Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Number of pages: 424
Release Date: 10th of August 2010 (first published in 2009)
Publisher: Phoenix (originally published by Crown)
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller
Topics: family, poverty, class issues, Satanic cult hysteria in the 1980's
Similar books: Sworn to Silence, Into the Darkest Corner
Dark Places on Goodreads

Synopsis: When Libby Day was seven years old, her two sisters and her mother were murdered in "The Satanic Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas". Her older brother Ben was convicted for the murders and has reminded behind the bars for the past twenty-five years. Libby on the other hand has lived most of her life in solitude, living of off her family's life insurance and the kind donations that people have given her over the years. But the money is running out and in the mist of her money troubles Libby finds herself getting involved with The Kill Club, a group of people invested in her family's murder case. The members of The Kill Club believe in Ben's innocence and Libby, trying to profit from her tragic history, gets entangled in the clubs investigation.

Thoughts: Gillian Flynn's newest book Gone Girl was probably one of the most talked about books last year and it was also the first book I read from her. I'm not someone who reads crime books too often, so it's not a genre I'm most familiar with. But I definitely liked Gone Girl enough to pick up Dark Places.

What I most like about Gillian Flynn's books is her amazing writing. She has the ability to write really moving, real and honest characters. All of her characters have a very distinct voice, not just the main character, like Libby but even the smallest side characters are written in depth, you get interested and invested in them and wish they had their own books written about them so you could know their full story.

That amazing skill of writing and those characters are what make Dark Places (and Gone Girl too) to stand out from other crime novels. But to be honest, I did find the story a little bit predictable, especially towards the end. There's a problem with hyped books and authors, I assume that I will be absolutely blown away by them just because others have. And because I've built up my expectations when the mystery is resolved it feels a little underwhelming.

Dark Places is twisted, dark and surprising, but I'm not a person who cares too much about surprise endings. But I do love character driven books and with Gillian Flynn you get both; intense crime drama and absolutely brilliant, strange, infuriating, lovable characters. If you like neither, I recommend this book for you. If you like both, well you'll probably be one of those people who can't shut up about this great author.

Favorite Quotes:

“There are few phrases that annoy me more than I won't bite. The only line that pisses me off faster is when some drunk, ham-faced dude in a bar sees me trying to get past him and barks: Smile,it can't be that bad! Yeah, actually, it can, jackwad.” 
“I have a meanness inside 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.”


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