Published by Crown/Archetype on May 5th 2009
Genres: adult, Fiction, mystery-thriller, Thrillers
FROM THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF GONE GIRL 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.
Being my second Gillian Flynn book, I’ve come to realize this author is quickly climbing up my must-read list of books anytime I can get my hands on her work now. She knows how to grasp a reader’s attention quickly with her morbid style of writing and mysteries that build a tension-driven story until the very end. Dark Places gives you the shock value from the start with its chaotic sense of macabre, but not so disturbing that it will leave you wanting to set it down from nausea (unless you just maybe have a really really weak stomach). In a small way at the start, it’s almost reminiscent of the age-old Amityville Murders (Ronald Defeo case) or something quite similar, or at least I felt the similarity in some ways anyway.
Like with Gone Girl though, you have to pay attention because Ms. Flynn is a twisty and mind-bending writer and this is what I’m liking most about her already. I haven’t come across many authors in my lifetime that have managed to surprise me as much as she’s already managed to do so in just two books. But she has. And this is why I’ll continue to pick up anything she releases.
There’s not much said to the characters. You either hate them so much you like them because the writing is that good. Or you love them but hate that you love them because it’s not good for them in the storyline. Ha. I never entirely liked Libby, but she was still a character etched into memory. Overall, it’s Flynn’s storytelling that is the true winner here.
I only gave this title four stars, unlike the five I had initially given Gone Girl. The reason being is because there were times the story dragged a little, maybe more detail than necessary in some places. By the end, I still felt the other title had a slight edge over this one. It was still great, and I still highly recommend it. I look forward to much more of her work in the future!