I normally would not choose to display the movie or TV show cover of a book but I have done so this time because its hype as a TV show is what got me to pick up this book in the first place.
“I wish I’d be murdered… Then I’d never have to worry again. When you die, you become perfect. I’d be like Princess Diana. Everyone loves her now.”
The people in this book are messed up. You spend a lot of time sitting there thinking “did I just read that?” and having to read it again because it’s almost impossible to take it in. This novel is not nice. It’s not an entertaining read. This is a psychological thriller/drama that will leave you feeling like you’ve read enough of them for a while.
One reviewer that I follow on Goodreads put it very well:
"You know how you eat a bag of potato chips? You pull it off the shelf, and you begin with a small handful. And then you take some more. And some more. And before you know it, you are just eating the whole thing. In one fell swoop. And then you feel a little sick afterward. Not sick to your stomach, but sick that you gobbled all those chips and enjoyed them so dang much when they really aren't good for you AT ALL. That's pretty much analogous to how I felt about this book."
There is messy stuff in this book. The sexual content (warning, the book is full of it) alone is horrific, often manipulative and sickening, and left me skipping a paragraph here or there. I wouldn’t suggest this to someone with a weak stomach as there is also a fair amount of gruesome content in it.
So why did I read it?
I read it because it was fascinating. Flynn is a fantastic writer who sucks you in and you want to see how this is all going to end. About 2/3 of the way through I found myself thinking I knew who the suspect was, and right at the very last minute, in the last couple of pages, she turned the whole thing on its head.
I also read it because it felt like watching a horror movie that had no music. Normally when you read a book you can sense that something is coming, sort of like the scary music in a horror movie, but this book would slap you across the face with something brand new and unexpected. It’s not often you get a book like that and so I wanted to keep reading.
Finally, I was interested in the way Flynn dealt with women. Throughout this book, women are grossly undervalued and it is believed that they are simply the decorative and gentle sex whose greatest purpose is to please men. She didn’t tell you how to feel about that, she just told you the story.
I would recommend this book mostly for how good Flynn’s writing is. I may even read another of her books simply for the pleasure of experiencing her brilliant pacing, writing and storytelling… but probably not for a while.
I am now off to read something lighter and happier.