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.
I had first read “All the Dangerous Things”, the second novel of Stacy Willingham. That book impressed me so much that I decided to go back and read “A Flicker in the Dark.”
Knowing that this book was a first work makes me respect Stacy Willingham even more! You don’t have many flaws in the story even if I had guessed “who was doing it” and some major twists.
I guess reading more thrillers and crime, I become better at the guessing game.
But the use of Chloe as an unreliable narrator had me second guessing everything!
A Flicker in the Dark is a psychological thriller full of atmosphere and impending doom. After all, girls keep disappearing again so it’s a race against he clock to catch the copycat!
What’s a Flicker in the Dark about?
Chloe Davis, now thirty-two and a psychologist will be sent back into her past nightmare, to a time where girls kept disappearing and her dad was found guilty of their crime.
She was twelve and her family exploded right after.
Her dad in prison, her mother sinking into depression, she was left with her older brother Cooper. He was fifteen and she was twelve. Facing the hate of the town’s people, the insults after what her father did.
It took many years for Chloe to feel somewhat in control of her life again. Her career’s choice, psychology, has been motivated by what happened. Why does someone become a killer? And how does someone live with the idea that a family member is a monster?
But now she has a perfect fiancé and will marry in six weeks. She is back on track.
Until girls begin to disappear again, in the same fashion as twenty years before. For Chloe, it’s hell again, especially as she tries to help the police but her past does not make her the most trustworthy person.
Slowly reverting back to using medicine to calm her anxiety, Chloe’s discoveries and findings won’t seem very reliable to the reader.
From the very beginning, we feel a tense and threatening presence lurking in the shadows, and that put me on edge instantly. If I had indeed guessed the killer correctly, this was still such a game of smoke and mirrors that I revised my theory a lot of time! Let’s also add that the characters were well fleshed-out, complex and the relationships were extremely realistic as well. Finally, the family drama hit just right in the face!
I warmly recommend that book if you love thriller/crime stories and the audiobook narrated by Karissa Vacker is an excellent choice!
Thanks for reading.