Natalie was buried in the family plot, next to a gravestone that already bore her parents’ names. I know the wisdom, that no parents should see their child die, that such an event is like nature spun backwards. But it’s the only way to truly keep your child. Kids grow up, they forge more potent allegiances. They find a spouse or a lover. They will not be buried with you. The Keanes, however, will remain the purest form of family. Underground.” — Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn
On a gray afternoon on All Saints-All Souls weekend, reading about family secrets, murders, long-buried resentments bubbling to the surface, small town internecine dramas feels just about right. I got into Gillian Flynn because of last year’s best seller Gone Girl. This one, her first novel, shows the same sharp storytelling she put to good use in that book, this time focused on a small community in the grip of serial murders. From the first page onwards, Flynn manages to get a grip on the reader and doesn’t let go until the final and bitter revelation. Potent stuff. Family dramas are really their own kind of horror.