Gillian Flynn Takes You To Dark Places…

Dark Places

Dark Places is not one of the new release or ARC copies I usually review, but I was given it to read by a friend and have been hanging to read more Gillian Flynn after Gone Girl.

Let me start by saying that Dark Places probably has one of the best opening paragraphs of a thriller book I have ever read.

‘I have a meanness inside of me, real as an organ.  Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it. It’s the Day blood. Something’s wrong with it.  I was never a good little girl, and I got worse after the murders.  Little orphan Libby grew up sullen and boneless, shuffled around a group of lesser relatives-second cousins and great-aunts and friends of friends-stuck in a series of mobile homes or rotting ranch houses all across Kansas.  Me going to school in my dead sisters’ hand-me-downs: Shirts with mustardy armpits.  Pants with baggy bottoms, comically loose, held on with a raggedy belt cinched to the farthest hole.  In class photos my hair was always crooked-barrettes hanging loosely from strands, as if they were airborne objects caught in the tangles-and I always had bulging pockets under my eyes, drunk-landlady eyes. Maybe a grudging curve of the lips where a smile should be. Maybe.’

Now, if that isn’t going to draw you in to the rest of the book, then it really isn’t for you. The story focusses on Libby Day and her brother Ben. When Libby was 7 years old, her two sisters and mother were brutally murdered at their rundown family farm in Kansas. Libby escaped. Libby gives testimony against her 14yr old brother who she believes was responsible for the violent murders, however 20 years on we find out how Libby is doing and follow her as questions from long ago rear their ugly heads. Who really killed the Day family? What did that 7 year old really see? Why were this struggling, single parent family slaughtered?

Dark Places is smart and Gillian Flynn uses the same style as her later book Gone Girl, switching each chapter up to be told from a different characters point of view; the pace builds and the timelines and characters come closer and closer ultimately colliding on that horrific night.


Gone Girl still has the nudge for me and after checking out the movie version reviews it seems Gone Girl has the much better movie too. I actually had no idea that Dark Places was released last year, and also find it strange that the movie ages Libby at 8 at the time of the murders when the book says 7.  I will track it down and watch it though. I will also be hunting down Sharp Objects to read too.

4 out of 5 for me!

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The Book Jacket

Libby Day was just seven years old when her older brother massacred her family while she hid in a cupboard. Her evidence helped put him away. Ever since then she has been drifting, surviving for over twenty years on the proceeds of the ‘Libby Day fund’. But now the money is running out and Libby is desperate. When she is offered $500 to do a guest appearance, she feels she has to accept. But this is no ordinary gathering. The Kill Club is a group of true-crime obsessives who share information on notorious murders, and they think her brother Ben is innocent. Ben was a social misfit, ground down by the small-town farming community in which he lived. But he did have a girlfriend – a brooding heavy metal fan called Diondra. Through her, Ben became involved with drugs and the dark arts. When the town suddenly turned against him, his thoughts turned black. But was he capable of murder? Libby must delve into her family’s past to uncover the truth – no matter how painful…