The Grownup

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud.  On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in.  A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection.  However when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend  to believe in ghosts anymore.  Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manor and grisly imagination.  The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

62 pages can really pack a punch.  That is, if you’re Gillian Flynn.  This was a classic thriller with a twist – as if thrillers need any more twists.  The unnamed narrator is an interesting element.  Because we don’t know the name, Flynn can focus on her con-artist, which somehow makes the narrator even more of a mystery.

As for the plot, this was classic didn’t-see-that-coming.  And because it’s so short, the book leaves everything wide open.  Flynn could make things more interesting and expand it if she wanted to, but it doesn’t need to be expanded; it’s fine the way it is.

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