Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dark Places

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, 349 pages

When Libby Day was 7 years old, her brother, Ben, brutally murdered her mother and two sisters in their Kansas farmhouse. The murders received wide publicity, Ben went to prison, and Libby spent the remainder of her youth wrestling with her demons while bouncing from one distant relative's house to another. Twenty-five years later, Libby meets up with a serial-killer-obsessed group that makes her question everything she thought she knew about the murders, setting her on a quest for the truth that takes her through several of the less savory parts of the Midwest.

Like Flynn's blockbuster bestseller, Gone Girl, Dark Places shows us the seedy underbelly of humanity; Flynn has no interest in glossing over the ugly parts, and for that, I thank her. That said, Libby is a much more likeable than any of the characters in Gone Girl, in that it's possible to muster some sympathy for her; that, I think, makes this a bit easier to read. I also like how Flynn alternates between the present and the day leading up to the murder, revealing a little bit more to the reader all the time, though still keeping us guessing. This book is disturbing, but also incredibly good. I highly recommend this to those who like some good suspense, and don't care too much about liking the characters they're reading about.

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