Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

Published July 25, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

From The #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Of Gone Girl

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

What did I think?:

If you’ve never read any Gillian Flynn before, please, PLEASE believe the hype and go and read Gone Girl immediately. It remains one of my favourite thrillers of all time and when I heard she had published two other books, well of course I had to read them, but so far, they haven’t really lived up to the dizzying heights of her third and most popular novel. The interesting thing about Flynn’s writing is exactly how low and how dark she can sink. If you’re not a fan of the grotesque, the macabre, bad language, violence and perversion, you might want to steer clear of her writing but if you can handle all this (and much more!), I definitely recommend her as a brave, unique author with oodles of talent dripping from her very core.

Gillian Flynn, author of Dark Places.

This story follows our female protagonist, Libby Day whose mother and two sisters were brutally killed in a massacre that almost led to her losing her own life too. She has accused her brother Ben, of carrying out the vicious crime and he remains in prison to this day. Libby has survived by living on handouts from concerned members of the public although the money is starting to dry up and run out which is obviously a huge worry. She decides to connect with members of an exclusive group, The Kill Club who believe they have information to suggest Ben was NOT the one to carry out the murders. If this is the case, who did? Can Libby ever live with the guilt of letting a potentially innocent brother be imprisoned? And if the killer is still out there, what does that mean for Libby – the one that got away?

Kansas, USA where Libby grows up and escapes from a massacre. Also well known for its cyclones AKA The Wizard Of Oz!

This was a strange, warped and highly disturbing journey. Not for the easily sensitive or offended, if you want to read Dark Places and you struggle and have to put it down at points, I wouldn’t blame you in the slightest. It’s got every bit of depraved activity that you could ever imagine in a controversial thriller including molestation, under-age sex, satanic rituals, violence and drugs. Both the characters and plot-lines are filled with all kinds of nasty, it occasionally got difficult to read, even for myself who is very rarely squeamish so I think that says it all! Told in one of my favourite narrative styles, from three different points of view we hear from Libby’s mother Patty Day as she struggles with her heavy-metal, Satan worshipping son Ben, we also hear from Ben himself and finally from our female lead, Libby. Darkness abounds plentifully in this novel, nothing is quite what it seems and although the ending wasn’t quite what I was anticipating, it was one hell of a twisted ride to get there.

As an author, I really admire the places that Gillian Flynn goes to provoking that reaction from her reader and it certainly had me on the edge of the seat, uncertain what exactly I was going to read next. I don’t think it’s her best book, that title still has to be awarded to Gone Girl, in my opinion but I can’t help but respect her for not being afraid to show the murkier side of both our characters and life in general. As I’ve already read Sharp Objects, I have only to read The Grownup, a novella and then I’ve read everything she’s ever published. I’m really hoping that she writes something else again soon, I can hardly bear the suspense of wondering how much more horrifying her fiction can get?!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):



20 comments on “Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

  • I’m one of the philistines who hasn’t read Gone Girl yet!! 🙈😆 And (by some miracle) I’ve remained spoiler-free, too!! This one sounds really interesting as well, and super-timely given the proliferation of true-crime podcasts lately… Thank you for the timely reminder to get on the Gillian Flynn train!! ❤️

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