#BookReview: A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham @svwillingham @HarperCollins
Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for a read I picked up via NetGalley. This is Stacy Willingham’s first novel, and what a debut >>>
About the Book:
From debut author Stacy Willingham comes a masterfully done, lyrical thriller, certain to be the launch of an amazing career. A Flicker in the Dark is eerily compelling to the very last page.
When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.
Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to get. Sometimes, though, she feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, and seeing parallels that aren’t really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?
In a debut novel that has already been optioned for a limited series by actress Emma Stone and sold to a dozen countries around the world, Stacy Willingham has created an unforgettable character in a spellbinding thriller that will appeal equally to fans of Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter.
Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for this Advanced Review Copy.
“I thought I knew what monsters were.” … from this opening line, we meet the main character, Chloe, as a frightened child, who could never have imagined that the real evil lived right at home with her. By the end of the introduction, her father has been arrested for the murder of six local girls, and Chloe and her brother’s lives turned upside down.
The narrative then jumps almost twenty years and shows us Chloe and her brother in their thirties. As we approach the 20th anniversary of the awful events from their childhood, the killings seem to have begun again.
Here are some lines that stood out for me …
“I remember the feeling of uneven ground twisting my skinny ankles as I walked faster and faster down the gravel roadway that led to my house…”
“There are so many subtle ways we women subconsciously protect ourselves throughout the day…” … (The list that follows is spot on and quite alarming when you look at things in this way. So many things we are taught as we grow up that at some point we stop actually noticing.)
“It was an evil that had settled over the sky the way an impending storm can make your bones throb.”
Not long after these early notations, I got so engrossed in reading that I forgot completely to stop and make highlights. I read this book in one sitting and stayed up into the early hours to do so. It was that good. Although I guessed the identity of the actual modern-day killer by the 60% point, this did not spoil the fun, and I enjoyed seeing poor old Chloe scrambling to work it out. As you might imagine, A Flicker in the Dark gets a resounding 5 stars from me.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.
I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …