#BookReview: A FLICKER IN THE DARK by Stacy Willingham @svwillingham @HarperCollinsUK @HarperFiction

Publication: 3rd February 2022 – HarperCollins UK

Chloe Davis’ father is a serial killer.
He was convicted and jailed when she was twelve but the bodies of the girls were never found, seemingly lost in the surrounding Louisiana swamps. The case became notorious and Chloe’s family was destroyed.

His crimes stalk her like a shadow.
Now Chloe has rebuilt her life. She’s a respected psychologist in Baton Rouge and has a loving fiancé.
But she just can’t shake a tick-tick-tick of paranoia that, at any moment, it might all come crashing down.

As does something darker.
It is the anniversary of her father’s crimes, and Chloe is about to see her worst fears come true – a girl she knows goes missing.  

The nightmare has started again…



What a read! A Flicker in the Dark is quite an intriguing and intense debut novel. The pace is slow, the suspense is high from the very beginning, and the plot is character-driven with a protagonist I found determined and tough, a survivor who’s been through a lot, but also an unreliable narrator, so that you don’t know if what she’s telling you is real or born from the paranoia caused by all the Xanax that she swallows like candies.

The narrator and protagonist is Chloe Davis. When she was thirteen years old, Chloe’s father was accused and found guilty of kidnapping and killing six teenage girls in their small town in Louisiana. Her father ended up in prison, her mother in a care facility, and the only person Chloe can call family is her older brother Connor. Now in her thirties, Chloe has her own perfect life: her own practice as a psychologist, a beautiful house in Baton Rouge, and a handsome almost-too-perfect fiancé who she is marrying in one month. On the outside, Chloe’s life is perfect, but, in reality, she is still battling her inner demons – often with the help of a self-prescribed pill of Xanax – and when teenage girls start disappearing again, she knows that the nightmare that began when she was thirteen years old is not over…

I had a few suspicions about the crimes and while some of them were right, there were many twists that took me by surprise. The story is brilliantly-written and, as Chloe tries to figure out the truth, you could have cut the tension with a knife. I was on the edge of my seat, so engrossed in the story that I couldn’t stop reading (although, I was forced to by the battery of my kindle suddenly dying). I really enjoyed this dark, gripping, and chilling novel and I am already looking forward to the author’s next work!

A huge thank you to HarperCollins and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Stacy Willingham worked as a copywriter and brand strategist for various marketing agencies before deciding to write fiction full time. She earned her BA in Magazine Journalism from the University of Georgia and MFA in Writing from the Savannah College of Art & Design.

Her debut novel, A Flicker in the Dark, is optioned for film and television by Oscar-winning actor Emma Stone and entertainment company A24.

She currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, Britt, and her Labradoodle, Mako.

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