)
103 pagine
1 ora
Aug 18, 2015


A beautiful young girl was walking down the street―when suddenly…

Julia Carroll knows that too many stories start that way. Beautiful, intelligent, a nineteen-year-old college freshman, she should be carefree. But instead she is frightened. Because girls are disappearing.

A fellow student, Beatrice Oliver, is missing. A homeless woman called Mona-No-Name is missing. Both taken off the street. Both gone without a trace.

Julia is determined to find out the reasons behind their disappearances. And she doesn't want to be next…

Michael Connelly calls Karin Slaughter "unrivaled among thriller writers." This gripping, unforgettable short story proves why. And be sure to order Karin's new novel, Pretty Girls, on sale September 29, 2015.

Aug 18, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her twenty-one novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling stand-alone novels Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter, and Pieces of Her. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta. Her standalone novel Pieces of Her is in production with Netflix, starring Toni Collette, and the Grant County and Will Trent series are in development for television.

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Anteprima del libro

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes - Karin Slaughter


Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes

Author's Note

An Excerpt from Pretty Girls


Chapter One

About the Author

Also by Karin Slaughter


About the Publisher

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes

Monday, March 4, 1991

7:26 a.m.—­North Lumpkin Street, Athens, Georgia

The morning mist laced through the downtown streets, spiderwebbing tiny, intricate patterns onto the sleeping bags lining the sidewalk outside the Georgia Theater. The doors wouldn’t open for at least another twelve hours, but the Phish devotees were determined to have front row seats. Two heavyset young men filled plastic lawn chairs by the chained front door. At their feet were beer cans, cigarette butts, and an empty sandwich bag that had likely contained a large amount of weed.

Their eyes followed Julia Carroll as she walked down the street. She could feel their collective gaze clinging to her body as closely as the mist. She kept her head trained forward, her back straight, but then she wondered if she looked cold, haughty, and then she wondered with some annoyance why it mattered how she looked to these boys who were complete strangers.

She never used to be this paranoid.

Athens was a college town, anchored by the University of Georgia, which took up almost eight hundred acres of prime real estate and employed in some capacity over half of the county. Julia had grown up here. She was a student in the journalism program, a reporter for the campus newspaper. Her father was a professor at the college of veterinary sciences. At nineteen years old, she knew that alcohol and circumstance could turn nice-­looking boys into the kind of ­people you didn’t want to run into at seven-­thirty on a Monday morning.

Or maybe she was being silly. Maybe this was like the time she was walking late at night in front of Old College and she heard footsteps behind her and saw a looming, speeding shadow and her heart flipped and she wanted to run but then the scary man had called out her name and it was only Ezekiel Mann from biology class.

He had talked to her about his brother’s new car, then started quoting Monty Python lines, and Julia had picked up her pace so quickly that they were both jogging by the time they reached her dorm. Ezekiel had pressed his hand against the closed glass door as she’d signed herself into the building.

I’ll call you! he’d practically yelled.

She had smiled at him and thought, Oh, God, please don’t make me hurt your feelings, as she’d made her way toward the stairs.

Julia was beautiful. She had known this since she was a child, but rather than embrace the gift, she had always seen it as a burden. ­People made assumptions about beautiful girls. They were the icy, backstabby bitches who always got their comeuppance in John Hughes movies. They were the trophies that no boy in school dared to claim. Everyone took her shyness for aloofness. Her mild anxiety for disapproval. That these assumptions had left her a near-­friendless virgin at the ripe age of nineteen went unremarked upon by everyone but her two younger sisters.

College was supposed to be different. Sure, her dorm was less than a quarter mile from her family home, but this was Julia’s chance to reinvent herself, to be the person she had always wanted to be: strong, confident, happy, content (not a virgin). She squelched her natural propensity to sit reading in her room while the world passed outside her door. She joined the tennis club, the track club, and the wildlife club. She didn’t choose cliques. She spoke to everyone. She smiled at strangers. She went on dates with boys who were sweet if not terribly interesting, and whose desperate kisses reminded her of a lamprey eel burrowing its tongue into the side of a lake trout.

