Author: Gillian Flynn
My Rating: 4/5
This was my second book by Gillian Flynn after Gone Girl. Flynn's characters seem to have some things in common - a disturbing past that has influenced these women in deep, unnerving ways that turn them into unreliable narrators.
Camille Preaker is a reporter based in Chicago. She's sent to cover a murder and disappearance of young girls, aged 9 and 10 respectively, in the small town of Wind Gap. She dreads returning to the town she grew up in and seeing her family after eight years - sure enough, as soon as we start reading about Wind Gap, a whole gothic, creepy vibe takes over the book and doesn't go away till the end.
Reading this story was highly uncomfortable. Everything made me uneasy - the dialogues, the people in Wind Gap, the kids, the police officers. It gives the air of something sinister hiding deep within the town, although to be fair, I can understand that Flynn made this deliberate to create a certain atmosphere, and it works. Right from the beginning as Camille enters her home town, you get the feeling that something is wrong. Camille's mother Adora behaves and talks in a strangely controlling way, her younger sister Amma feels unreliable and scary with her discordant personality, stories of how young kids behave and what they talk about in the town also have a dark tone to them.
Despite being disturbing, this book absorbed me. It was compulsive and I found myself reading this every free minute, reading late into the night till my eyes screamed shut in protest. I dreamed about it and kept thinking about this strange story where two young girls get murdered and have their teeth removed. As Camille learns more and we get a glimpse of her past, dots begin to join a little. Commonalities in both murders are discovered, leading to the possibility of a serial killer, possibly someone local.
As we gain different perspectives, including a great (yet dark) view of small town gossip and interactions, things seem to get more sinister. And when we realise we have reached a satisfactory (and disturbing) conclusion, we read on to find there's more. That's what I liked best - tricking me into believing something only to find out there's a lot more to it! Lately I've been finding thrillers to have unsatisfactory endings because there's little explanation, however with Sharp Objects I have no such complaint! It lives true to its promise as a thriller. I would recommend this as a mysterious, fast read. However, it does have gory details related to self-harm (cutting) and psychological issues due to an unconventional and disturbed childhood.
Did this book have an impact on me? YES
Did I enjoy reading this book? Hell YES
Will I recommend it to you? Absolutely!