Our narrator is a bright young woman, but hasn’t had a great start in life. She’s had some petty convictions for fraud and will never be able to get herself a ‘proper’ job. So she’s a sex worker turned clairvoyant and makes money be reading people and telling them what they want to hear. Until one day Susan walks into her shop. Susan is having trouble at home with her teenaged stepson in their possibly-haunted house. The narrator agrees to investigate and gets drawn into their toxic home life.
Considering it’s a very short book, Flynn manages to pack an awful lot of characterisation and plot twists in. You never know, even at the end, who’s lying and who’s being lied to and I never once knew what was coming next. It was a very quick read - I finished it in about an hour - but it definitely left me wanting more.
So, the reason it’s four stars and not five? At the very very end of the book in the acknowledgements, Gillian Flynn says ‘Thanks to George R R Martin who asked me to write him a story’. She might just as well have written, ‘George R R Martin thinks I’m awesome! Woo hoo!’ because it amounts to the same thing. Much cooler if she’d just referred to him as ‘George’.
So yeah. Sorry Gillian; you’ve lost a star for being a show-off.