Camille Preaker is drawn back to her hometown in Missouri to report on a story of two pre-teen girls who have gone missing. It brings back memories of her sister who died prematurely, stirs up her complicated relationship with her mother, and especially reminds her of the fact that she just got out of a mental institution. The deeper into the case of the young girls she gets, the more Camille starts to get claustrophobic in the small town. She doesn't believe the police, who think an outsider did something with these girls; Camille sees the seedier side of home, and it brings out the worst in her. At the end of the day, finding out what happens in this case may be the worst thing Camille can do.
Flynn has said she writes books about women doing evil things to prove that men don't have a stronghold on badness. The problem is, I don't want to read books about men doing bad things either.
Let's be honest: this book gave me the creeps. Not recommended for those who are faint of heart (I've figured out that I am). Flynn did a great job of setting a mood, and certainly kept the disturbing mood throughout the novel. For that, she deserves a lot of credit. Just don't read it at night.