Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Publication Date: May 2009
My Rating: ✹✹✹✹✹
“Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.”
“I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.”
This is my favourite book by Gillian Flynn so far. I’ve read all her books, expect for Sharp Objects, and this is just brilliant. I didn’t want to put this book down. Ringing in sick at work became a serious option for me, just so I could finish this book. Luckily for my wage slip this month, I did the right thing and went to work. Instead I just read it at any given chance I had. That’s the thing about Flynn though, she has a talent for dragging you into her stories and having them take you over your life until you find out just what the hell is going on.
Dark Places alternates between the present day, following Libby Day’s POV and her antics, and 1985 (in Ben and Patty Day’s POV) during the time when Ben Day allegedly massacred three members of his family. Each POV was more disturbing than the last. Even now, I don’t know if I particularly liked any of the characters, and I sure couldn’t empathise with any of them.
I had many theories as to what was going on and all of them were wrong, and if I’m being honest I am extremely pleased with the way it turned out. The ending was both surprising and convincingly real.
The story itself is gruesome. I would 100% recommend this book, but be prepared for brutal killings, molestation, bullying, Satan worshiping, drugs and underage sex. Some parts are so tough to read, I had to put the book aside for awhile.
But overall, underneath the filth, there is a complex, well-developed mystery that is well-paced, suspenseful and full of red herrings. Which is why I gave it a 5 star rating.
About The Author:
Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master’s degree from Northwestern University. Flynn’s work has been published in forty-one languages. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Brett Nolan, their children, and a giant black cat named Roy. In theory she is working on her next novel. In reality she is possibly playing Ms. Pac-Man in her basement lair.