Book Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Title: Sharp ObjectsBook Review - Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Author: Gillian Flynn

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Genre: Mystery Thriller

First Publication: 2009

Language: English

Major Characters: Libby Day, Ben Day, Patty Day, Ronald ‘Runner’ Day, Diondra Wertzner

Setting Place: Kansas, 1985; Kansas City, Missouri (United States)

Theme: Guilt & Blame, Memories and the Past, Dreams, Hopes, and Plans, Lies and Deceit, Justice and Judgment

Narrator: First Person from Libby Day’s point of view; Third-Person Limited (Ben and Patty Day)

 

Book Summary: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

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.

“The truly frightening flaw in humanity is our capacity for cruelty – we all have it.”

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.

 

The book, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, is also available on Audible. It’s narrated by Lorelei King.

 

Book Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn was my second novel by Gillian Flynn. Seriously, what goes on in Gillian Flynn’s head? She writes the freakiest stuff. Sharp Objects was nasty enough, and Dark Places is just as nasty.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn is the tragic and grim story of the Day Family, told in the voices of Libby Day (main character), Patty Day (her mother) and Ben Day (his brother).

Libby’s family had just the opposite of a nice day, like 25 years ago… her mother and her two other sisters were murdered and Ben, his brother was charged with the killings, getting a conviction where Libby’s testimony was a key factor for it.

“It was surprising that you could spend hours in the middle of the night pretending things were okay, and know in thirty seconds of daylight that simply wasn’t so”

Now, Libby is an adult woman, and very soon she will be totally penniless. She got many donations around the country (United States), mainly at the memento of the tragedy, and she has been able to dispose of the money too good. She never studied, never worked, never did anything.

Libby is exposed to a singular kind of fans about unsolved murders or cases where the convictions have something wrong. A Killing Club, reuniting former cops, former detectives and even regular people interested about police cases. She is shocked to know that there are too many people believing that his brother is innocent, and her own doubts about what really happened that terrible night, 25 years ago, are starting to increase big.

Between her personal reasons of wanting to know what really happened that dark night and her current struggling economic status, Libby thinks that she can kill two birds with one stone, since this “Killing Club” is willing to pay her enough money to go and interview the people involved in the case and since she is Libby Day, there is a high potential that that people would open in an easier way to her than strangers.

“Everyone who keeps a secret, itches to tell it.”

Readers will get to know, slowly but methodically, exactly what happened that terrible day, having chapters with the voice of Libby right now, but also the voices of Patty and Ben, but those two set back in the past, on that fateful day. Present and past will be intermixed offering the pieces of the puzzle that the readers want to put together, but it won’t be easy since human beings are natural liars and the Day Family isn’t better if not worse.

You won’t have heroes in Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Only survivors. And certainly when money is scarce, the Day Family doesn’t hesitate to make crazy hard calls. Blood is thicker than water, so families’ bonds are strong to smash, but also, families aren’t a static things but in constant evolution, and due that bloods can become even more thicker, specially if something isn’t quite right (to say the least) in your head.


 

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