A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

Gloomy weather this weekend has kept me indoors, reorganizing my bookshelves to include all of my Christmas gift books. While I usually dread taking every title from my shelf and shifting things around, the task was made a bit more bearable by accompanying it with a new audiobook. It seems as if the entire book world is buzzing with anticipation for Stacy Willingham's debut novel A Flicker in the Dark. Lucky for me,  Macmillan Audio provided a review copy of the new title for me to review. Now having listened to the book, I completely understand the hype. 

The trauma in Chloe Davis's life started in her childhood. The summer when she was just twelve years old, six girls from her small town went missing. The community became saturated in paranoia, fearful that at any moment another girl could be next. This summer of fear came crashing down when Chloe's father was arrested as an accused serial killer, confessing to kidnapping and murdering each of the missing girls. How does a family reckon with this startling revelation? Chloe, her elder brother, and mother are left shocked, feebly attempting to pick up the pieces of their shattered life. 

A couple of decades later, Chloe is an adult who has mostly moved on from those darker days. She's learned from navigating her own troubles and now works as a psychologist helping her patients to overcome their own hardships. Chloe is in a loving relationship with a fiance who truly cares for her. However delicate her happiness may be, she feels as if she finally has a grasp on a life that isn't about the horrific deeds of her estranged father. But then a local teenage girl goes missing. Then another and another after that. Suddenly Chloe's past comes rushing back to her, filling her with fear and paranoia that she hasn't felt in years. 

It is hard to believe that A Flicker in the Dark is Stacy Willingham's first go at a novel. She expertly balances building complex characters with a driving plot that never lets up. As the work progresses, the main character begins to unravel, overwhelmed by the similarities between her past and the present-day crimes. I've grown to be a bit tired of the unreliable narrator trope that permeates much popular suspense these days, but Willingham imbues her character with enough of a grip on reality to help overcome that. Karissa Vacker's narration perfectly captured the tone of the book, allowing me to fully invest in the story as it unfolded. I did guess the ending fairly early in the book, but Willingham provided enough twists and red herrings to keep me thoroughly engaged. Overall, A Flicker in the Dark is an extremely solid psychological thriller that is worthy of all of the hype it is receiving. 

For more information visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads

(2022, 3)

This entry was posted on Monday, January 10, 2022 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

18 Responses to “A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham”

  1. Sounds like an impressive debut. You always make me want to try these thrillers even if they aren't my preferred genre lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. I've been on something of a thriller binge to kick of the year, not that I'm mad at it! Now onto some non-fiction to get a little more variety.

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  2. I always love when a book lives up to the hype

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  3. I'm very excited to read this one. I have it on hold at my library, but so do 35 other people...so it's going to take me a few weeks (or more!) to get a copy. But it sounds like it'll be worth the wait. :)

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    1. That's always the downside to borrowing from the library. I'm just too impatient. I think you'll find that this one is worth the wait!

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  4. Psychological thrillers are so far outside my wheelhouse, but you have me so curious about this one. I'm tempted to give the audio a try.

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    1. This one may be a good one to tip your toes into so to speak. The audio had me completely captivated!

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  5. That sounds really good. I may have to read this one as well.

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  6. Oh good! I have a copy of this from Book of the Month and am really looking forward to it. I am so glad you enjoyed it.

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  7. Yay, I'm glad this book actually lives up to the hype. I'm always hesitant about reading much buzzed about books because they rarely seem to be all they're cracked up to be! I'm definitely going to read this one soon-ish.

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    1. Same here. The more hype I see for a book, the longer I usually wait to read it.

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  8. So glad to hear it is as good as everyone else is saying, whose opinions I do not trust because I don't know them, lol. I just hopped in the queue for this one at the library, it'll be a while though!

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    1. It is a quick read that met my expectations. Hope the queue moves quickly!

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  9. This one is on my Kindle waiting for some attention. Maybe I should move it to the top of the list!

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    1. You should! It will make for a fun, quick read.

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