Dark Places by Gillian Flynn // Book Review

"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."

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.

After reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, I found it really hard to find anything that kept me as interested and gripped as Amy and Nick's story. I spent ages wondering around Waterstones in Piccadilly (it's very big, FYI), rifling through the murder-mystery section, but nothing really caught my eye. But then I picked up Dark Places, the second novel by Gillian Flynn and it kept me guessing right up to the very end. I normally pride myself on being able to spot how a plot line ends, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out who massacred the doomed Day family. I will warn you though, this one isn't for the faint hearted - it's very gory and at some points I found myself grimacing, but all of that only adds to the atmosphere of this tragic and messed up story. Gillian Flynn might not be the best writer in the world, but there is no time to quibble over sentence structure in Dark Places - once the story got going, I didn't even notice - the plot line sucked me in and refused to let go. Since I finished, I have been forcing this book on my flatmates and work colleagues and now, I'm forcing it on you. READ THIS BOOK, you will not be disappointed.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
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