A woman who grew up learning how to best beg on the streets is now working people in the psychic/aura reading game... hoping to get ahead and dreaming of being someone who has a nice library in her home. In walks Susan Burke, who looks like she's in the kind of trouble that our main character thinks she can profit nicely from. Susan's problems include the troublesome teenage stepson, a husband who travels a lot, and a potentially haunted house. It doesn't take long for her to realize that she's in over her head... and has absolutely no idea what is real and what is lies. She's being played, but by whom?
I've only read one of Flynn's books before this, Gone Girl, and it wasn't one of my favorites. But this is a short story, and I was curious. After all, it first appeared in a collection edited by George R.R. Martin and I am certainly a fan of his. So why not?
This story certainly catches the reader's attention from the start. The first line is "I didn't stop giving hand jobs because I wasn't good at it." It isn't expected, that line, and so you want to read on. The story quickly moves into some background and then onto the main event. And there you get tossed around, totally safe in what you think is true only to find that maybe its not. I found that this got super creepy and then left me completely unsettled. It is a short story and a quick read, but I feel like it will stay in mind for much longer.
by Gillian Flynn
Crown, 2015. First published 2014.