My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Gillian Flynn certainly knows how to write trauma, and the psychological effects of trauma. Dark Places indeed.
Libby Day is a survivor of a hideous crime which took place during her childhood. Her mother and two sisters were murdered, and her brother went to jail based on her testimony. But what actually happened that night? Many facts don’t add up. Why was there an extra set of footprints in blood? Why was it not investigated more thoroughly. That’s what the “Kill Club” are trying to figure out, and Libby reluctantly begins to help, but only in exchange for money. Libby hasn’t had a job her whole life, she’s lived off of the donations of strangers following that fateful night, and subsequent publicity. Now she’s in her thirties and her charity fund has run out.
So what is the truth? Is her brother Ben doing time for a crime he didn’t commit?
This novel is very well written, compelling, and disturbing. Gillian Flynn writes internal pain like none other I’ve read.
This book jumps backwards and forwards in time, each chapter (if you can call them that – they’re titled rather than numbered) is from the point of view of one of the family members either leading up to the night of the murder, or from Libby’s present day perspective. The mystery unfolds slowly at first, and as you go along, more details are revealed, characters motivations and behaviours are explored, leading up to that final date.