Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review of Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Book Description from goodreads

"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.
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My Girlfriend found this book on Goodreads and thought it sounded interesting so she ordered it. A week or so goes by and she's gotten the book and started reading it straight away. I saw her reading it a few times totally engrossed (something that rarely happens but, I love her nonetheless). She would peer up at me on occasion, feeling me watching her, and get this really cute surprised look on her face and say, "This book is reeeaalllly good! You have to read it!" Well, that might not be exactly what she said... but it was close. So, not wanting to disappoint, I finished the book I had been reading and started this one. I didn't have any preconceived notions about the book, but I was hopeful at best. That all being said my first sit with the book did not go that great. Maybe it was my mood at the time, but Libby Day was not making friends with me. As the story progressed though, I felt myself warming up to her and the story of how she got to be this thirty some year old woman that has been living in the shadow of her family's massacre since she was seven years old. Even sitting here now I don't believe that I am fully capable of feeling anything remotely close to how this whole rotten string of events could take its toll on a person. Libby's brother plays an extremely crucial part in the story and I could not help but think that, "Hey... That could have been me." This book being the "who dunnit" that it is, I don't want to give even the slightest bit of it away. But, I will tell you, in the words of my girlfriend, "This book is reeeaalllly good! You have to read it!". The mystery of Libby Day's family murderer will keep you guessing right up to the end and leave you thinking that all the pieces to this puzzle fell so nicely into place that you are sure that you should have figured this thing out nine or ten chapters ago. But that, I guess is why it is such a great novel that I will be definitely recommending to many many others. As always, Thank-you Ms. Flynn for a great story! I will be checking out your other books here in the very near future. Next up, Sharp Objects and it should be in my box any day now...

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