Sharp Objects is a creepy, gruesome little thriller about a woman who goes home to the small town she left behind, and to the mother, stepfather and sister she is probably better off not seeing. She goes because she is a reporter, and her editor sends her to cover what might be a serial killer working her old hometown.
The main character of this novel is profoundly damaged. Camille is a cutter, which is what the title refers to. She has been so damaged by her childhood that she spent years cutting words into her flesh, and this gives the author access to a really neat little character device. Whenever she experiences some little thread of emotion, she has a sense of a relevant word more or less vibrating on her skin. It works incredibly well.
I have the bulk of the plot guessed out pretty early on, as is common with me and mysteries, but this is one of those wonderful novels where the telling is far more important than the outcome. Sharp Objects takes a turn into the truly macabre and I say that as someone, as you know, who reads a lot of dark stuff.
It’s not fun, exactly but it is a thrilling, scary and thought-provoking read.
In completely other news, I am at SF Mindmeld, talking about POV this week. And I’m not alone. Among others, sparkly birthday woman and brilliant author Jessica Reisman shares her thoughts.