Twenty years ago, six teenage girls went missing in a small Louisiana town. Chloe Davis was just twelve at the time and when her father confessed to the murders, it left her with a lifetime of paranoia and post traumatic stress disorder.
As she prepares for her wedding, it starts happening again, bringing back the awful memories of her teenage years. At first Chloe thinks it’s just a coincidence, but the more girls that go missing, the more she’s convinced it has something to do with her.
Chloe doesn’t know who to trust. Her finance has been acting strange, the police seem to think she’s involved somehow and a persistent reporter wants to open old wounds by interviewing her about the past and the present.
Then there’s her mother, who seems to be trying to tell her something about the past – maybe things weren’t quite as them seemed twenty years ago. Is her dad really who she thought he was or could her parents be hiding something else?
“A Flicker in the Dark” by Stacy Willingham takes the typical serial killer mystery and flips it upside down, this time focusing on what it’s like for the daughter of the perpetrator in the aftermath of the crimes. It’s a unique spin on a genre that sometimes sticks to a formula that can get repetitive.
As the plot progresses, Willingham does a great job of keeping the reader guessing “whodunnit” – although I will admit I had my suspicions early on about a particular character and my instinct turned out to be partially right. Readers are also never completely sure if Chloe can be trusted, which adds a nice unreliable narrator element to the story as well.
Willingham has a hit a home run with her debut novel and Emma Stone’s production company has already optioned it for a series adaptation at HBO Max. If you enjoy Gillian Flynn, Mary Kubica or Greer Hendricks and Sara Pekkanen, this title is for you.
Purchase “A Flicker in the Dark” here.