Check out my review of Dark Places by Gillian Flynn!
Favorite Quote: “Worries find you easily enough without inviting them.”
Favorite Character: Lyle
Synopsis from Gillian Flynn’s Official Website
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.
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.
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.
Amazing. Fantastic. Fabulous. Incredible. Phenomenal. So. Freaking. Good. I wasn’t sure what to think when I first picked up this book. To be honest, the only reason I did was because the movie adaptation was recently filmed in Shreveport, and I just wanted to read the book before I went to see the movie. I was discouraged after the first chapter just because I don’t have as much time to read as I did before, and this was a really long book, and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to dive into it. Now I know what a mistake that would have been if I had decided not to read it.
I haven’t read many mystery books in my life. The only ones that come to mind are the ones I read in middle school, circa Nancy Drew. I think the reason this book really pulls you in is how it’s written. You’re immediately struck with the horror of Libby’s tragic childhood and how she is struggling as an adult over twenty years later. Then the book flashes back to the events of the day that her mother and two older sisters are killed. It was like as soon as I was getting really intrigued about what was happening in the present, that section would end, and the book would transfer me back to January 2nd twenty-five years ago.
I spent the entire book stressed out about whether or not Libby was actually going to figure out who killed her family that night. I don’t think I could have predicted (actually I know I couldn’t have because I didn’t) how the events leading up to her family’s death would have played out that night. It was just a shocker, and Gillian Flynn is just absolutely brilliant. Not only was I satisfied with the ending and figuring out what actually happened that night and why, I also literally breathed a sigh of relief and smiled because Libby got her piece of mind, and, in a way, so did I.
Gillian Flynn does an amazing job illustrating everything in the book. Through her words, I really felt like I could picture everything, and then it made me more excited that I would actually see this book come to life next year. Her words were so descriptive and flawless. Not to mention, I feel like I knew each of the characters personally. I was outraged reading every part that talked about Michelle, Runner, Krissi, and Trey. I wanted to comfort Libby and her mother. I rolled my eyes at a few of Ben’s actions from his teenage years. I felt like Lyle was my friend. I connected with these characters in a way that was so different from characters that I’ve read in other books. I was just so engaged during every part of this book.
This book definitely deserves a 5/5. Flawless writing, brilliant characters, stellar (yeah, stellar) ending. I just loved it so much.