Gillian Flynn hit the headlines with Gone Girl, one of the most talked about novels last year. Her first novel, Sharp Objects is a darker and more disturbing read. A psychological thriller, it’s about what happens when a journalist is sent to investigate the murder of two young girls in her home town.
The journalist protagonist in Camille Preaker. She is a hard-drinking young woman with a history of self harm. She spent time in an institution early in her life. Camille 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. When a young girl, Natalie Keene, is murdered, Camille is dispatched to investigate the story.
Links to an earlier case
She quickly realises that the case is linked to an earlier murder. And it seems that both cases connect to Camille herself. Like Natalie, the earlier victim Ann Nash, a preteen girl knew Camille’s mother.
Camille moves back into her family home but 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
See also: Gone Girl