WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Camille Preaker is a Chicago-based reporter returning home to the suffocating town where she grew up, to her irrational mother who drove her away, and her fickle high school friends, whom she never fit in with. She has been sent there to report on the murder of a thirteen-year-old girl, the town’s second in a year, but after she fought so hard to escape, Camille soon becomes dogged by old wounds, both literally and figuratively.
After the great acclaim which Gillian Flynn received for Gone Girl, I had high hopes for this crime thriller. The writing is indeed up to the standard you would expect from such a writer and, from the get go, you are drawn into the story, and the world of small-town USA.
Camille is an intriguing character, albeit perhaps not an overly likeable one, and her mother and step-sister, along with many of the town’s inhabitants, add spice and flavour to the proceedings.
It is a very edgy, uncomfortable storyline and Flynn very much goes at it with a no-holds barred attitude, which suits the subject matter, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s an enjoyable read.
My one grievance would be in it’s conclusion, which felt rushed in comparison to the rest of the book, and I actually had to reread one of the final pages because it all unraveled so quickly. That said, it caught me unawares and I well and truly fell for the red herrings along the way, which in my book is always a plus for a crime novel like this.
Overall, a well-written edgy and ultimately brave thriller, that tackles issues many writers would shy away from.
16+ advisory rating.