In her debut novel, Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn isn’t afraid to showcase a stable of characters who are more than merely flawed, but are severely troubled and often downright despicable. Yet her undeniably skilled prose leaps from the page with gleeful ambition and defies the reader to not be pulled in by the mystery of what insidious thing might just be going on in the small Missouri town. Flynn begins her narrative with an involuntary homecoming for her protagonist and brings sly insight to both the kind of person who feels the need to escape their hometown, as well as the type of hometown that needs escaping. From there, the novel becomes part family drama, part thriller, part murder mystery, and all completely engaging. Each piece of the puzzle to this mystery is masterfully slipped into place with a sinister ease of pace, culminating in a climax that speaks to the pervasive nature of evil, and one which sticks with you long after you’ve put the book down.