Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

April 24, 2013 Review 5

Dark PlacesPages: 345
Published: January 01st 2009 by Broadway 
Series:  N/A – Standalone
Source: Purchased at Coles

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“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.”

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her. 

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.


My Thoughts & Review

I read Dark Places the last out of all three of Gillian Flynn’s books… and I guess it’s true what they say, save the best for last. I enjoyed all of her novels but Dark Places by far, blew my mind.

Libby Day, much like all of Flynn’s female characters is crafted to be unlikable. She is hateful, depressed, cranky and snarky. I LOVED her. I’ve realized as of late, I absolutely adore unlikable characters.. those bitches that you just can’t STAND… the ones that would be your worst enemy in real life. Libby has all of the reason in the world to be hateful though… her entire family(with the exception of her older brother) was murdered, basically in front of her eyes. Her brother is currently in jail for the murders, her trust fund is dwindling and now an obsessed crime follower wants her to dig up her past that she has so carefully hidden away. Libby was the only character I felt any sense of attachment to though. As much as Ben was featured in the novel, and of course the focus is on trying to “free Ben!” as the Kill Club wants to, I just didn’t really care about him. I felt sorry for him quite a bit during flashbacks but at the same time I wanted to punch him sometimes for his idiotic decisions.

Of course, OF COURSE, there were about a dozen plot twists that just leave you either starting at the page like, “what??” or wanting to throw the entire book out a window.  Just when I thought I had it ALL figured out then something else would happen. Oh… and the descriptions of the book are disgusting. I have a stomach like a dog… I can basically swallow anything but at parts I just wanted to throw up. I honestly didn’t eat meat for the several days I read this… I just kept picturing Debbie’s doughy little leg hacked up. See… gross. And I’m not saying that in a negative way… the fact that Dark Places sickened me but I still had to keep reading that, that attests to Flynn’s writing. And to be honest there is nothing I can say negative about this book. Also I love the different points of view AND the different time periods. It really helped to string the entire story together piece by piece.

The writing, of course, was phenomenal. The game changing plot twists kept me steadily reading and the Satan worshipping that took place in this book just carried it to another level. It was weird and strange and I loved every bit of it. If you loved any of Gillian Flynn’s book you will adore Dark Places. It’s the perfect mix of thriller, mystery and a little bit of lunacy.


My Rating

5 Stars

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