#ATBR2022 – A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

Here it is, the first #allthebookreviews post for 2022 and I’m so happy that we’re continuing it this year. The end of 2021 got a little hectic and we both kind of forgot to coordinate these with each other, well we’re back and it feels so good to be doing these again!

Thanks to Minotaur Books for the free early copy in exchange for my honest review

A FLICKER IN THE DARK – Stacy Willingham (Releasing January 11th, 2022)

Book Description:

From debut author Stacy Willingham comes a masterfully done, lyrical thriller, certain to be the launch of an amazing career. A Flicker in the Dark is eerily compelling to the very last page.

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to get. Sometimes, though, she feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, and seeing parallels that aren’t really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?

In a debut novel that has already been optioned for a limited series by actress Emma Stone and sold to a dozen countries around the world, Stacy Willingham has created an unforgettable character in a spellbinding thriller that will appeal equally to fans of Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter

Chandra’s Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars

I just LOVE a good debut novel, don’t you?  Let me introduce you to Willingham and her baby, A FLICKER IN THE DARK.  In this suspenseful thriller, we meet Chloe – who at 12, saw her father arrested as a serial killer. Not traumatizing at all, right? But she’s finally happy.  Successful career, planning her wedding – couldn’t get any better! But then murders start again that are similar to her past and the memories come rushing back to her.

Overall I found this to be a fun read.  I think as a person who reads a ton of thrillers, this wasn’t something completely new to the genre.  However, it’s a storyline I always have fun reading.  Feel me? I did find that I figured out the mystery quite early on …  but the author did have me questioning myself a couple of time! 🤣 As such, I don’t have a ton to say about this read other than that I enjoyed it and am always impressed with a good debut.

Grab your fishing rod to catch all the red herrings and enjoy seeing if you can figure out the mystery before it’s revealed.  Isn’t that the most fun of thrillers?  And even if you do figure it out, how the author splays out the story can make all the difference.  I am liking Willingham’s writing style and eager to see what else she comes out with as I most definitely will be reading it.

My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars

Imagine being a twelve year old girl, already trying to navigate life and find your place, then add the stress of numerous teenage girls disappearing in your town. What could make it worse? Well, your dad being arrested as the serial killer that was tormenting your community. This is Chloe’s reality and the life she desperately wanted to leave in her past. Can you ever truly leave something so horrible buried away?

Fast forward to the present day, 20 years later, she’s successful and preparing for her wedding when eerily similar disappearances start happening. All the memories begin rushing back and now she must figure out if this is another killer or if she is being consumed by her paranoia and trauma and only imagining these parallels.

The paranoia and suspense that follows brings us on a fun ride filled with red herrings to try and throw you off the trail. While I did figure out the mystery fairly early on I still enjoyed it from start to finish. A FLICKER IN THE DARK is a solid debut for Stacy Willingham and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

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