Please be aware before you read this review, that there are spoilers.
Plot outline: When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to report on the crimes.
Long-haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family’s mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half-sister she barely knows – a precocious 13-year-old who holds a disquieting grip on the town.
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims – a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
My Review: My first thoughts after I finished reading this book, was that the characters are seriously disturbing! But in an addictive way, which lead me to read this book within 12 hours.
As you go through the book, the main character Camille, (a reporter for the Daily Post in Chicago), is sent back to her hometown to write a piece on the recent murders of school children, Natalie and Ann. As she comes back to her hometown, it is obvious that she has unpleasant memories and family ties, as she delays in going straight to her mother’s house. It was not long after this, that we find out that Camille had a younger sister, Marian, that died on Camille’s 13th birthday from an unknown illness.
Over the next couple of chapters, Camille works through the neighbourhood by interviewing family and friends of the deceased children, and tries to make a connection with the police force, in order to find out what is going on, and whom the main suspect was. The general feeling around this part of the book, is that many people within the town thought that the murderer had to be from the town, and be ‘one of them’. So children were hardly seen outside, (or at the funeral). The only children that were seen was Camille’s other younger sister, Amma and her three friends (all ages 13 years old).
I found the last few chapter really disturbing, and I struggled to get through them. I was quite torn as I really wanted to know who killed those girls. *SPOILER ALERT* It was at this point that Camille realised (through Amma’s confession) that their mother, Adora, was purposely making her sick so that the mother could take care of them, by pushing tablets, medicines, feeding tubes etc. After this realisation, Camille went to the hospital where her other sister (Marian) had died and asked for the hospital records of her visits. Camille reviewed the records and realised that her mother was intentionally trying to hurt her sister, which had led to her death, also known as Munchausen by Proxy (when a caregiver makes a child ill in order to have attention drawn to his/herself). Camille finally put the pieces together and realised her mother had been apart of the young girls murders.
For a psychological thriller, Sharp Objects does test your mind, as there were many leads that were brought up and seeded along the book. But for me, I knew within the first few chapters that Camille’s mother and half-sister were apart of the murders, although I couldn’t put my finger on how or why. This is truly a book that pushes your senses, imagination and gut instincts through turmoil.
Recommendation: I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves psychological thrillers.
My Rating: 4*