Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Review: Dark Places

Dark Places.  Wow.  I read Gone Girl along with everyone else and their mother last year, and I knew I wanted to check out more of Gillian Flynn's books after I finished it.  So, Dark Places was my second foray into another one of her worlds.  The woman's got talent.

She has that knack for slipping tendrils around the reader within the first few pages.  You're hooked in almost immediately.  And can she write compellingly flawed people!

"I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ."  And with that, we're introduced to the main character, Libby Day. The crux of the mystery is introduced relatively quickly, and we learn that Libby is the only surviving member of the brutal murder of her entire family.

Surviving, but broken.  Damaged from her experiences, not quite right upstairs, and somewhat blindly pursuing answers to her family's murder after almost 20 years.  We learn of Libby's family through a series of flashbacks, and of her brother Ben who was convicted of the murders and sits in prison.

As the story weaves on, readers begin to question whether Ben actually committed the murders, and are pulled in as the intimacies and dysfunction of the Day family of 1985 are uncovered.  Libby's present day quest for answers is gradually satisfied, and the result is an irresistibly readable mystery that ping-pongs between the past and the present.

We're fed little bits and pieces until the wrenching truth is ultimately revealed.  There are small pockets of goriness, which isn't what I'm usually drawn toward, but those scenes are minor compared to the main storyline of the book.  (Clive Barker fan - I'm not!)  Primarily, this a captivating & engrossing mystery.  One of those books that begs you to read just one more chapter until you find yourself squinty-eyed at 1AM wondering where the night went.

Go meet Gillian Flynn's Libby Day.  And don't say I didn't warn you that you'd be up all night reading!

"Draw a picture of my soul, and it'd be a scribble with fangs."

Ta-ta for now.

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