"The Grownup" Serves A Rather Child Sized Portion Of Suspense

26025580Title:  The Grownup
Author:  Gillan Flynn
Format:  Kindle Single
Length:  64 pages
Publisher:  Crown
Rating:  4 Stars

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 manner 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.  - Goodreads

My Thoughts

The almost painfully candid attitude of our unnamed narrator is both refreshing and unsettling.  As she sets about the task of cluing we, the unsuspecting readers in to the rather dubious reason behind her now excruciating case of 'carpal tunnel syndrome'.

The self declared maven of the 'happy ending hand-job' then goes on to explain that her painful, albeit richly deserved title, and the job from whence it has been earned, is on the lighter of the reprehensibility scale.  
It seems that she has been trained from the cradle to defraud.
To that end she also works as a 'psychic'.(pun fully intended)

Enter Susan...
Rich, bored, and clearly distressed.  Susan Burke is nothing, if not the perfect mark.  So our girl jumps at the chance to follow dear Susan home.  So that she might intuit...ahem...the source of Susan's troubles.

This is a short story that will leave you impressed, but curious as to what exactly it is that you are impressed about.
The reason for this is...
You are never quite sure what is going on, with or between Susan and her stepson Miles.

Is he a psychopath of the first order?
Is Susan?
What really happened to dear old Dad?
Is there something else going on in the house?

These are all questions that this short jaunt into creepyville will leave readers to ponder.
Hence, the reason that this read rates 4 stars instead of 5.
Where oh where can my conclusion have gone.
Because it sure as hell is NOT in this book.

I would call The Grownup much more of a teaser, than a short story.
It is just a taste of who Gillian Flynn is as a writer.
A sweet taste, but only that...just the same.


About Gillian
Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families,violence and self-harm.

In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers' Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, winning in the last two categories.

Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master's degree from Northwestern University.

Review Quotes:
"Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre."
–Stephen King

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