The television adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s debut novel, Sharp Objects, premieres tonight.
After the sensational success of her book Gone Girl and its subsequent film adaptation, critics have high hopes for the new show, which stars Amy Adams as a frayed journalist.
It had been tipped as the new Big Little Lies, but Lucy Mangan at The Guardian says “it’s much better than that”.
Adams is in “career-best form in this mean, moody and magnificent Missouri-set murder mystery”, she says.
Flynn is notorious for her controversial female characters. Here is a breakdown of her other literary outings:
Sharp Objects (2006)
Flynn’s debut novel follows Camille Preaker, a newspaper journalist who must return to her hometown to report on a series of brutal murders. After suffering the loss of her little sister, Preaker suffered for years and spent time in a psychiatric hospital due to self-harm.
The book explores themes of suffering, loss, self-harm and dysfunctional families. Kirkus Reviews called it “piercingly effective and genuinely terrifying”.
The year after its release, Sharp Objects was shortlisted for three Crime Writers’ Association awards and won in two of the categories.
Dark Places (2009)
Flynn’s second novel follows a woman who investigates whether or not her incarcerated brother was truly responsible for the murder of their family in the 1980s. The novel deals with class issues in rural America, intense poverty and the Satanic cult hysteria that swept the United States at the time.
The book was met with praise, and listed on the New York Times Best Seller List. It was later adapted into a film in 2015, starring Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Christina Hendricks.
Gone Girl (2012)
This bestselling book follows a husband searching for his wife who vanished on their fifth wedding anniversary, while he comes under police scrutiny as the prime suspect for her disappearance.
The New York Times‘s culture writer Dave Itzkoff described it as “the biggest literary phenomenon of 2012”. By the end of the year, Gone Girl had sold over two million copies in print and digital editions.
The book was adapted into a hit film, for which Flynn wrote the script, in 2014. It starred Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.
The Grownup (2015)
Originally published as a short story in the 2014 anthology Rogues under the title “What Do You Do?”, The Grownup follows a sex worker who becomes an aura reader and is then hired to purify the Victorian home of a woman with a failing marriage and a disturbing stepson. The story won an Edgar Award in 2015.