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A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

Thriller

A Flicker in the Dark

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Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to A Flicker in the Dark!

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We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Stacy Willingham, on your first book!

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by Stacy Willingham

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Quick Take

When a serial killer emerges with an eerily familiar pattern, Chloe Davis wonders if she's really escaped her past.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Psychological

    Psychological

  • Illustrated icon, Movieish

    Movieish

  • Illustrated icon, Murder

    Murder

  • Illustrated icon, Unsetteling

    Unsettling

Synopsis

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?

Why I love it

How does it feel to find out your father is a serial killer? And how do you go on with your life after such an event? Those are the questions at the heart of Stacey Willingham’s thrilling debut, a novel that is as much about family as it is about the monsters that live among us.

The narrator of A Flicker in the Dark is Chloe Davis, who was twelve when her father confessed to murdering six teenage girls in their hometown. Since then Chloe has gone to college, become a child-psychiatrist, and now, at 32, is on the cusp of marrying a dashing man. But the ground is still a little shaky. She is a little too fond of pharmaceutical escape, a little unsure about the people closest to her. So when girls start going missing again, in ways that suggest a copycat killer, Chloe becomes obsessively driven to discover the truth.

What this book gets so well is that the scariest monsters are not monsters all the time. Sometimes they are fathers, or best friends, or siblings, or lovers. Down deep, we want our boogeymen to come from somewhere else. We tell ourselves there are bad people out there, but they are strangers from another tribe, another town, another country. A Flicker in the Dark tells a different story: Don’t trust anyone. This book will keep you guessing right up until the very end, flying through chapters to find out who the monsters are.

Thriller
No One Can Know
A Talent for Murder
Listen for the Lie
Kill for Me, Kill for You
Daughter of Mine
The Fury
Only If You’re Lucky
When I’m Dead
The Soulmate
The Other Mothers
What Lies in the Woods
She Started It
People Like Her
Dark Corners
Blacktop Wasteland
All the Dangerous Things
The Only Survivors
The Hunting Party
Things We Do in the Dark
The Golden Couple
The Collective
Gone Tonight
Too Good to Be True
The Last Word
You Are Not Alone
Rock Paper Scissors
Cross Her Heart
A Flicker in the Dark
Reckless Girls
The Wife Upstairs
The Last Thing He Told Me
The Maidens
Everything We Didn't Say
Invisible Girl
The Paris Apartment
The Guest List
What She Knew
The Dark Lake
The Wife Between Us
The Perfect Mother
None of This Is True
Sweet Little Lies
The Silent Patient
The Winter Sister
The Family Remains
Before She Knew Him
Daisy Darker
The Other Woman
Necessary People
The Family Upstairs
The Wives
Truth Be Told
The Night Swim
The Girl in the Mirror
Pretty Little Wife
Goodnight Beautiful
The Writing Retreat
Just Another Missing Person
First Born
Thriller
View all
No One Can Know
A Talent for Murder
Listen for the Lie
Kill for Me, Kill for You
Daughter of Mine
The Fury
Only If You’re Lucky
When I’m Dead
The Soulmate
The Other Mothers
What Lies in the Woods
She Started It
People Like Her
Dark Corners
Blacktop Wasteland
All the Dangerous Things
The Only Survivors
The Hunting Party
Things We Do in the Dark
The Golden Couple
The Collective
Gone Tonight
Too Good to Be True
The Last Word
You Are Not Alone
Rock Paper Scissors
Cross Her Heart
A Flicker in the Dark
Reckless Girls
The Wife Upstairs
The Last Thing He Told Me
The Maidens
Everything We Didn't Say
Invisible Girl
The Paris Apartment
The Guest List
What She Knew
The Dark Lake
The Wife Between Us
The Perfect Mother
None of This Is True
Sweet Little Lies
The Silent Patient
The Winter Sister
The Family Remains
Before She Knew Him
Daisy Darker
The Other Woman
Necessary People
The Family Upstairs
The Wives
Truth Be Told
The Night Swim
The Girl in the Mirror
Pretty Little Wife
Goodnight Beautiful
The Writing Retreat
Just Another Missing Person
First Born