A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

Disclosure: I was sent an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Chloe Davis was twelve years old the summer that six teenaged girls went missing from her small hometown of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. She found that the place she felt the safest was not so safe after all, when her father was arrested and pled guilty to six murders. As the twentieth anniversary of that summer approaches, we meet Chloe at age thirty-two. She is a clinical psychologist in Baton Rouge, recently engaged, and barely holding it together (she has a prescription pill problem, for one thing, abetted by Louisiana’s unusual system that allows psychologists to prescribe drugs). When a local teenager goes missing, and then another, she begins to lose the plot (no pun intended) while conducting her own highly amateur investigation.

I wanted to like it (not least because this book was originally assigned as a review for Shelf Awareness), but this thriller was not terribly successful for me. The writing was a little tired (Southern accent compared to molasses), and the characters frustratingly ill-suited to their professions: for a psychologist, Chloe is remarkably inexpert in human behavior; the police detective can’t stop interrupting his interview subject. I kind of lost it when the undergrad student said she’ll get her doctorate next, and then, hopefully, her master’s! (To be fair, let’s remember I got an advanced review copy – I surely hope this will be corrected before the final publication. But really.)

I finished it, but wish I hadn’t.


Rating: 4 red herrings.

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