The book, author Gillian Flynn’s first, debuted to critical acclaim when it was published in 2007. It’s getting renewed, and well-deserved, attention thanks to Flynn’s success this summer with “Gone Girl.” Themes? Where do I start? Family dysfunction, serial killers, pain, loss, grief, rejection, batshit crazy people … it’s all packed nearly into 252 pages.
Chicago crime reporter Camille Preaker is sent back to her southern Missouri hometown to cover the possibility a serial killer is stalking the sweet little girls of Wind Gap. Camille’s upbringing was less than spectacular, and throughout the story, we’re slowly introduced to the hell that was her childhood—so much so you’ll shake your head and say out loud, “Girl be messed up.”
Camille’s trip back in time has her revisiting her past sins, along with that of her family and friends—it’s got to be tough to go home, only to discover not much has really changed. Boys are still jerks, mean girls are still mean, and yep, Mommy still doesn’t love you. Still, she soldiers on, determined to figure out who is killing feisty tween girls and why the heck they’d be interested in keeping their teeth as a souvenir.
Camille’s much younger half-sister Amma features prominently, as does her mother Adora, who makes Joan Crawford look like Carol Brady. Just like Gone Girl, there’s not too much I can say that won’t give away the ending. But really, you don’t need me to tell you. I promise you that it won’t take long to finish, and you’ll be highly entertained. If “Gone Girl” was your first Gillian Flynn experience, run, don’t walk, to get this one.