A Flicker in the Dark – Stacy Willingham

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Pages: 357
Release Date: January 11, 2022

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Now 20 years later, Chloe is a psychologist in private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to get. Sometimes, though, she feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. And then a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, and that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, and seeing parallels that aren’t really there, or for the second time in her life, is she about to unmask a killer?

In a debut novel that has already been optioned for a limited series by actress Emma Stone and sold to a dozen countries around the world, Stacy Willingham has created an unforgettable character in a spellbinding thriller that will appeal equally to fans of Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter.


A Flicker in the Dark follows Chloe twenty years after her father was convicted as a serial killer. Now, a psychologist, she’s trying to move past her trauma, but when young girls go missing and turn up dead in a similar MO to her father’s killings, Chloe is sent down a path that will forever change everything.

I’m a sucker for characters who are psychologists. I’m disappointed more often than not, however Chloe’s career choice and actions as a psychologist make sense. Chloe’s trauma fuels her life and it’s obvious from the first few pages how much she’s still struggling. Chloe is one of the main reasons I enjoyed A Flicker in the Dark so much. You never know what she’s going to do next, which kept me on the edge of my seat.

The mystery is full of twists and turns throughout the entire novel. It wasn’t until moments before the killer was revealed did I put it together. Honestly, it should have been obvious but Willingham’s deflections and red herrings worked beautifully.

Overall, A Flicker in the Dark is a fantastic mystery/thriller debut from Willingham. It’s full of twists and turns with a flawed main character you can’t help but connect with and root for. I will definitely be checking out Willingham’s other work.


Have you read A Flicker in the Dark? What did you think?

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