“A smart, edge-of-your-seat story with plot twists you’ll never see coming. Stacy Willingham’s debut will keep you turning pages long past your bedtime.” ―Karin Slaughter
A debut novel that has a blurb from Karin Slaughter? (And many others!) A Flicker in the Dark was a must read for me.
Chloe was twelve when her father confessed to the killing of six teenage girls in their small Louisiana town. Twenty years later, Chloe has tried to escape the past and the stigma, moving away and becoming a psychologist. When one of her teenage patients goes missing, it brings it all back. The similarities between this case and her father's crimes are eerily similar....
Willingham's lead character is wonderfully unreliable - a favorite device of mine. I love trying to see between the lines, interpret Chloe's memories, deciding what might be true and what may not. Alcohol and drugs magnify that unreliability. There's some gaslighting as well - again, another device I truly enjoy.
Willingham also gives us a myriad of suspects for the whodunit. The reader is kept guessing all the way to the final reveal with suspect behaviour, hidden agendas, ulterior motives and more. Willingham delightfully manipulates the reader and their perceptions with a final reveal that I only sussed out in the final pages.
The premise of a serial killer father isn't new, but Willingham has put her own stamp on this idea. The writing grabbed me and it was hard to put the book down. I look forward to Willingham's next book!
HBO Max and Emma Stone are working together to develop an adaptation of Stacy Willingham's upcoming novel A Flicker in the Dark. Pretty impressive for a first novel!