Title: Dark Places
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Broadway Books (Crown)
Time taken to read: 1 month, 5 days
Goodreads synopsis: 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’ve been planning to read more of Gillian Flynn’s books, as I absolutely loved Gone Girl. I did enjoy Dark Places, but it doesn’t quite match up to Flynn’s best-known book. It doesn’t really pick up until about halfway through, but I’ve found that problem in a lot of books so I wasn’t too surprised. I loved the way Flynn uses details in her settings and characterization. That Libby is a kleptomaniac is a great example of a small, interesting quirk that really lets us know how she’s been affected by everything in her life. I found myself struggling to connect with Libby, but I almost felt like that was part of her character. She’s distant. She doesn’t let people in. She keeps people at arm’s length, and she did that with us too. Maybe Flynn didn’t do that on purpose, but I found it interesting.
I have to say, the ending let me down a little. Spoiler ahead: I wanted Ben to be totally innocent. I felt so bad for him. He was sucked up into a world of drugs and rebelliousness, and sure, he had anger, but I believed that he loved his family above everything else. His role in the murders was heartbreaking to me. But I can accept it, I suppose. It makes sense why he then allowed himself to go to jail. It just squeezed my heart when he watched his sister die. Maybe that’s what books like this are supposed to do. Either way, I would have changed things slightly, but I still enjoyed reading it, and I do plan to read Sharp Objects eventually.
Sorry for the delay in reviews, my fellow readers. I finished this book like a month ago and just got around to writing about it. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of free time, because I do, but I’ve been putting it off due to pure laziness, and I still have another review to write, so expect that relatively soon, I hope. Happy reading, friends.