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A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham: FAQs + Books Like It

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

"Monsters don't hide in the woods; they aren't shadows in the trees or invisible things lurking in darkened corners. No, the real monsters move in plain sight." This quote from A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham comes early on in the book and was all I needed to read to know I was in for a great time. (Kindle | Kobo | Paperback)

It was such a fantastic psychological thriller, in fact, that I did nothing else but eat, sleep, work my day job, and read for two days until I was done. Of course, now that it's over, I am left craving another mystery or thriller that makes me feel the same.

That brings us to this article, where I have not only answered some of the burning questions I had while reading the book but also provided a list of books like A Flicker in the Dark that I cannot personally wait to dive into. (Warning: This article contains spoilers)

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham:

How Long Does It Take to Read A Flicker in the Dark?

The hardcover version of a Flicker in the Dark is 368 pages, which How Long to Read estimates will take the average reader 5 hours and 39 minutes to read.

What is A Flicker in the Dark About?

20 years ago, girls just like Chloe Davis started disappearing. After six disappear and are presumed dead, Chloe's father is sent to jail for the crimes. Now, she's a medical psychologist, helping others work through their trauma while coping with her own and trying to live a normal life, such as getting married. But then girls start disappearing and turning up dead, just like they did 20 years ago. Given that her father is behind bars, Chloe believes it can only mean one thing - a copycat is on the loose. In A Flicker in the Dark, Chloe walks us through her past and present as she races to find the truth before anyone else can get hurt.

Is A Flicker in the Dark Based on a True Story?

There is no reason to believe A Flicker in the Dark is based on a true story, as there have been no articles published on the topic or statements made by the author. Although it would not surprise me if Stacy Willingham researched and was influenced by true crime stories.

What Is the Age Rating for A Flicker in the Dark?

A Flicker in the Dark should be reserved for mature readers as the topics discussed include murder, kidnapping, suicide, and drugs and alcohol, which could be triggering for some.

Who Narrates A Flicker in the Dark?

Our narrator throughout the duration of A Flicker in the Dark is Chloe Davis. Although we find out early on that she is abusing prescription drugs to self-medicate and that her use of those particular drugs in combination with alcohol can cause hallucinations and memory loss. As you can imagine, this doesn't make her the most reliable narrator and even caused me, the reader, to question if her story was true or even reality.

Who is Aaron In A Flicker in the Dark?

Aaron Jensen claims to be a reporter for The New York Times who is writing a story about the 20th anniversary of the Dick Davis murders and the possibility that the current disappearances/murders in Baton Rouge are a copycat. The truth though is that his name is Tyler Price and he is the copycat committing the 2019 murders. He grew up in Breaux Bridge with Chloe and Cooper and was the person Chloe caught peering in the window of her family home as a child. As it turns out, he was befriended by and seemingly manipulated by Cooper David, the original Breaux Bridge murderer.

Who Is the Killer in A Flicker in the Dark? Is It Daniel?

In A Flicker in the Dark, we have two killers. The 2019 copycat murderer is Tyler Price, otherwise known as the New York Times Reporter, Aaron Jensen. While the original Breaux Bridge murders were committed by Cooper Davis, not his father. Also, while Daniel may have been suspected of the murders (and for good reason), it turns out he had figured out that it was Chloe's brother, Cooper, and was trying to prove it by meeting with her father, Dick Davis, in jail.

Does Chloe End Up With Daniel in A Flicker in the Dark?

While Daniel may not have been the murderer as Chloe suspected, she did cheat on him and sleep with Aaron Jensen (aka. the copycat murderer, Tyler Price). At that point, he also moves out. So, no Chloe does not end up with Daniel. However, when she returns her engagement ring to its rightful owner, Sophie Briggs (Daniel's sister), Sophie mentions that "Daniel talked about you constantly. He still does" and smirks. Personally, this led me to believe they might eventually reconcile.

Will A Flicker in the Dark Be Made Into a Movie?

While it won't be made into a movie, Variety reports that A Flicker in the Dark is being adapted into a TV series by HBOMax.

5 Books Like A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

There's nothing like a well-written and cunning psychological thriller. That feeling of suspecting every character and trying to unravel the mystery before the main character can is one I will never get tired of. Fortunately, there is no shortage of books that offer that. In fact, here are five books like A Flicker in the Dark for you to read next.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

1. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

The idea that one of your family members could be a serial killer is one of the things that made A Flicker in the Dark so suspenseful. In My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite though, the main character knows her sister is a serial killer. Here's the idea of the book: "When Korede's dinner is interrupted by a call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, and a strong stomach. This'll be the third boyfriend Ayoola's killed in, quote, self-defense. She should probably go to the police, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. But then, Ayoola starts dating the doctor Korede's long been in love with. She isn't prepared to see him wind up dead but to save one means sacrificing the other..."

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

2. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

The description of A Flicker in the Dark on Goodreads promises that fans of Karin Slaughter will love Stacy Willingham. It was that line that brought me to the book, Pretty Girls. Like A Flicker in the Dark, this book is about the disappearances of young girls and a family at the center of it all. If you haven't heard of it, here's a description for you: "20 years ago Claire Scott's eldest sister, Julia, went missing. It was a mystery that was never solved and it tore her family apart. Now another girl has disappeared, with chilling echoes of the past. And it seems that she might not be the only one. Claire is convinced Julia's disappearance is linked. But when she begins to learn the truth about her sister, she is confronted with a shocking discovery."

The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

3. The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

Despite my personal feelings towards The House in the Pines, I've chosen to include it in this list of books like A Flicker in the Dark because both books are led by unreliable narrators with serious substance abuse issues who recklessly attempt to solve the crime at hand all by themselves. It's about Maya, who was in high school when her best friend mysteriously dropped dead in front of Frank Bellamy. Seven years later, Maya is dealing with a secret addiction that allows her to cope with what happened, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can't account for. Everything changes though when she sees a video in which a woman suddenly dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma she's been trying to escape, Maya heads back to her hometown to face her past and find the answers that have always evaded her.

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

4. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Not only is Megan Miranda's thriller, All the Missing Girls, about the disappearances of young girls, but like A Flicker in the Dark, the book jumps between disappearances that happened in the past and in the present. Here's what it's about: "It’s been 10 years since Nicolette left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared without a trace. Back to care for her ailing father, old wounds are broken open when Nic's young neighbor, Annaleise, goes missing. Told backward from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her neighbor’s disappearance. This ultimately ends up revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night all those years ago."

We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin

5. We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin

Like A Flicker in the Dark and a few of the other books on this list, We Are All the Same in the Dark is a then-and-now thriller about the disappearances of young girls from a small town. What I loved about this book in particular though was that there's a shocking death that happens right in the middle that really differentiates the book for me. Here's a short description of it: "It's been a decade since Trumanell disappeared but her brother, Wyatt, still lives as a pariah despite being cleared of wrongdoing. So, when he finds a lost girl dumped in a field, the town's youngest cop, Odette Tucker, believes she is a catalyst that will ignite a seething town still waiting for its own missing girl to come home. Desperate to solve both cases, Odette fights to save the lost girl in the present and to dig up the shocking truth about a fateful night in the past."


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