Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl , Gillian Flynn’s latest novel, has been one of the hits of summer 2012. A dark psychological thriller, Gone Girl tells the story of Nick and Amy — a married couple celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary when Amy mysteriously disappears.

Link to Amazon details for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
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Alternate chapters reveal the story from the point of view of each of the two main characters and the challenge for the reader of Gone Girl lies in working out who and what to believe since it soon becomes clear that one or other — probably both — of the narrators is unreliable.

Gillian Flynn draws strong, believable characters and spins an intricate and engrossing tale built around age-old themes of revenge, manipulation and the battle of the sexes.

Gone Girl is a nicely structured novel with satisfying short chapters and great chapter endings. This is an engrossing read that should appeal to anyone who enjoys a good thriller.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was first published in 2o12 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson / Orion Publishing. I purchased the Kindle edition on Amazon.com. ISBN: 978 0 297 85940 6.

If you like Gone Girl, you might also like The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.