Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects is a dark and disturbing novel that’s filled with creepy, mentally ill characters and fantastic psychological suspense. Gone Girl may have earned the popularity vote and a movie deal, but I think Sharp Objects is more suspenseful and better written.
This character-driven story is told in the point of view of Camille Preaker, a Chicago reporter who returns to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to cover the disappearances and murders of two preteen girls. Camille is reluctant to take the assignment since she’ll have to face her troubled past, a past that caused her so much emotional pain that she turned to cutting. Her mother is a “neurotic hypochondriac” and she has an equally unhinged, half-sister, Amma. The town is populated with gossipy, shallow residents, many who were Camille’s former classmates that love to blather about Camille’s promiscuity, binge drinking and send her murder investigation into a hundred different directions. The more she unravels the truth about the murders, the more mentally unraveled Camille becomes, but she won’t leave town until the murder is caught.
The characters are brilliantly developed and complex with richly descriptive personalities, especially their mental states. I love novels like Sharp Objects that have haunting, mentally disturbed characters as it’s my favorite type of novel. The characters’ behaviors are spine-chilling and they hold your mind hostage until you finish the story. Camille is a beautiful, intelligent woman, but she’s the type of character that you pity. I wanted to save her, not only from her family, but from herself. Her mother and half-sister are the type of characters that you love to hate because they’re fascinating and twisted.
This page-turner had me so engrossed in the storytelling that I wanted to read it in one sitting. It’s engaging and suspenseful throughout. I had a hunch about the ending that I dismissed because the misdirects in the plot were so convincing. My suspicions were correct, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the novel. The ending still had a shocking, unpredictable quality.
I recommend this novel to readers who love psychological thrillers.
Jenny's Book Bag Sharp Objects review.