Book Review: “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn

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Fiction/Mystery/Thriller

345 pages

ISBN: 978-0-307-34157-0

Well, this was disappointing.

I guess I had very high expectations for this book, considering that Flynn’s other two novels (Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, reviews for a different time) left me thinking about them for months after I read them. This isn’t to take away from the author’s writing. Flynn is exceptional when it comes to her writing style and how she develops her characters. In fact, her character development is impeccable. Her ability to flashback within the novel without losing the reader is an art. She also has a very unique way of making one genuinely feel sorry for the characters. Flynn writes so extraordinary well, that reading this novel made me feel like I was watching it on screen through a cloudy, gray filter—which is appropriate, because as the title suggests, this book is dark, dreary, and somber. 

The novel is about Libby Day, who was 7 years old when her mother, and two sisters were murdered in what was allegedly a cult sacrifice in Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived, and was famous for testifying against her 15-year-old brother, Ben, as the killer. Twenty-five years after the event, the Kill Club (a society of individuals who are consumed with infamous crimes) gets in contact with Libby and pushes her for more details. The Kill Club’s goal is to ultimately free Ben, whom they believe is innocent of the crime. As Libby capitalizes on the Club’s  desire for her to reconnect with all the key players of the crime, her research takes her to geographical places that ultimately unearths the truth that she is forced to confront.

The plot is definitely interesting, but I think the delivery was too drawn out. The outcome of the novel was predictable. The “twist” in the end was more of a curve to the left, rather than a U-Turn that I was desperately hoping to happen. If you haven’t read a Gillian Flynn novel, skip this one. Read the other two I mentioned earlier.

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