Title: THE GROWNUP
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Mystery/Suspense Thriller
Publication Date: 11/03/2015
Stand alone or series: standalone short story
How did I get this book: Review copy
Format: hard back
What made me want to read it: I love Gillian Flynn’s writing.
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection; however, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.
Gillian Flynn is a master at crafting stories that leave you wondering, “what the hell did I just read?” It’s all in her plot twists! You think you know exactly where her story is going, and then BAM she hits you with it. Her characters are not likable by any means, and yet I can’t help but be fascinated with them. The young woman in this story is a smart and selfish con artist, not exactly some helpless victim. I still found myself empathizing with her situation and concerned about her survival.
Flynn has this uncanny ability of exposing the dark underbelly of human nature through her characters, bringing them to life on the page. Flynn reveals just enough about her characters in this story to give a glimpse of their personality, and yet leaves them completely open to interpretation. Miles, the dark eyed and troubled teen, was either terrifyingly unstable or possessed by a demon. I can’t make up my mind. I keep going back and forth on it; either way he completely freaked me out. He is definitely not someone I would want to end up alone with in a room.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Grownup. It was thought-provoking with a plot twist that will blindside you. The open ending will keep you wondering about the fate of her characters, even the ones that are slightly psychotic. If you have never experienced Gillian Flynn, this short story is a fantastic glimpse of her writing. I highly recommend you give her work a try.
“So you can see why the whole hand-job thing felt like a natural career progression.”
“People are dumb. I’ll never get over how dumb people are.”
Rating: 4 stars
**I received a copy of this book from Crown via Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.