Let me begin this review with stating that I can see why people are loving this book. A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham is a standard mainstream thriller with all the tropes that people love. While I enjoyed it and it kept me entertained, I did have a few complaints. I chalk most of this up to the fact that I am an avid thriller reader, so my standards are pretty high. A Flicker in the Dark won't be making my "best of 2022" list anytime soon, but it did the job for what I was in the mood for: something entertaining that required minimal brain power.
When Chloe Davis was a young girl, her father was convicted of kidnapping and murdering multiple teenage girls in their small Louisiana town. Twenty years later, Chloe still grapples with her father's crimes and now more young girls are going missing. Chloe is worried these missing girls are mimicking her father's crimes, but her increasing paranoia is making her question if she is finding parallels that aren't there or if there really is something going on.
What I liked:
Entertaining enough. It kept me turning the pages and I was invested enough to want to know who the perpetrator was.
I liked the "serial killer for a dad" storyline. I always find serial killers intriguing, so this is a plotline I am drawn to.
Plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing.
What I didn't like:
Predictable twist (I guessed "whodunnit" within the first 50 pages.)
Overdone trope: unreliable female narrator with addiction and daddy issues, being constantly gaslit by all the men in her life.
Flashbacks were written directly in the text with nothing differentiating them. No spacing, no italicized words, nothing. You'd literally be reading one sentence and on to the next and all of a sudden be out of the flashback. It was confusing.
Overuse of the word "flicker." (I love finding the title of a book in the story. It is one of those fun Easter eggs that not all books contain, but this was something else and really irked me.)
After putting my thoughts into writing, it does seem like I had a lot to complain about with this book, but overall, it was decent. If you are an avid thriller reader like me, you won't miss much if you pass on this one, it won't be blowing you out of the water. If you are the casual thriller reader or new to the genre, I'm betting you will like this one. It gives me Gone Girl and Girl on the Train commercial appeal vibes.