Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn

Camille Parker is a journalist who's assigned to cover what is starting to look like a series of child murders that have taken place in her home town. Trading on her childhood friendships, she attempts to find out what's behind the killings, but she also has to come to terms with some skeletons of her own: still living in the town is her mother and her sister, both of whom are peculiar in their own ways. Camille herself is has a history of self-harm (hence the book's title) and it seems like perhaps this has its roots in the fractured family she grew up with.

I got this because it was rated in the Guardian. It's also got a glowing puff from Stephen King on the front. But I didn't think it was that brilliant. It's a while since I finished it now and so the details have faded, but I think I guessed at who the killer was pretty quickly: maybe the point of the novel was not so much the whodunnit as the why, and a chance to contemplate what it must take to drive someone to cut themselves. But even that wasn't particularly insightful.

An OK-ish read, nothing more.

Completed :17-Feb-2008

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