The story is about young Camille Preaker, a journalist from Chicago. She is sent by her boss to her estranged family in the South to investigate the murder of a young girl as well as the disappearance of another child. The killer has not been found yet.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Camille has severe mental problems and had completed a stay in the mental hospital prior to returning to her job. Her problems include depression as well as severe self-harming.
Camille's younger sister, Mariann, is mentioned several times throughout the book. She died when she and Camille were younger and Camille misses her dearly.
As soon as she arrives in the South, it becomes obvious that tensions are high between her mother and Camille. Adora, her mother, is beautiful but very distant and treats Camille with the utmost coldness. She is married to another man and also has another daughter aged 13, Amma.
Camille also meets several people, including the brother of the missing girl, who becomes a suspect in the investigation. She also meets the investigator for the crime and they flirt incessantly.
As Camille delves into the investigation, it becomes apparent that a serial killer is on the loose. The body of the disappeared girl is discovered and soon, the fault comes to Adora, who knew both of the dead girls and tutored them. Other details come to life, including the fact that Adora poisoned Mariann to bring attention to herself, finally resulting in Mariann's death.
Saddened by this news, Camille packs up her luggage as well as her sister, with whom she has a strange relationship. Amma is a mix between a child and a woman and also taunted and poisoned by their mother.
As they return to Chicago, the story unfolds in unimaginable ways.
Best part of story, including ending:
I absolutely loved the writing, the complex characters and the development, as well as the plot.
Best scene in story:
My favourite scene was when the investigator of the crime saw Camille's many scars from self harming and immediately decided he wanted nothing to do with her, as it was very realistic.
Opinion about the main character:
That she reminds me too much of myself.