Author: Stacy Willingham
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Released: January 11, 2021
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Murder, strangulation, self-injury, mental health, medication
A Flicker in the Dark is Stacy Willingham’s debut novel, and let me tell you: this one book is enough to get Stacy Willingham on my ‘auto-buy’ list. I can already see her writing potential and cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.
Oh, did I mention that HBO Max already bought the rights to adapt A Flicker in the Dark? Yeah, clearly, they saw the same potential! I’m looking forward to seeing how that movie turns out (fingers crossed!).
Chloe Davis is a woman with a tortured past. Her town was wracked by unimaginable horrors as six girls went missing. The whole scenario formed a lingering sense of fear in Chloe, something that she has never quite been able to shake.
As an adult, Chloe tried to take her trauma into her own hands, becoming a psychologist. She even runs her own practice. However, her attempt to move on is put to a sudden halt as more girls begin to disappear in a horrifying familiar pattern.
“Monsters don’t hide in the woods. They aren’t shadows in the trees or invisible things lurking in darkened corners.
No, the real monsters move in plain sight.”
Wow. A Flicker in the Dark was such a fantastic read; I’m almost (almost!) at a loss for words). This is a dark and gritty read that isn’t afraid to show the lingering mental effects of past trauma. In that sense, it is so very human.
What impressed me the most about A Flicker in the Dark is the twist on the unreliable narrator trope. I’d been getting a bit tired of it lately. Or, more accurately, I was getting tired of it being done in the same way. That doesn’t happen here. Chloe’s perspective is sharp; it’s her reactions that are thrown into question. It makes for quite an interesting twist.
Speaking of, there are several twists within these pages. Some were more predictable than others, but altogether it made for a brilliant read. One that will be fun to see on screen someday (here’s hoping the adaptation is faithful!).
The pacing in A Flicker in the Dark is another highlight for me. Everything went SO quickly. It was hard to believe that I went from meeting Chloe for the first time to seeing the final wrap-up in just a few short hours. It’s an absolute whirlwind.
If you haven’t already, consider giving this debut novel a try! I certainly don’t regret doing so.