I totally loved Gone Girl, it was one of my top ten reads for 2012. I hadn’t read Gillian Flynn before so I grabbed both her previous books as soon as I had finished. I enjoyed Sharp Objects but did it find it a bit disturbing so put Dark Places on the back burner for a bit. Having finally read it it is really interesting to see the transition in Gillian Flynn’s writing. Gone Girl is definitely the tighter book but Dark Places combines the dark, disturbing nature of Sharp Objects with the biting social commentary of Gone Girl.
Libby Day is a survivor, barely. 24 years ago when she was just 7 years-old her family was massacred in her home. Her testimony saw her 15 year-old brother convicted of the murders of her mother and two sisters. But all these years later she is starting to doubt herself. When a group that has been following the case gets in contact with her these doubts grow larger and she begins to look deeper and deeper into the events that led up to the terrible event that ripped her life apart.
Flynn tells the story from Libby’s perspective in the present day as she tries to piece together what really happened 24 years ago. Libby’s perspective is interspersed with that of her brother’s and mother’s perspectives in the 24 hours leading up to the murder. The lies and those telling them are boundless and everyone seems to have a secret try want to stay buried. Coupled with small town hysteria over rumours swirling around town makes the truth elusive and eventually more shocking than Libby could ever have imagined.
Flynn builds a great sense of foreboding as the backstory gets closer and closer to what really happened while keeping you completely guessing the whole time. Flynn mines the rural underclass so sharply and gets inside the head of each of characters really well. While I wasn’t as disturbed as I was reading Sharp Objects this book is still very dark (as the title suggests) but in a creepy and brilliantly original way.
Classification: Crime & mystery
Format: Paperback (218mm x 130mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publish Date: 10-Jun-2010
Country of Publication: United Kingdom