Review: A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

Where are my murderionos at? If you like your thrillers with a hefty dose of murder this is for you! It’s been a long time since I have stayed up late into the night reading a thriller. A romance—sure, but my thrillers lately have been really meah to be honest. However this book caught my eye early on when I picked it as my Book of the Month selection a few months back. I love chilling novels that include murder and serial killers and this book sounded right up my alley!

But lately my reading time has been limited so I downloaded this one to listen to at work and running errands. I absolutely loved the narrator, she had a great reading voice and the male voices she did weren’t unbearable to listen to so I count that as a win! I gotta tell you, I found myself driving around randomly just to listen to this one a little bit longer. I really enjoyed it, but that doesn’t mean that I loved everything about it (more on that later).

If you love your thrillers with more murder rather than creepy moodiness, you will defiantly love this book. I find that so many thrillers these days are just about creating a mood or feel and many just focus on making readers feel uneasy without really having much of a story. Theres such a focus on domestic thrillers that really don’t have much to do in the way of murder so lately I just haven’t read many thrillers because of this, however this one was much more murder-y and I was all about that!

Summary

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?

In a debut novel that has already been optioned for a limited series by actress Emma Stone and sold to a dozen countries around the world, Stacy Willingham has created an unforgettable character in a spellbinding thriller that will appeal equally to fans of Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter.  (summary from Goodreads)

Review

This book has a very unreliable narrator in Chloe. She has some addiction issues as well as trauma induced paranoia. I found her really hard to read and the book is mostly told from her perspective. I felt really put off by Chloe’s character and some of her rational around some of the missing girls. But at the same time, even if I didn’t like her character there was something that kept me reading her—-maybe it was the fact that she felt very real and even if she was paranoid, her past clearly left her with issues and as a reader I could sympathize with that. But I also really wanting to know what the hell was going on with all the missing girls!

Early on I thought I had the killer identified but yet I couldn’t quite be sure since Chloe was so paranoid. Like Chloe, I found myself being mistrustful of basically everyone in the book. Was I wrong in my prediction? Well you will just have to read it to find out. This book certainly kept me guessing. Like Chloe, was I seeing connections when there was none? Was I reading more into certain things than the situation warranted? There was a lot that kept me reading and I loved exploring this psychological thriller.

In some ways I wanted this book to be more twisty and maybe a little darker in the end. It started off a lot more darker and I think the author could really have capitalized on that later on in the book but I sensed some hesitancy especially in the unmasking of the killer reveal. I think the author could have really explained things a bit more in the reveal and maybe even have gone a little darker than what it was. Frankly I was expecting more from the ending but overall it was a solid debut novel and I am eager to read more by her in the future!

Book Info and Rating

Hardcover, 357 pages

Published January 11th 2022 by Minotaur Books

ISBN 1250803829 (ISBN13: 9781250803825)

Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 4 stars

Genre: thriller

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