But then Beatrice Oliver happened.

Julia had followed the girl’s story on the telex at the Red & Black, UGA’s campus newspaper. Nineteen years old, the same as Julia. Blonde hair and blue eyes, the same as Julia. College student, the same as Julia.


Five weeks ago, Beatrice Oliver had left her parents’ house around ten o’clock in the evening. She was on foot, walking to the store to get some ice cream for her father, who was suffering from a toothache. Julia wasn’t sure why that part of the story stuck out to her. It seemed suspect—­why would you want something cold on an aching tooth?—­but that was what both parents had told the police, so that detail was in the story.

And the story was on the telex because Beatrice Oliver had never come home.

Julia was obsessed with the girl’s disappearance. She told herself it was because she wanted to cover the story for the Red & Black, but the truth was that it scared her to death to know that someone—­not just someone, but a girl her own age—­could walk out the door and never come back again. Julia wanted to know the details. She wanted to talk to the girl’s parents. She wanted to interview Beatrice Oliver’s friends or a cousin or a neighbor or a coworker or a boyfriend or another boyfriend or anyone who might offer an alternate explanation other than that a nineteen year-­old girl with her entire life ahead of her had just vanished into thin air.

We are looking at a likely abduction, the detective in the first story had been quoted as saying. All of Beatrice’s personal belongings were accounted for, including her purse, the cash she kept in her sock drawer, and her car, which was still parked in the family’s driveway.

The most chilling statement came from Beatrice Oliver’s mother: The only reason my daughter has not come home is because someone is keeping her.

Keeping her.

Julia shuddered at the thought of being kept—­from her family, from her life, from her freedom. In her childhood books, the bogeyman was always scraggly and dark and looming, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but clearly (if you looked carefully) still a wolf. She knew that real life wasn’t like those fairy tales. You couldn’t easily spot the telltale mustache and goatee that indicated the wolf was a Bad Man.

Whoever had Beatrice Oliver could be a friend or a coworker or a neighbor or a boyfriend or another boyfriend—­all of the ­people that Julia wanted to interview face-­to-­face. Alone. With just a pad and pen. Talking to a man who might at that very moment be keeping Beatrice Oliver somewhere awful.

Julia put her hand to her stomach to calm the churning. She checked behind her, left and right, her eyeballs feeling jittery in her head.

She tried to logic down some of her anxiety. It was possible she was winding herself up for no reason. The Beatrice Oliver interviews might not even happen. Before Julia spoke to anyone, she would need to get the story assignment okayed, because a news journalist could legitimately ask questions but a features writer (Julia’s section) was just being nosy. Her biggest obstacle would be Greg Gianakos, the student editor in chief who thought he was the next Walter Cronkite and reminded Julia of what her father said about beagles: They love to hear the sound of their own voices.

