The Next Chapter

If you liked Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects, you'll love..

The comedian and host of The Candy Show says Those Girls by Chevy Stevens is a Canadian counterpart to Gillian Flynn's thriller.
Fans of Gillian Flynn will get a thrill out of Chevy Stevens' novel Those Girls, says columnist Candy Palmater. (St. Martin's Press/

Sharp Objects is the debut novel of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn and was published to positive reviews in 2007. A clever crime story with lots of twists and turns, the book follows a young newspaper reporter who returns to her hometown to investigate the grisly murders of two girls. 

The Next Chapter columnist Candy Palmater is a comedian and host of The Candy Show. She's found a Canadian match for Sharp Objects, which is her favourite Gillian Flynn book, in Chevy Stevens' thriller Those Girls.


In Sharp Objects, a young reporter gets out of a mental institution and — probably not the best move — goes back to her hometown, where most of her troubles started, to do a story on the murders of two pre-teen girls. And in the process she gets put back into her family life. There are issues, and we don't know what they are, but everything slowly gets revealed. And every time you think "Oh, I've figured this out, I know what's happening," boom, you're on another tangent, you're down another dark alley, and until the very end you aren't clear on what's happening. That's what I love about the book.


I absolutely love Chevy Stevens, and her book Those Girls is in the same wheelhouse as Sharp Objects. ​What really drew me to Chevy Stevens is that I have a certain fascination with certain kinds of crimes — abductions, unsolved murders... serial killers are a big one — and it seems that every book she has written is around one of those areas of fascination for me. 

The main characters are three sisters who are born in a horrible situation in western Canada, and one night an argument turns bad and they have to go on the run. As in any good story, they jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. Then the book brings you 18 years in the future, when they are having to reconnect with what happened that night. Much like Sharp Objects, you're going back and forth from the present day to these incidents in the past. And throughout Those Girls, this relationship between these three sisters is so predominant within the twists and nightmare of what actually happened to them.

Candy Palmater's comments have been edited and condensed.