Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Adult – Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: July 31, 2007
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
Gillian Flynn really has a knack for psychological thriller novels, which is probably why she is the first author that comes to mind when I think of the genre. Sharp Objects is a good representation of why. This book is her debut and really sets the stage for her future, and very popular novel, Gone Girl. You can see the makings of a captivating storyteller emerging, and it’s really interesting to go back in her repertoire and see the progression she has made.
But don’t get the wrong idea, her debut was great. I really enjoyed it, and I found that some things that annoyed me in other books didn’t annoy me in this one, simply because they were well-executed. For example, I did a review in the past where I criticized the fact that nearly every character in the book was unlikeable and it ruined my overall experience. However, in this book, the characters are so much more vile, but I didn’t even mind. I think that takes a certain level of skill to pull off successfully.
Many people will probably want to gauge this book against Gone Girl. Is it better than or even equal to Gone Girl? No. Is it still a good book you should check out? Absolutely, yes! Flynn’s writing style is a kind I really like. It’s very simple and raw, yet mildly poetic without trying too hard. This book kept me guessing and turning the pages the entire time. I was pretty much on the edge of my seat from the mid-point until the end. I did guess who the murderer was, but then it got bogged down in other details which made me change my mind and even forget my initial guess, lol.
The book is pretty short at just over 250 pages, but there’s a lot of content in there. I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed and even abrupt, but considering the amount of pages, I am impressed with just how much she was able to fit in there. I do think you should give this book a try, especially if you are looking for something suspenseful that can mess with your mind a bit. Since I’ve read this, now all I’ve got left is her second novel, Dark Places. Bring it on!