The debut book by American author Gillian Flynn was published in 2006. The book was reprinted by Broadway Books after its initial release by Shaye Areheart Books on September 26, 2006.
The story centers on Camille Preaker, a newspaper reporter who has to go back to her hometown to cover a string of heinous killings.
At the modest Chicago daily The Daily Post, Camille Preaker works as a journalist. She writes articles on crime, murder, and human neglect, and she is not really happy with her job.
Frank Curry, Camille’s supervisor, and she got along okay; he helped her when she recently had to go to the hospital after self-harming. Since she had previously imagined them on her flesh, Camille has inscribed numerous words on her body.
Curry assigns her a story to cover in Wind Gap, Missouri, where two girls have gone missing and one has been murdered. When Camille arrives in Wind Gap, she is able to learn some details about the crimes from the locals, notably the family of murdered child Ann Nash.
The town sheriff, Chief Vickery, tells Camille off-the-record that he thinks the murderer is a Wind Gap native, not a stranger, despite the fact that the local police are not being very cooperative about the murder.
The body of Natalie Keene, the missing girl, is soon found in a city alley. She was strangled and had all her teeth pulled, as was Ann.
The crimes had the cops perplexed. After Camille publishes an article, Curry asks her to stay in Wind Gap so she can continue to write about the deaths.
Camille meets up with her half-sister Amma, 13, and her estranged mother Adora while there. Adora always favored Camille’s younger sister Marian, who passed away from an undisclosed disease when Camille was a young girl, so the connection between Camille and her mother was never pleasant.
Born after Marian’s passing, Amma has developed into a spoilt adolescent who acts like a toddler in front of her mother to conceal her drinking, drug use, and promiscuity.
Richard Willis, a dashing Kansas City police officer assigned to look into the possibility of a serial killer, and Camille become friends. Camille starts having sex with Richard as she looks into things more.
Camille hates to take off her clothes whenever she visits him out of concern that he won’t accept her once he sees her wounds. Amma and Camille start becoming closer.
Camille wakes up to find Adora taking care of her and giving her pills that make her sick after attending a party with her sister where the two of them become wasted and use drugs.
When Camille learns that Adora routinely abuses Amma in this manner, she is outraged and realizes that Marian’s condition was actually caused by Adora rather than Marian—Münchausen syndrome by proxies.
Following some research, Camille discovers a letter that Marian’s nurse had written, indicating that the nurse shared Camille’s thoughts. Camille also learns that Adora is thought to have killed Ann and Natalie, according to Richard.
She goes back to her mother’s house, where Adora bathes Camille after poisoning her and tries to treat her wounds. After falling asleep, Camille wakes up to see Richard and the police taking her mother into custody.
The severity of her scars horrifies Richard. Despite his earlier assertions that he was actually falling for her, this puts an end to their relationship. Amma is transferred to Chicago to live with Camille after Adora is accused of killing Marian and the two girls.
At first, Amma appears to be recovering from the trauma she endured at the hands of Adora, but not long after she enrolls in a girls’ school in Chicago, a classmate is found dead after having six teeth extracted.
Then it is revealed that Amma murdered Ann Nash and Natalie Keene in addition to killing Marian, partly because she was envious of the attention Adora was providing the girls. In the future, Amma is detained for her misdeeds.
After cutting herself once more out of devastation, Camille is stopped by Curry and his wife, who adopt her as their own daughter. Camille gains her first experience being treated like a daughter and a child at the conclusion of the narrative.
Little Mama’s Girl
When Camille puts all the puzzle pieces together and realizes she was mistaken about her mother, Amma pleads, “Don’t tell Mama,” as she stands in the doorway to her bedroom.
Marian was killed by her, but Ann and Natalie weren’t killed by her. Amma and her pals all staged the horrifying murders of the other two girls, positioning them like dolls.
Amma was in charge of removing the victims’ teeth for use in her dollhouse. As the credits start to roll, “Sharp Objects” abruptly ends with a cut to black, leaving the audience in disbelief as they try to understand what has happened.
Another intriguing stylistic decision is that Amma’s crimes are confirmed in the post-credit scenes, which show brief glimpses of the killings.
Ann and Natalie were two people to whom Adora paid particular attention, and Amma was ferociously envious of them.
This resentment seemed to have been passed on in the worst way from Adora to Camille. We can see that Amma killed Mae earlier on her own in brief bursts of frames.
Amma felt threatened by Mae’s admiration of Camille’s professional accomplishments, so she had to leave.
Even the director of “Sharp Objects” conclusion, Jean-Marc Vallée, admitted that Amma had to continue killing since the dollhouse floor wasn’t finished.
These Are Horrors
Crime fiction is written by Gillian Flynn. These criteria are met by her books. To discover the truth, there is always a murder, a mystery, and secrets to reveal though not necessarily in that order.
However, Flynn’s writing has darkness and an edge to it that we’ve only encountered in the horror genre. At their foundation, “Sharp Objects,” “Dark Places,” and “Gone Girl” are all horror novels disguised as detective stories.
In “Gone Girl,” a big spider lures a small man into a trap that is intended for him rather than focusing on a woman going missing.
The cause in “Dark Places” feels less like a Sherlock Holmes mystery and more like “The Amityville Horror” or “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” And “Sharp Objects” is no exception.
Despite being firmly rooted in reality, there are monsters here. The presentation features images of enigmatic ghostly women in the woods, as well as body horror including words and teeth, etched into flesh.
Even more bluntly, it compares Adora to a witch who conjures lethal potions and lures kids. To top it all off, Amma’s identity as the murderer is revealed in the very final frame of the episode, which is just like watching a scary movie and having the monster reappear just as the main character believes they are safe.
The appeal of Flynn’s books is in part due to this. No magic is required. People are capable of doing these things to harm one another.
No haunting compares to a girl grieving her sister’s tragic, harmful activities. Is there anything worse than a group of cruel gals, really? When was the last time we saw Camille on film, looking betrayed and confused at her sister while holding a dead girl’s tooth?
Skin-crawling, that. Amma’s final remarks are cut off immediately after that, and there is no respite other than the impulse to scream as the credits begin to roll.