Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects was such a fun, fast read. I loved Gone Girl (and privately gnash my teeth every. single. time. publishers tout their thrillers as ‘totally the next Gone Girl! Or maybe The Girl on the Train! Or, you know, one of those other ones. Please buy our mediocre thriller, please.’). I was less enamored with Dark Places, and somewhere between that and having picked up the impression that Sharp Objects was all Southern Gothic, I just hadn’t gotten round to reading it until now. And I’m very glad I did.

Gillian Flynn’s first novel is a smart, atmospheric thriller with a deeply disturbed cast of characters. Our entry point is journalist Camille Preaker, sent back to her home town of Wind Gap to cover a missing child case. It soon transpires that a serial killer is on the prowl, seizing pre-teen girls and removing their teeth post-mortem. Camille comes ready equipped with her own set of problems; a cutter since her teens, with a dead sister and a toxic relationship with her narcissistic mother, it’s only a matter of time before events rise to a boil.

There were times I found it hard to suspend my disbelief, especially when Camille decides to take ecstasy with her thirteen-year-old sister (largely because she wants to be down with the kids. Seriously.) The potential romance between Camille and the lead detective on the case is more of a distraction than a compelling side-plot. But for the most part I very much enjoyed Sharp Objects, and really hope that Flynn releases something new soon.

[Read from 6-8 December 2016]

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