Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
Release Date: September 26th, 2006
Source: Received in the Books ‘n’ Bloggers swap from Katie of Bookish Illuminations
WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
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.
NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
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.
HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
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 never fails to creep me out, and Sharp Objects is no exception. There are some dark things in this book- bad family dynamics, self-harm, dangerous craziness, and the desperate hopelessness of a small slaughter town.
Despite the darkness, I could not get enough of reading this story. Camille’s tragic childhood and difficult adulthood take some time to develop, but the overriding serial killer mystery and cast of bizarre characters keep the tension high. By about 50% through, I had a hard time setting it down to sleep.
Overall, this was a heartbreaking, visceral murder mystery/thriller with a damaged but understandable MC (who I could not relate to at all, but was still rooting for). I hope the actions of the pre-teen and teen girls in this town are not reflective of current day; the actions and reactions of all the side characters fit together as expected, lending credibility to this story.