If she could get Greg on board, then

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  • (4/5)
    If you have read or plan to read Pretty Girls, you will definitely want to read this novella! It will answer some of your questions about Julia, although not all of them. That's why I gave it four stars instead of five. I was expecting more answers and details.
  • (2/5)
    This is a short story prequel to Pretty Girls which was one of my favourite reads of 2016. Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes takes us through the day Julia Carroll went missing. She did things a typical nineteen-year-old would do - went to classes, went out that night with her roommate and best friend, Nancy. She thought about her younger sisters and how she should look out for them more and what they would do together that weekend. Although she had lots of different things going on in her life, her mind always came back to Beatrice Oliver. She went missing five weeks ago and it terrified Julia that a girl her own age could walk out the door and not return and can't be found. And really, it became repetitious for me. Same with what happened with her boyfriend that night. It became repetitious especially in a short story and it just felt bogged down. This was a disappointing read for me. It didn't have the same feel as Pretty Girls at all.
  • (2/5)
    This one didn't wow me. I knew where it was going pretty much at the beginning but I found it a little slow. I didn't realize it leads into Pretty Girls, I will give that one a whirl since it sounds pretty good and sometimes short stories are too short to get you hooked in.
  • (3/5)
    Julia Carroll is a 19 year old college student who has a nice boyfriend, volunteers at the homeless shelter and works on her school newspaper. News about missing women - all blonde and beautiful just like Julia - pique her interest. Julia pitches her story about missing women to the paper and the editor gives her a shot at writing an article that will be featured on the first page. But before she finishes her story, Julia becomes the next victim.
  • (4/5)
    This is a short story following Julie, a woman going to the University of GA for a degree in journalism. She works for the campus newspaper and after a pretty young woman had gone missing without a trace, she starts looking into other disappearances of pretty girls written off as the girls leaving on their own, and wanting to write a story for the paper about them. Set in 1991, the story is a precursor to Pretty Girls, coming out in September. The stories are stand alone; not part of either the Will Trent or Grant County series. I got this ARC free to review from the publisher via Edelweiss/Above the Treeline and hadn’t realized when I started reading this that it was a short story or the precursor to another book and the story wasn’t going along as I expected because of that. But it made total sense about halfway thru when realizing I wasn’t reading a full novel. Tension and expect to be making some assumptions about people. It grabbed me. The attitudes toward physical crimes against women have changed since 1991, although still not enough; thought-provoking.
  • (3/5)
    Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes is a short-story introducing us to Julia, a pretty and self-absorbed college student in Athens, Georgia. She selects a mission persons case for her college paper and while doing the research, she learns of 18 similar abductions. All the girls are described as "pretty". From the book: "All those pretty girls. Taken, or being kept. Or their bodies hadn't been found." I wish I could say I liked Julia, but I didn't. She was so shallow and obsessive about her "non" problems, as if the world revolved around her. Yes, a lot of 19 year old kids think they are put upon and invincible, but realistic as it is, I still don't enjoy reading about them. This short story was more of a teaser for Slaughter's upcoming novel, Pretty Girls, which picks up the story twenty years later. It was interesting to get the back story on Julia for the Pretty Girls novel, which I've heard great things about. Just waiting on my library hold!
  • (4/5)
    I am eagerly awaiting the release of Karin Slaughter's next book, Pretty Girls. (Sept 29/15) Okay, hopping up and down. And then I discovered this new short story from Slaughter - Blond Hair, Blue Eyes - a quick fix for the short term. And even better - it's the prequel to Pretty Girls!! (Squee!)Athens, Georgia 1991. University of Georgia. Although Julia's family lives in town, she has chosen to live on campus - and "reinvent herself, be the person she had always wanted to be: strong, confident, happy, content..." But she's a bit worried too - five weeks ago another young, beautiful girl went missing. And now Julia is obsessed with her disappearance. She pitches it as a story to her journalism prof and her research only serves to ramp up her interest - and her anxiety...." All those pretty girls. All missing. Or taken. Or being kept. Or maybe their bodies just hadn't been found."Slaughter is a master of building suspense. I found myself tensing up in my chair, not wanting to keep reading, afraid of what was going to happen. But, of course I kept going. As a reader, we're totally caught up in Julia's fears, warning her "no, don't do that...." But as with all good suspense stories (and scary movies) our protagonist goes ahead and does it anyway......And I'll leave you with that - watch for my review of Pretty Girls!
  • (4/5)
