The novel is about a reporter Camille, who returns to her tiny hometown, Wind Gap, to cover the murders of two girls. At first, it is a typical crime story, which involves talking to police officers and trying to get a clue of the incidents. Yet as the story unfolds, we understand more about her psychological struggles, her alienated relationship with her mother, and her haunting past in the family and the hometown. Her personal narrative intertwines with the crime story, and this makes the story more interesting and complex. It is a story within a story.
I think Flynn is very good at constructing the setting and writing the subtle details. The town's main industry is pig farming and slaughtering, which Camille utterly disgusts. This setting echoes with the abusive relationship among some of the characters in the novel. That her half-sister love eating ham and watching pig-farming reminds readers of her being a bully in school.
The novel also strikes me as how suitable it is for movie/TV adaptations. It has the actions, the atmosphere, a real setting, and a chronological storyline with some flashbacks. This is one thing I want to complain about. Although there isn't any cliche, this type of story makes a familiar thriller movie. It kept me thinking about the story for a couple of days, but I learned nothing new about this genre, and it didn't leave me questions to wonder. Yet I still quite enjoyed following the plot.