Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark PlacesPublished: May 5, 2009 by Broadway Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 350

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 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.

This is my favorite book I’ve read so far this year, and I’ve been trying to write this review over the past several days, and I’m finding that it’s hard to review books that you love.

So… Dark Places. I don’t know if I can say it’s my favorite of Gillian Flynn’s books, having not read Sharp Objects yet, but I definitely loved it and preferred it over Gone Girl. I read both for my book club, but I will probably be picking up Sharp Objects on my own soon because I’m antsy to check it out now.

Flynn had me with the book’s opening line – “I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.” The opening paragraph pulled me in and I had an extremely hard time putting it down. I read a lot of the book before shifts at work, and starting my work day was awful. I couldn’t wait to get back to this book and uncover more of the mystery.

The story of the Days is told in alternating perspectives – Libby tells us about her life in present day, while her mother and brother shed light on what happened in the past, starting with the morning before the murders. The way it was presented definitely helped glue me to the pages. It drove me crazy at times, but not in a bad way. The three different perspectives were unique and interesting, and I wanted to get back to each one ASAP.

I love Flynn’s writing. She describes things in such a blunt, unflinching way, and I’ve come to love it. Her characters are both realistic and completely unlikable in a lot of ways, but I found myself really liking Libby in the end, though I spend a lot of the book having this weird love-hate relationship with her.

Dark Places was full of twists that kept me reading.  I loved seeing how the little bits of the story came together.  If you need to love the characters you’re reading about, Gillian Flynn might not be the author for you, but I thought this was definitely still worth reading despite usually needing to love the characters in a story.  I’m very excited to read Sharp Objects now and I’m happy that I rejoined my book club with this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>