For a while, I was in a reading slump. I have been so busy with work and school, I’ve barely had any time for reading for pleasure. And when I did have time, I just couldn’t seem to find a book that fit my mood. That was, until, I picked up Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, of Gone Girl fame. One of my all-time favorite books, Sharp Objects, was also written by her, so I knew that I would be in for good storytelling and an intriguing plot.
Dark Places follows Libby Day, the sole survivor of the killer who left the rest of her family dead in rural Kansas in the ’80s. As a seven-year old, she testified that her brother, Ben Day, was the murderer. She is an adult in present day, depressed and running out of money – fast. So, when she is approached by Lyle of the Kill Club, who offers her money to come to a meeting, Libby is more than happy to oblige. However, the followers of the Kinnakee, Kansas murders are not so convinced that Ben is guilty, and this sends Libby on a quest to discover who is truly guilty, sending her all over the Midwest as she encounters people from her past, people she never would have dreamed were involved.
Gillian Flynn does not disappoint. This is the second book I’ve read by her, and I was just as pleased with Dark Places as I was with Sharp Objects. I love a good mystery, especially with a plot twist. And this novel had two plot twists. However, the twists were not out of the blue. There were clues early on in the book, which I did not see until the end. I enjoyed Sharp Objects more, and I think it was maybe because the main character was a little more likable than Libby. Libby is harsh, has sharp edges that are easy to get cut on. But that is to be expected, based on what she’s been through. Gillian Flynn does not write conventionally likable female characters, which is one of the things I like about her as a writer. I just found it a little hard to feel sympathy for Libby based on the way she treated people. The excellent writing and incredible plot were what kept driving me to keep reading – this was a page turner, for sure, and it makes me want to finally pick up Gone Girl, because Gillian Flynn’s writing can not by over-hyped.