When it came time to pick my January Book of the Month book there was only one choice and that was the new thriller called "A Flicker in the Dark" by Stacey Willingham. This is a debut novel from Willingham and it sounded too good to not read. 

I was in fact correct... this book did not disappoint in the slightest bit. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and it was definitely my favorite book I read in January.

Publisher's Summary

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, her own father had confessed to the crimes and was put away for life, leaving Chloe and the rest of her family to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Now twenty years later, Chloe is a psychologist in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. While she finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to achieve, she sometimes feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. So when a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, seeing parallels from her past that aren't actually there, or for the second time in her life, is Chloe about to unmask a killer?

My Thoughts

When I read the summary for this book I thought it sounded a lot like the story of the BTK Killer and how his daughter found out later in life that he was a serial killer. It was so much more than that... it wasn't what I expected at all and I loved every moment of it.

Our protagonist, Chloe, is trying to deal with getting married, a sick mother, the anniversary of her father's crimes, and the fact that girls are going missing again. It is bringing her back to the bad place all those years ago and it's really wild to see it play out. 

Chloe is likable enough even with her flaws. I thought she was really relatable and very strong. I mean, how do you come back from your father being a serial killer? Reading from her POV was intense and gave me a massive book hangover but it was really interesting as well. 

The main plot of the book, the anniversary of Chloe's dad's crimes, is one of my favorite tropes in thriller novels. It feels very real; I like how our 'real life' true crime gets the novel treatment and is woven through the storytelling of fiction. It makes things a lot more interesting and almost more real-- like this story could be, and probably is true somewhere in the world. 

I read "A Flicker in the Dark" within 24 hours because I could not get enough. I needed to know what was happening, how it was happening, and why it was happening. All the while, I also thought it was going to be very predictable but it definitely was not. What you think is happening is quite opposite and when it is all revealed, it throws you for a loop. I know that sounds really cryptic but I don't want to give too much away.

Chloe is trying to figure out who is taking these girls, in the present-day, and how it ties back to her father... if it ties back to her father. You're sent on a wild goose chase right alongside with Chloe and things are not what they seem. 

This was one of those books that I couldn't read at night because I was terrified so I was glued to it during the day. It was super spooky, creepy and the ending sent a chill down my spine but it was addicting.

The writing was excellent, the storytelling was superb - you would think this is the work of a seasoned veteran and not a debut novel. I don't think I've read anything so well put together and thought out before. 

"A Flicker in the Dark" is a book I would read again just to feel that scary, eerie feeling. I think it's a book that all true crime/thriller lovers need to read! 


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