Monday, October 7, 2013

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Release Date: July 31, 2007
Publisher: Broadway Books

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Small towns have a special way about them. They're good at keeping secrets but horrible at letting people out of their city limits. Camille Preaker knows these truths all too well. After escaping the confines of Wind Gap, Missouri, she makes a life for herself in the big city of Chicago. She not only carries her own secrets with her, but those of her family as well. They haunt her day in and day out, reminders of good and bad times etched into her skin.

When terrible things begin happening to the little girls in her hometown, Camille is forced to return to cover the story. Thrust back into her old role in the family, she watches from the sidelines as the investigation starts unfolding. Soon she's caught up in the middle of it all, struggling to find a way back to the sidelines. Can she get the scoop without having everything in her life fall apart?

This was one of the books my friend let me borrow in our book swap last week. My friend had also let me read Dark Places, so I respect her book choices. That being said, my friend also warned me that this book was dark, twisted and sad - all at the same time. With my interest piqued, I settled into the book and I'm very happy to say that I wasn't disappointed in the least.

From the very beginning Camille, the main character, is the most transparent of all the characters in the book. Although she uses deception in her job, she reveals herself to the reader more than anyone. Everyone else in the book is trying to hide their secrets and the secrets of others closest to them. The author truly gives us a sense of what it's like to grow up in a small town that has little in the way of keeping the kids busy and out of trouble. The easygoing way in which the kids are dealt with by authority is also very much like the way things work in a small town.

It's this attitude that lets darker secrets fester until they erupt in a fit of violence that ends up shocking the entire town, whispers ringing in their ears and fingers pointing until no one is left blameless. I had an inkling that something wasn't right in the beginning of the book but was genuinely shocked to read through that last chapter. Have to say, I quite liked it. The twists and turns kept me turning page after page. The story took on a life of its own, the flow moving smoothly and steadily at its own pace and took me along for the ride.

Each chapter gave us a little more room to shine the light on the characters and learn of the secrets buried beneath. Then, when you think you can see things working out in a particular way, you're thrown for another loop with a new revelation. I did feel so sorry for the main character as she did her job, learning much more than I believe she really wanted to know. If you are a lover of the dark side of humanity, I'd recommend this book in a heartbeat.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is available at most major retailers. It's also available online in hardback, paperback, audio-book format and Kindle forms. You can purchase a copy from by clicking the link below.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn


  1. Thanks Kay. I am about halfway through this and enjoyed your review.

    On a related point, I noticed a big difference between Flynn's most recent book, Girl Gone, and her first two. (Dark Places was the first one I'd read.)

    Sharp Objects seems to be the darkest (and as you say, twisted and sad) of the three. I wonder if the more mainstream thriller feel of Girl Gone represents a deliberate intention on Flynn's part to move away from the "extreme darkness" of her first two books?

    1. Hello, Edward and thanks for stopping by!

      Dark Places was also my first foray into Flynn's books and left me intrigued. I haven't had the pleasure of read Girl Gone yet (working on that) but I think that Sharp Objects will probably be the darkest of them all - if I had to venture a guess. It very well may be that she wants a larger audience. However, I liked the uniqueness of her writing and I hope it stays no matter how widely accepted Flynn's works become.