After reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn last year and loving it, I knew I had to read some of her other books. I never used to read many crime books, but I absolutely love them and definitely need to buy more. Sharp Objects is a thriller, it has mystery and suspense and this is what I love about crime books because you want to try and beat the narrator at uncovering who committed the crime, but in the end they throw in a big twist and you can’t stop reading until you have all the details of how and why everything occurred.
Sharp Objects follows Camille who returns to her home town as a reporter in order to write an article on a murder that took place the previous August and a girl who recently went missing. As well as the mystery of what happened to these girls, the reader is left wondering about the strange and unique relationship between Camille and her mother.
I am going to start here with what I didn’t like about the book because there wasn’t that much. In the whole novel there wasn’t a single character I can say I really liked. The whole town appears to have a rather unhealthy diet of alcohol, so it is rare to see many characters sober. In fact, our narrator is very rarely sober herself. So while I may have felt some sympathy for certain characters, I wasn’t very attached to any of them. However, this can be hard to achieve in stand alone books as you only get roughly three hundred pages with a character unlike a series wherein you will read about them for several books.
Now, onto what I liked. While I didn’t like the characters as people, Flynn created some very complex characters. I hated Amma, but I also pitied her and by the end of the novel you can kind of understand why she is the way she is. Amma is rather terrifying and creepy and the control she wields for a thirteen year old is astonishing. Despite everything she did, part of me just wanted to wrap her in a hug to remind her that she is loved and wanted and she had such potential for a good life.
“A child weaned on poison considers harm a comfort.”
The ending of the novel was not a happy ending, but I was very pleased with it. As someone who reads plenty of young adult books, there is an abundance of the theme of love. In this novel there was a possibility that Camille may find love, but the sole purpose of the book always remained fixed on the mystery of the murders. As a result of this, I was glad that the book didn’t end with the murderer in prison and Camille going home to Chicago where her career really took off with the love of her life. That ending would have been too unrealistic given everything Camille has gone through. I am very happy with the fact though, that she’s not on her own and she does have people who care about her and will look after her despite everything. I may not have liked Frank at the beginning, but he would probably be my favourite character if I had to pick one because he obviously wanted the best for her and at the end of the day him and Eileen were the most genuine people in her life.
I really liked this book and rate it 4/5. I would recommend it to those with an interest in crime, thrillers, mystery and psychology. Beware that there is some disturbing content including self-harm and sexual abuse, but it is a very gripping book and you won’t want to put it down. I shall definitely be purchasing Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and any other novels she may release in the future.
“To spend a life in dreams, that sounded too lovely.”
Have you read Sharp Objects or anything else by Gillian Flynn? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!