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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Thriller

Sharp Objects

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Gillian Flynn, on your first book!

by Gillian Flynn

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Quick take

Gillian's debut novel—her darkest, most twisted, and freakiest of them all. Read it before it becomes an HBO miniseries.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Psychological

    Psychological

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_WellKnownAuthor

    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Action

    Action-packed

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Scary

    Scary

Synopsis

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Sharp Objects.
Sharp Objects

Chapter One

My sweater was new, stinging red and ugly. It was May 12 but the temperature had dipped to the forties, and after four days shivering in my shirtsleeves, I grabbed cover at a tag sale rather than dig through my boxed-up winter clothes. Spring in Chicago.

In my gunny-covered cubicle I sat staring at the computer screen. My story for the day was a limp sort of evil. Four kids, ages two through six, were found locked in a room on the South Side with a couple of tuna sandwiches and a quart of milk. They’d been left three days, flurrying like chickens over the food and feces on the carpet. Their mother had wandered off for a suck on the pipe and just forgotten. Sometimes that’s what happens. No cigarette burns, no bone snaps. Just an irretrievable slipping. I’d seen the mother after the arrest: twenty-two-year-old Tammy Davis, blonde and fat, with pink rouge on her cheeks in two perfect circles the size of shot glasses. I could imagine her sitting on a shambled-down sofa, her lips on that metal, a sharp burst of smoke. Then all was fast floating, her kids way behind, as she shot back to junior high, when the boys still cared and she was the prettiest, a glossy-lipped thirteen-year-old who mouthed cinnamon sticks before she kissed.

A belly. A smell. Cigarettes and old coffee. My editor, esteemed, weary Frank Curry, rocking back in his cracked Hush Puppies. His teeth soaked in brown tobacco saliva.

“Where are you on the story, kiddo?” There was a silver tack on my desk, point up. He pushed it lightly under a yellow thumbnail.

“Near done.” I had three inches of copy. I needed ten.

“Good. Fuck her, file it, and come to my office.”

“I can come now.”

“Fuck her, file it, then come to my office.”

“Fine. Ten minutes.” I wanted my thumbtack back.

He started out of my cubicle. His tie swayed down near his crotch.

“Preaker?”

“Yes, Curry?”

“Fuck her.”

Frank Curry thinks I’m a soft touch. Might be because I’m a woman. Might be because I’m a soft touch.

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Member ratings (7,693)

  • Leah L.

    Columbia City, IN

    Another twisted, psychological thriller by Gillian Flynn…such a fantastic author! Just when you think you have it all figured out…you realize you don’t. Keeps you guessing until the very end. So good!

  • Kylie M.

    Boise, ID

    This book gave me chills. I couldn’t put it down at times, it was so good! I wasn’t crazy about the “romantic relationships” I felt they were a little cheesy. But, everything else was perfect!

  • Devon T.

    Oxford, MI

    I’m not sure how I feel about this book. In between loved and liked. I almost never get disturbed by anything and this book made my skin crawl. Gillian Flynn got the job done, I have no other words!

  • Katie M.

    Alexandria, VA

    Wowza. I felt like the first half didn't have me guessing too much, but the last half I was second guessing everything at every page turn! Will probably read again just to catch every clue I missed!

  • Nicole M.

    Langhorne, PA

    Twisted, deranged, and seriously f-ed up. If that’s the type of verbiage you look for in a story description, you’re going to love this one. Full of sociopaths, It definitely lived up to the hype.

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