Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
First published by Shaye Areheart Books in 2006 (this edition by Phoenix - an imprint of Orion - in 2010)
Description: (from Goodreads)
WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heartWords are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.
NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her legSince she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.
HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankleAs Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.
First of all, sorry for the huge blurb. But it was the one I liked best. The one on the back cover of the copy I own doesn't really say much about the story. This description was much, much better.
This book is Gillian Flynn's debut novel. She has also written another book, Dark Places (my review). She is more well known for Sharp Objects, but I had great difficulty in trying to find a copy of the book in Greece (I probably visited 6 different bookshops, in two different cities), so when I managed to find a copy of Dark Places, I just bought it. In the end, I managed to find this one too! You can't imagine the relief I felt when I found it in the bookshop! I'm going off topic here... But it was all for my brother. (Aren't I a lovely sister??)
Even though I do not limit myself to genres and try to keep my reading tastes quite varied, thrillers are not my favourite books to read. However, I really liked Ms Flynn's style of writing in Dark Places, and I was rather intrigued by that HUGE blurb (which I first read on her website).
Anyway... Camille is a journalist, who is sent to her hometown of Wind Gap to investigate the murder of a little girl that has come to the surface because of the recent abduction of another one. She is quite reluctant to go, as she has been estranged from her mother for many years. In the end, she goes and arrives on her family doorstep, where she faces a non-too-pleasant greeting. Honestly, she is a b---- right from the start.
The title of the book is very significant, but I am not going to tell you why. I'll let you figure it out or read it for yourselves. Camille was truly a lovely character. She was not faultless, but she had a pretty tough past and managed to survive. Her mum, Adorna, was pretty awful. She did not show any love for Camille. Later on in the book why find out exactly why, but I felt rather bad for Camille before and after the revelation. The character I hated the most was Camille's 13-year-old sister, Amma. She was what one might describe as a bitch-from-hell. I can't think of another way to describe her, as there is no polite way of saying it. She is a very manipulative girl, who had a rather weird effect on everyone in town. It was the way she treated everyone that made me loathe her.
Ms Flynn has done an excellent job of describing the characters. All of them seem real; cases that we can find in everyday life (maybe not all of them together, but they definitely exist). She came up with a rather interesting story, where every side plot only helps us understand what is happening in the main story and why. The end was completely and utterly unexpected! I did not see it coming. I actually thought I knew what was going to happen in the end and it didn't!
Sharp Objects is a book that I definitely recommend reading!
You can find out more about Gillian Flynn at the end of my review of Dark Places, which you can find HERE.
Counts as Book #34 in the 100 Books In A Year Challenge.
Also counts towards the 2nds Challenge.