The second novel from Gillian Flynn, Dark Places, takes you where its title promises; down a dark and twisted road.
Leading lady, Libby Day, the sole survivor of her families mass murder, has spent 25 years capitalizing off her tragic history. When she is informed she no longer has any money, she turns to an obsessed group of true crime followers to try and continue to profit off her past by agreeing to share details of the nightmare she tries to forget. However, that is not all they ask of her. These people believe her brother, Ben Day, who Libby testified against at the original trial, is truly innocent and want her help to right her wrong by searching for the truth and set her brother free.
At first, Libby goes along with these requests because, hey, she needs the money, and is still very much convinced her brother is guilty, so what harm could it do? But, as she goes on her search for answers, as the story bounces between the days leading up to the murder and present time, Libby quickly realizes that being broke may be the least of her worries.
I was very excited to read this novel after falling in love with Gillian Flynn’s first book, Sharp Objects. However, I have to admit, I wasn’t as impressed with this book.
Part of this could have been that I didn’t like the main character, Libby Day. She got on my nerves. I felt instant annoyance each time I came to a chapter that she was telling her story. Although her harden heart does soften towards the end, which does lend to making her more likable, I struggled with her character throughout the book.
Also, The story line never really took hold of me and I definitely struggled to get through a large chunk of it. I believe part of this was due to the jumps between past and present, and each chapter being told from a different characters point of view of the same/similar events. However, once I got through about 2/3 of the book, when the pieces start to fall into place, I was hooked! I finished that final 1/3 in one afternoon (and that’s big for someone with my attention span)
My advice, hang in there! Even if it seems daunting, and you’d rather just start another novel, wait. There is the famous Flynn twist (yes, I made that up) that reels you back in, and you’ll be glad you toughed it out.