Paperback, 254 pgs.
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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, which was our book club selection for August, is a suspenseful, twisted tale for a modern audience of Grimms’ fairytale lovers. Camille Preaker is a mediocre reporter from a small paper in Chicago, and while her editor remains behind her 100%, he sends her home to Wind Gap — a place she has not visited in nearly a decade — to cover a couple of child murders. Flynn’s style can be abrasive and abrupt, but it fits the mood of the novel well, instilling suspense and the right amount of creepiness.
“For no good reason, I held my breath as I passed the sign welcoming me to Wind Gap, the way kids do when they drive by cemeteries. It had been eight years since I’d been back, but the scenery was visceral.” (pg. 7)
This small town has dark secrets, and these secrets are about to explode as Camille and the cop from Kansas City start poking around to find the killer. Flynn’s narration is clipped and fast moving, and her characters are off-the-chain and some are surreptitiously evil. Camille’s dysfunctional relationship with her mother is just the tip of the iceberg, and the more she sees about her step-sister’s life with their mother, the more disturbed she becomes. Identifying with the young victims in the case she’s reporting on, Camille is falling down a dark rabbit hole that could possible swallow her whole.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is an train wreck that readers will be unable to look away from, but its graphic language and description could be a bit much for some readers. Fans of Stephen King and other horror writers will find this novel as equally twisted. As a debut novel, Flynn has clearly made a splash in this genre.
About the Author:
Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.
Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families,violence and self-harm.