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Sharp objects : a novel
2006
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
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
Genre
Fiction
Domestic
Psychological
Suspense
Topics
Self-mutilation
Young women
Mental illness
Psychiatric patients
Journalists
Murder
Crimes against children
Small town life
Strangulation
Loss
Grief
Ghosts
Childhood memories
Mothers and daughters
Female friendship
Neuroses
Dysfunctional families
Sisters
Family tragedy
Search for truth
Setting
Missouri - Midwest (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
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
Summary
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 Objectsis addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.
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