My brain was stumbling from image to image of my mother, all ominous. Omen. The word beat again on my skin. Flash of thin, wild-haired Joya with the long nails, peeling skin from my mother. Flash of my mother and her pills and potions, sawing through my hair. – from Sharp Objects.
Camille Preaker has had a less than ideal childhood. She has spent time in a psychiatric hospital and is currently working as a reporter when she is asked to return to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. She temporarily moves back into her mother’s home and must revisit the memories of her childhood. As clues to the two murders are uncovered, Camille begins to realize that the murderer may be closer to her than anyone thought.
Gillian Flynn’s first novel is a dark, psychological study of a damaged family. Camille’s mother is a hypochondriac, and a bizarre woman who clearly has mental issues. Amma, Camille’s much younger half sister, is about the same age as the murder victims but her behavior is decidedly more mature…and not in a good way. Camille herself suffers from a dark past which is reflected in the obsessive cutting she has done to her own body over the years.
The novel is a compelling read which takes the reader to a very dark and bleak place. I thought I had figured out the plot, but Flynn throws in a twist at the end I didn’t see coming.
Readers who enjoy psychological thrillers will find much to enjoy in Sharp Objects. This is a well written first novel that is a good introduction to this author’s work. I’ve read Gone Girl which was a terrific, suspenseful novel…and Sharp Objects is not quite as accomplished, although it is still worth the read.