Gripping and entertained!
Dark Places is a mystery but it’s one of those mysteries that also happens to be brutal and very well written. I started this knowing how much I enjoyed Gone Girl and when I got started with this I couldn’t put it down. It’s called “Dark Places” and lives up to its name. It’s dark, violent, gripping and, yes, even sick. There were some points in the book that had my stomach churning, and I had to put it down, take deep breaths and count to ten. This isn’t just about Satan worshipping, sacrifices or drugs and sex, but also rape, paedophilia, and abuse. It’s pretty much all the nasties you can find in the world, rolled onto paper. Not exactly your feel-good read.
Libby Day is still burdened by the brutal murders of her mother and sisters that took place in their family home in 1985 when Libby was just seven years old. Now, thirty-one years of age, Libby has to deal with the pressure of being skint in addition to her emotional burdens. Having lived off a hefty trust fund since the age of eighteen, Libby has never had a job, and she is daunted by the idea of having to seek employment now that her trust fund is almost completely drained. Fortunately for Libby, she has just received an offer of a nice sum of money to appear at an event hosted by crime case enthusiasts. Having no real choice but to accept the offer, Libby attends and subsequently maintains contact with the treasurer of the club. What started out to be cash-exchange offers for appearances and personal belongings, the dealings with the Kill Club soon develop into an appeal for Libby to recant her testimony of convicting her estranged teenage brother, who was rumored to be part of a satanic-worshipping club. Unconvinced that her older brother is innocent, Libby unwillingly decides to embark on an endeavor of finding out what really happened that dark night of the massacre. What began as a quest for financial gain and one which she believed would produce no real or new findings, Libby is astonished at how little she knew about the events leading up to that awful night in January 1985. And for the second time in her life, Libby falls into grave danger
Gillian Flynn crafts one hell of a mystery yarn but it’s her characters that show she’s more than just another mystery lover. The narrative is told primarily first person, through the eyes of Libby, but is interspersed with flash back third party accounts which focus on Libby’s mother and on Ben. As we learn more about both characters the plot thickens Ben and Libby are sympathetic figures, despite both being deeply flawed. Still, she makes you understand their motivations, making them seem all too realistic. The parallel structure of the book builds the suspense. I had no idea what actually happened that night until it was pretty much spelled out for me, which I love in a mystery.
I LOVED this book. The characters were strongly developed. I felt something for each of them, whether it was sympathy, hate, or fear-the rollercoaster of emotions didn’t stop until the story was over. I loved the characterization and pacing of the story. It wasn’t hurried and the author lingered over details that served to deepen the reader’s knowledge of and appreciation for the characters. I like that kind of focus, it draws me into a story. And I was drawn in. I was enjoying the journey to much to worry about the destination, which is just as well as it turned out to be the best bit.
Flynn’s telling of the story is geniously done. She has created a story that you have to finish. You won’t feel complete unless you do.
My Rating : 4/5