I picked up this first novel by Gillian Flynn because I was so blown away by her thriller, "Gone Girl." "Sharp Objects" tells the story of Camille, a reporter investigating two dead girls in a small Missouri town. Police think the girls may have been the victims of a serial killer. But the book is also the story of Camille's disturbing and dysfunctional family, who live in the town where the murders happened.
The story moves along quickly and Flynn has a flair for insights and details. I liked her comment that the more TV a person watches, the more overpolished their quotes are:
"Not long ago, I interviewed a woman whose 22-year-old daughter had just been murdered by her boyfriend, and she gave me a line straight from a legal drama I happened to catch the night before: I'd like to say that I pity him, but now I fear I'll never be able to pity again."
"Sharp Objects" is a good thriller, but it also has the markings of a first novel: traditional plot developments, some on-the-nose dialogue, too many names and not enough description. But that's OK -- a writer has to create a first novel before they can progress to something as amazing as "Gone Girl."