Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects: Gillian Flynn, April 5—17, 2016

My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊

SharpObjectsUp-and-coming reporter Camille Preaker returns to her hometown to cover two potentially linked child murders in Flynn’s debut novel. Returning to her former childhood home for the duration, and reacquainting herself with the small-town social scene, she has to face her own past demons.

The double murder investigation is very much a setting for a much more emotive plot. Camille is an outsider living with her mother, step-father and half-sister. Everything from her damaging relationship with her mother, to the historic death of her younger sister in childhood, lingers.

As she did most famously with Gone Girl, Flynn makes a thriller out of a story based most fundamentally on relationships. The stakes, the unknown, the threat of them all are fitting of the thriller genre. For Camille as a barely reformed self-harmer and borderline alcoholic, it really could be a matter of life and death.

Flynn has a skill in taking any situation and magnifying the ugly side of human nature. The mother is abusive. The thirteen-year-old sister is a sexually provocative bully. The townspeople are narrow-minded and superficial. Only Camille can see it all, and she too is flawed. It’s an uncomfortable read in places.

Though addictive and well paced, it’s evident this is Flynn’s first novel; it lacks the sophistication of Dark Places and Gone Girl. The subtleties are overt, and her trademark twist-filled endgame is signposted all along. It’s written in a shocking way, but the outcome won’t give you an Amy Dunne moment.

Sharp Objects brings Gillian Flynn to the market as a skilled thriller writer, but it’s her later works that hone that skill to world class level.

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This entry was posted on April 17, 2016 by in 4 star and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare