Like pretty much everyone else, I was obsessed with “Gone Girl” so I made sure to read Gillian Flynn’s next novel, “Dark Places” and it did not disappoint. Libby Day is the victim of a gruesome crime. When she was just seven, her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered – we’re talking strangled, chopped with an ax, stabbed, and shot. Libby was the only survivor. The person locked up for the crime (thanks to Libby’s testimony): her 15-year-old brother, Ben. Wait whaaaa?!
Now in her early 30s, people begin to prompt Libby to actually think about the events of that fateful night. There are a whole slew of people who think Ben is innocent. As Libby searches for answers, the story catapults back to the night in question and we learn from other perspectives that there was much more to the crime than anyone let themselves see.
Flynn has a knack for crazy and knows how to develop flawed protagonists. Somehow, you’re rooting for the apathetic and rude protagonist. The book’s setting is rural and squalid and Flynn describes it in such perfect detail that I almost felt unclean while reading. My hands felt sticky as I read the pages detailing the Day’s decrepit household. Like in “Gone Girl,” there are plenty plot twists in this thriller; however, this time around the twists are a bit more subtle and less frequent so they won’t give you whiplash.
4 out of 5 stars.