By now, everyone has heard about Gillian Flynn and Gone Girl. Most of us have read it, and for the most part, the reviews have been positive. I saw Sharp Objects, one of her earlier books, at the library last week, and picked it up knowing nothing about it — other than it was written by Gillian Flynn.
Sharp Objects is about Camille, a reporter at a third-rate Chicago newspaper. Her boss hears about a series of murders in a tiny Missouri town — the very town where Camille grew up — and sends her home to ask questions, do some research,write, and report back. Why is someone killing little girls? Is it someone from town, or an outsider? Are the police doing all that they can to find the murderer? And could Camille get a Pulitzer out of it?
Camille dreads going home, and its easy to see why. Her mother never loved her (and has told her as much), especially since the death of Camille’s younger sister years ago. Her younger half-sister Amma is out of control — sex, drugs, and drinking, all at 13. Her stepfather is more or less a non-entity in her life. And Camille has no idea who her real father is. Going home forces Camille to deal with a lot of things from her past that she would rather forget, including her teenage promiscuity and her past as a cutter. Camille’s body is covered in scars as proof of her self-medicating cutting. When she felt pain, at least she was feeling something.
I don’t really want to get to much into the story of the murders and the stories of the dead girls, as I fear I can’t get into it too much without giving the ending away. Unlike Gone Girl, I had figured out the ending about half-way through the story (with Gone Girl, no way I could have figured that thing out). But guessing who the murderer was didn’t make the story any less shocking.
Good God. What happened to Gillian Flynn that made her this dark and twisted and creepy? That’s all I could wonder while I read this book last weekend (home, sick in bed…this DID NOT make me feel better). In both Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, we’ve seen some truly horrible people do unspeakable things, all while appearing normal to those around them. While I think Flynn is an extremely talented writer, I’m just not in a rush to read her other novel, Dark Places. There’s only so much I can take.