Libby Day lives her post-family-murder life for nothing. Forever unconcerned with whatever life throws at her, she could care less about what happens to her already destroyed self. She thought about and tried suicide a hundred times but never got around to truly ending what’s left of her. She’s alive but running out of money to survive, so she finds a new way to earn using her family’s murder’s through a group of people who take interest in the mystery of who murdered her mother and siblings. While in search for past suspects whose names came up during the past investigations, she finds herself facing new realizations about his convicted brother, Ben Day, and new angles as to who might actually did the murder.
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. – Libby Day
With a plot centering on murder and Satanism, Dark Places’ theme is as dark as it could get. Every chapter makes me play an eerie scenario in my head. But more than the visual brutalities, I see violence in the characters’ broken souls and minds. I see it in the way they think, the way they act or in the way they don’t, and it’s far more disturbing.
I got hooked even when the intensity wasn’t that much, as it was scattered here and there, revealing itself only little by little and in an unproblematic narration while building up to the big reveal. It’s slow-paced, very, the storytelling taking its time, but it got to me and kept my interest going with the end of every chapter always leaving a simple yet intriguing statement every time.
Flynn’s approach in using multiple perspectives and time periods, as she did with this one, is a very effective and engaging writing style, as it keeps me drawn deeper into her story. Dark Places is strategically exciting in a way that the story unfolds through the overlapping and meeting of different characters’ storytelling at different times. I was never confused; I never felt overworked while reading. Everything fell into place seamlessly.
I felt something loosen in me, that shouldn’t have loosened. A stitch come undone. – Libby Day
Dark Places has that Gillian Flynn signature with its ring of unusual truth and brutal reality which I truly admire. In general, Flynn’s stories are always too real that they tend to be scary to read.
Based on her novels that I’ve read, Gillian Flynn is not an idealist. She knows how to point out the truth behind the possibilities of every unusual thing happening, that sometimes people think people can’t do certain things even when they actually can because these things are in their nature, that sometimes people are just really harsh, that sometimes justice can’t be served and people don’t always get what they deserve, and that all people can do is accept all these things and carry on with their lives. These are things I as a reader ponder on every time I open a Flynn novel, and I love that she makes me think about all these because very few authors get to me like that.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed this book because it’s just so twisted. I mean, not as much as I enjoyed Gone Girl because I believe that to be her best brainchild yet, but it still has all the elements that made me read and think about it nonstop.
The trend that it is today, Dark Places is already set for its movie adaptation come 2015. No surprise there anymore but that’s still something worth looking forward to, right? J
Are you done reading this book? Share your thoughts!