As the film campaign for David Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl slowly but steadily barrels ahead (see the most recent trailer here), I can't help but remember why I was addicted to the novel. Flynn has previously proved her literary finesse (Sharp Objects, Dark Places) for crafting multi-layered characters that speak to the uglier sides of human nature.
These five indie titles may curb your appetite for the film until in opens on October 3rd.
Brakus by J.B. Millhollin
This debut focuses on thief with a personality quirk that seems counterproductive to his chosen profession in the art of stealing: OCD. The novel's anti hero and title character, Ray Brakus, must take refuge in a small New England town. However, as the age old saying goes: looks can be deceiving. Brakus quietly immerses himself into a seemingly wholesome Vermont neighborhood and watches as the neighbors reveal their true faces. Can Brakus plan the ultimate heist? Or will the social deviants of this small town somehow interfere?
Descending Lines by L. Andrew Cooper
A horrific husband is in hot pursuit of his wife in this dark drama swirling with dark magic. Megan and Carter are heartbroken: their 6-year-old daughter is dying of cancer. Time is running out. Carter decides that the only solution is to perform a ritual that will save his daughter's life. Eventually Megan has the good sense to escape with their daughter. This creepy tale may be a bit of a bloody affair for some readers, but its strengths are greater than its weaknesses.
The Worthy Cause by HK Finley
Can the ultimate scammer get scammed? HK Finley's The Worthy Cause toys with this idea, showcasing a freed criminal and his benefactor who may not have the most pure-hearted of intentions. Dawn Daniels is incensed about the legal witch hunt surrounding Sabbath Dyme. She sets up an organization to help get him free from jail. He was railroaded from the start. After Sabbath is released from prison, he proposes to Dawn. When Dawn dies under questionable circumstances, readers realize that the couple's "happily ever after" may not have ever existed.
Good Gone Bad by Susan Mills Wilson
This debut details a twisted love triangle that invokes the characteristics of classic noir and hardboiled crime fiction. North Carolina native Jay Stiles is in over his head after he kills a business partner. His mistress, Camille Carson, adds to his troubles when she starts an affair with his newly appointed project manager, Matt Garrison. If you loved the handwringing tension of Gone Girl, you'll appreciate Susan Mills Wilson's aptitude for twisty fiction.
What Jennifer Saw by Hal Schweig
Hal Schweig explores the psychological dynamics of family life after tragedy. On the outside, the Harris family is living proof of the American Dream: wealthy, healthy and beautiful. It all comes crashing down when Jim is murdered in cold blood. The family structure quickly unravels as the narrative delves into the thorny psyches of the remaining Harris family members.
Like Gone Girl, these indies deal with nasty pieces of work. Check out these recommendations and happy reading!