As I’ve mentioned before, I love crime/thriller/mystery novels, and Gillian Flynn is one of my favorite authors when it comes to this genre. I had already read her other two books, Gone Girl and Dark Places, and finally got around to reading Sharp Objects this past month.
Sharp Objects follows Camille Preaker, a journalist at a lesser known Chicago paper, who returns to her hometown of Windy Gap, Missouri after eight years to investigate the murder of a young girl and the disappearance of another. While there, she also has to face her mother, Adora, who has never shown any affection for her, and her thirteen-year-old half-sister, Amma, who is a perfect little doll to be coddled by Adora at home, but a mean girl around the town.
Like most thriller/crime novels, this one was pretty easy to read. It was also relatively short, so it’s definitely something you could finish in a couple of sittings if you wanted to. Gillian Flynn’s writing is very proficient and engaging, so you’re never bored as you go through the novel. I’ve mentioned that I’m not a fan of first person writing, but Flynn does it in a way that it’s not unbearable to read.
The material, however, is definitely very dark and is probably too disturbing for some people to read. If you’re triggered by cutting, abuse, sexualization of preteen girls, and graphic descriptions of violence, I’d say definitely pass on this. It is by no means a comfortable book, even compared to other books of the same genre.
Although I guessed a good portion of what would happen early on in the novel, the twist at the end still came as a bit of a surprise to me. Unfortunately, I think Flynn could’ve done a better job with that twist. Rather than write about it as if Camille was experiencing things in real time like the rest of the book, the twist was revealed in the form of Camille recapping it for the readers. It also felt very abrupt – Flynn built up the story very well until the end, when suddenly it seemed as if there were a rush to end the book.
Overall, I’d highly recommend this novel if you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn and/or crime/thriller novels. I’m really hoping Flynn will come out with a new novel soon…