Camille, a reporter for a small Chicago newspaper, is sent down to her very small home town in Missouri to cover the story of a second 13 year old girl who is murdered – strangled and found with teeth missing. It is painful for her to return home, where her ice cold mother and her crazy-wild, half-sister are still stuck in their twisted relationship and where Camille feels like an outsider. As she gets closer and closer to solving the mystery, she also comes closer to understanding what has caused her her own emotional pain over the course of her life.
While this book does not have the extreme twists and turns that Gone Girl had, it still is suspenseful and has its own black moments. There is a psychological quagmire in almost every character in the story, and one has to wonder if Flynn believes anyone is ever happy and without pain. Camille, the main character, for example, is a cutter and gives a fairly realistic picture of how addictive and relieving/shameful this behavior is. It is also an extremely dark portrait of the proverbial small town, where one either gets “stuck” or “gets out” but that no one actually chooses to live there.
Flynn’s writing is that kind of guilty pleasure — it’s sharp, smart, a not a little twisted — but you have to indulge once in awhile!