Published January 1st 2006 by Shaye Areheart Books
Cover and Synopsis from the Goodreads book page
WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.
NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.
HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.
This was a re-read for me in preparation to read Gillian Flynn’s new book Gone Girl. I originally bought Sharp Objects after seeing it on a store shelf and feeling immediately drawn to the cover art. It was so simple but poignant and gripping. I had never heard of Gillian Flynn but bought the book based on my love of the cover and I was so far from disappointed. And reading it for the second time now, I enjoyed it and loved it just as much as I did the first time.
This book is not a happy book. If you are looking for a book where the heroine meets the man of her dreams, the bad guy faces justice, and everybody lives happily ever after then perhaps you should keep looking. Camille is one of the best characters I have ever read. She is flawed, unhappy, deeply mentally disturbed, and yet you can’t help but feel drawn to her. You know immediately that she has had a long, tough life full of enough trauma to mentally scar someone for life, and in Camille’s case physically as well. This was portrayed in a very realistic and gritty way, which I appreciated. So many books these days seem to wish to sugar coat everything. Yes the serial killer is slaughtering little girls, but look the heroine is falling for that cop and the bad guy will get his in the end! There are no fluffy, fairytale endings here. And I love it!
I think the thing that made this book absolute perfection for me was just how badly it had me snowed. I consider myself a pretty hard person to trick into falling for red herrings. Normally I can smell a red herring from a mile off. But I didn’t see it coming in this book. I thought I knew who was murdering these little girls. I was reading through every page for clues, absolutely glued to the page. I thought I had it all figured out. I was practically shouting at Camille through the pages, “Can’t you see that it’s your mother?! What’s wrong with you? How can you be so blind, it’s right in front of your face?!” And in the end, I was dead wrong. My jaw hit the floor and I sat there in utter shock with the book open in my lap. I did not see it coming and I was stunned that I was pulled into the deception that deeply.
So at the conclusion of the book, I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved the ending, I just loved the damn book. It was gritty, dirty, disturbing, dark, dank, and violent and that made me appreciate all the more.