Sharp objects; mesmerising, malevolent and bloody brilliant

sharp objectsMy rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

There’s a point in Sharp Objects when one of the characters, the youngest daughter of three, asks her mother which of her children she loves the most; she’s trying to assuage her fears that she can’t possibly be loved the best, that the first or second born must be the preferred children. Gone Girl is Gillian Flynn’s “third child”, her third book, and the best known and loved, but it’s Sharp Objects that does it for me.Continue Reading

The Girl On The Train; unreliable narrators make for great stories

girl on trainMy rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

A lot has been said about The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, particularly in comparison to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Both are thrillers with unreliable narrators at the centre and both have stuff to say about women and modern relationships. I love them equally – it doesn’t have to be a choice, does it? This isn’t Desert Island Discs – but I think the main conceit is better in Train than Gone Girl.

Continue Reading

Dark Places; wonderfully disturbing

dark placesMy rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Who hasn’t heard of Gone Girl? It was everywhere last year and because I loved the writing, I’m ploughing through Gillian Flynn’s back catalogue. Dark Places was her second book and written in 2009 (Sharp Objects was her first in 2005 and is high up on my TBR list). Dark Places is a much more harrowing story than Gone Girl because it tries to piece together the murder of an entire family in one night, save for the smallest daughter. The book intercuts from the present day and the surviving daughter’s unwilling acceptance that she needs to find out who actually murdered her family and the actual events of that day, as told from the brother and mother’s perspective. It’s reminiscent of one of my favourite (?!) horror/murder stories, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood (itself based on the true story of a murder of one American family, The Clutters).Continue Reading