    Read for Review (Harper Collins)Overall Rating: 4.00Story Rating: 4.00Character Rating: 4.00First Thought when Finished: Blond Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter was a brilliant introduction to a new series!Quick Thoughts for a Short Book: This was a fantastic way to introduce a new series and also sets a timeline. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse not only into the MO of the big bad (can't really say Serial Killer because I'm still not sure which is also pretty brilliant) but also a glimpse into the beginnings of the case. You know that moment before the police know things are connected? When it is just reporters, hunches, and those on the streets. Really that moment before a case becomes a case. Those moments you hardly ever see in thrillers. This intrigued me and I can't wait to see how it plays out in Pretty Girls!Part of my Read It, Rate It, File It, DONE! Reviews
  • (4/5)
    This novella was included as a bonus at the end of the audiobook of Pretty Girls and, I've gotta say, reading it immediately after having finished that one only served to make the whole thing all the more chilling. It's short, and by itself there's really not much there, except that we as readers are able to know all too well exactly how Julia's story turns out after her abduction at the end of this, what it does to her family, and who is responsible and the additional chaos that they will later unleash. In that light, this little novella about an idealistic and perfectly normal relatively carefree college student simply living her life takes on a sinister undercurrent that haunts you right up until the very last eerie moment, which leads directly to what we learn the details about in the novel.
  • (4/5)
    Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter is a 2015 Cornerstone Digital publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.This novella length story sets the stage for the full length novel “ Pretty Girls”. Julia is a college student concerned about the recent disappearance of a couple of girls who are strikingly similar in appearance. She is hoping to be a reporter/journalist and wants to write a story about rape statistics. In the meantime, Julia still wants to belong, wants to have fun, is hoping the guy she is seeing feels the same way about her as she does about him. She's both mature and immature at times, and I so I found her character to be pretty typical of her age. The story is atmospheric from the beginning with a palpable sense of foreboding, and by the end of this short story, I was very, very uneasy and disturbed. The author throws out some truly frightening statistics about female victims and draws parallels between how these crimes are approached and viewed from various standpoints. I strongly urge you to have “Pretty Girls” already on your kindle before reading this short prequel, because this story does come to a sudden and shocking stop. Overall, this story accomplishes what it set out to do, which is to entice readers to read the full length novel. 3.5 stars
  • (5/5)
    Depending on what part of the country you rest your head, (sooner or later) get prepared with a tantalizing prequel BLONDE HAIR, BLUE EYES by the southern queen of international crime fiction, Karin Slaughter! Get a glimpse of the upcoming ride of your life, setting the stage for her latest new standalone, PRETTY GIRLS. Slaughter is on fire!Being a huge Karin Slaughter fan, (also a Georgia gal), I anxiously await every book she cranks out. Trust me when I say PRETTY GIRLS, is definitely one you will not want to miss – making my Top Book List for 2015.I happened to be fortunate enough to listen to the audiobook, PRETTY GIRLS, prior to learning there was a prequel; could not hit purchase audiobook, fast enough, when learning of BLONDE HAIR, BLUE EYES. Now, if you want a match made in heaven, buy the audiobook, ; Kathleen Early, narrator, and Karin Slaughter are in perfect sync – "what a delivery"!In PRETTY GIRLS, we learn of three sisters, one of them missing and two of them estranged — and the special bonds that unite them. The Carrolls, an ordinary Southern Georgia family, has suffered grief, loss, and tragedy. Twenty-four years ago, a traumatic disappearance of a daughter, a sister; Julia----an experience ultimately changing the course of each member of the family. Her body has never been found.In BLONDE HAIR BLUE EYES, (love short stories) –a great introduction and backstory of Julia. Readers learn of events of Julia Carroll, a nineteen-year-old attractive blonde hair, blue eyes student of journalism attending the University of Georgia, in Athens. She is obsessed with a report of a fellow college student, (similar in age, hair color, eyes, and looks). She has been missing for five weeks. Beatrice Oliver, is missing and a homeless woman-both taken off the street; gone without a trace. Julia, a features' writer for the college campus newspaper, wants to write a story about the abduction and delve further into the events leading up the tragedy. As always, the suspense, drama, and the intensity is high, keeping you hanging for more about these beautiful girls, and what psycho has in store. Read both – Well done! 5 Stars for both.BLONDE HAIR, BLUE EYES . . . Gentlemen really do prefer blondes . . According to new research, the average American male would describe their 'perfect woman' as having blonde hair, blue eyes and - perhaps surprisingly - a graduate degree, per a recent survey by BHBE trait, could be a misfortune; high on stalker/serial-killer radar!Sounds as though we will get a new Will Trent series, coming soon, “The Kept Woman”. Cannot wait!