Becky’s Forty-First Book Review: “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn

Yesterday I finished reading “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn. She has a very unique way of tackling the darker subjects in life. I am kind of disappointed that she has only written three books at this point in her career, I just have to wait for more I guess.

“Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn is a novel about the Day family, focused largely on Libby Day. In the early hours of January 3rd, 1989 Libby’s mom and two sisters were brutally murdered. She was only seven years old and testified that her fifteen year old brother Ben was the one who killed her family. The novel takes us 25 years in the future where Libby is no longer the little girl who lost her family and survived this horrible thing, but a drifting, useless person. Libby never had a job and never needed one because she inherited a nice sum of money when she turned eighteen from all the well wishers around the country.

Libby has all but run out of money and turns to the ‘kill club’ to earn more. This is a group that is obsessed with the murders of her family and convinced that Ben has been wrongfully convicted. Libby decides to confront the horrors of that night for the first time ever. The kill club has Libby talking to various witnesses, re-reading court room testimony, and looking at memories from her childhood that had been boxed up under the stairs for years.

The story is told by a few different people, but it mostly focuses on Libby Day in present time and Patty Day (her mother) in the past, the day before she was killed. Ben Day also tells his story from time to time. I like when authors do this, it keeps things suspenseful and allows for the reader to uncover the truth of the story from different angles.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. Flynn is a very talented author and while her topics of choice aren’t full of candy and bunny rabbits the writing is exceptional. This novel, just like her first one would be considered a thriller so I am sure there are those out there who wouldn’t appreciate the suspenseful nature of the novel. Overall though, the book was excellent. I am looking forward to reading her next novel.


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