Gillian Flynn hit the headlines with Gone Girl which was one of the most talked about novels last year. Her first novel, Sharp Objects is a darker and more disturbing read about female violence. It is psychological thriller that tells the story of a journalist who is sent to investigate the murder of two young girls in her home town.
The journalist protagonist in Sharp Objects, Camille Preaker, is a hard-drinking young woman with a history of self harm that saw her spend some time in an institution earlier in her life. She has words carved into her flesh — “vanish” on her neck, “nasty” on her kneecap, “wicked” on her hip.
Camille works for the Daily Post in Chicago and when a young girl, Natalie Keene, is murdered in her home town, Camille is dispatched to investigate the story.
She quickly realises that the case seems linked to the earlier murder of another preteen girl — Ann Nash — and she learns that both girls had relationships of some kind with her own mother.
She moves back into her family home where it quickly becomes apparent to the reader that this is a very dysfunctional family. Camille’s mother, Adora, and 13-year old sister, Amma, are both disturbed and terrifying.
As Camille’s investigation continues, the evidence becomes increasingly disturbing threatening Camille both physically and psychologically.
Sharp Objects is a fast and compelling read — perhaps not as polished as Gone Girl, but worth a look.
I purchased the Kindle version on www.amazon.com. ASIN: B002U3CCF6