It’s hard to not sit down and read Flynn’s short story The Grownup all in one sitting, for two reasons:
1. It’s awesome.
2. It’s short.
Thus, this story is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s a great mystery/suspense story and I devoured it. On the other hand—ten freaking dollars for a sixty-page story?! No thank you!
The story centers around an unnamed protagonist, who earns her living posing as a psychic. She’s a little bit jaded from spending her whole life conning, in some way or another, but when she encounters a woman who believes her house may be haunted, her careful game of deceit and control begins to unravel. She’s forced to ask herself, the ultimate skeptic: are ghosts real? Or has the con artist now been sucked into the ultimate con?
I think if you can get ahold of this from your local library, you should, because it’s not only one of the tightest short stories I’ve read recently, it’s a great lesson in how to maintain tension and create clever plot twists in a story, for those of us who are writers and are learning as we read. However, I wouldn’t buy it. There’s just no way I can justify the cover price!
The Grownup, by Gillian Flynn (hardcover, 64 pages). Published November 2015 by Crown. Genre: mystery, suspense, horror. Four out of five stars.