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Camille Preaker (Female), Journalist, Cuts herself as cries for help; hard-drinker; had a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital; works at a second-rate paper; returns to her hometown to investigate two murders; sister died from a mysterious illness; her mother is neurotic and a hypochondriac; has a half-sister she barely knows
Young women
Mental illness
Psychiatric patients
Crimes against children
Small town life
Childhood memories
Mothers and daughters
Female friendship
Dysfunctional families
Family tragedy
Search for truth
Missouri - Midwest (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Returning to her hometown after two preteen girls are murdered there, reporter Camille Preaker must get reacquainted with her mother and weirdly charasmatic little half-sister. And then the bad memories resurface. A debut from Entertainment Weekly's chief TV critic; with a five-city tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Flynn's debut novel focuses on an emotionally fragile young woman whose sanity is being severely tested by family dysfunction, smalltown incivility and murder. It is a mesmerizing psychological thriller that is also quite disturbing and, thanks to reader Lee's chillingly effective rendition, at times almost unbearably so. Camille Preaker, a novice reporter with a history of self-mutilation, is sent to her hometown in Missouri to cover the murder of one teenage girl and the disappearance of another. There, she must face a variety of monsters from the past and the present, including her aloof and patronizing mother, her obnoxiously precocious 13-year-old stepsister who dabbles in drugs, sex and humiliation, and an unknown serial killer whose mutilated victims bring back haunting memories. Lee's interpretation of mom enhances the character's detachment and airy state of denial to an infuriating degree. And her abrupt change of pace when Camille suddenly begins chanting the words carved on her body is hair-raising. But the voice Lee gives to the stepsister-tinged with a sarcastic, cynical and downright evil girly singsong-makes one's blood run cold. Simultaneous release with the Shaye Areheart hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 21). (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
<p> SOON TO BE AN HBO LIMITED SERIES STARRING AMY ADAMS, AIRING JULY 8<br> <br> FROM THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF GONE GIRL<br> <br> Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, 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 in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims--a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story--and survive this homecoming.</p>
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