Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects
Gillian Flynn
Published September 26th, 2006 by Shaye Areheart Books
Source: Swapped

"My sweater was new, stinging red and ugly." An edgy first line, and it provides the perfect opening for this gritty debut novel by journalist Flynn. Her protagonist, Camille Preaker, is a reporter for a second-rate Chicago newspaper. A solitary woman with a cynical bent, she appears to have carved out a workable life for herself despite a painful past and an estranged family. But when a second young girl turns up missing in Camille's hometown -- shortly after another local girl was found murdered -- Camille's editor sends her home to Missouri to cover the story. The question is, can Camille get to the bottom of the story before her demons get the best of her?

A classic whodunit, Sharp Objects is an gripping page-turner. Readers follow Camille to the field as she examines crime scenes, interviews the friends and family of the victims, and probes reticent investigators for information. After all, the world of investigative reporting is tantalizing. Take, for example, the provocative flirting between Camille and a Kansas City detective assigned to the cases. Is it sex they're after, or simply information? And the gradual unfolding of Camille's alarming past will keep readers riveted until the very last page. - Goodreads

Sharp Objects is a thriller unlike any other that I have read. The characters and surroundings are so vividly described, it is almost as if I am reading the book while simultaneously watching the movie behind my mind's eye. Disgruntled and reticent reporter, Camille Preaker, goes back to her small Missouri hometown of Wind Gap to write about a potential serial killer preying on little girls. As if the premise isn't disturbing enough, it doesn't take too long before things take an unimaginably darker turn.

It is no wonder that going back to Wind Gap turns Camille's stomach. The cast of characters are just so mean and nasty, that it is on the verge of unbelievable. Her mother, Adora, is a harsh and unloving woman not willing to show any real love for her eldest daughter. It doesn't help that Camille's younger sister, Marian, died when they were children. Adora never lets Camille forget that she wishes it were her that died instead. But now Adora has a new daughter to baby in her suffocating and almost wicked way. Amma, Camille's stepsister, is a needy, willful child when she is at home with her mother. But out among other people, she is the most hateful and spiteful child in town and everyone knows it. Her behavior is extremely disturbing and some of the things Amma does really made my jaw drop. All the other woman and girls of Wind Gap are no better. Everyone there is hiding a secret behind their perfect bleach blond coifs and gleaming smiles. They are the type of people that will serve you sweet tea with a side of cyanide.

Warning!: This book is definitely not for the faint-hearted. It is often graphic with talk and descriptions about grisly murders, self mutilation, and multiple sexual situations. However, most startling of all is the psychologically traumatizing events of Camille's past and the truth behind her sister's death that slowly surface throughout the book. Sharp Objects is a quick read but definitely unforgettable.

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