A review by novelbloglover
Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn


Book Review

Title: Dark Places

Author: Gillian Flynn

Genre: Psychological/Thriller/Family

Rating: *****

Review: When she was a child, Libby escaped a massacre in her own home, in which both of her sisters and her mother were killed. Her brother was convicted of the murders as Libby testified against him and sentenced to life in prison. Libby has no contact with her brother, is quite challenged and lives off of money people gave to help her when the case was popular.

She is informed that money is almost over and begins to think what to do to get it back. She meets a man called Lyle, who runs a Kill Club – a club for people who are obsessed with murders, killers and such. She begins doing things for them for money. They are convinced her brother Ben was wrongly convicted, and pay her to research the crime – talk to her brother, visit him in jail, talk to her estranged dad et cetera.

Many strange things surface – Ben was supposedly a Devil worshipper, her father was violent and wanted money, but we also find out her mother was going to lose the farm they all lived on because she owed money. The story is told from a few points of view including the past. Libby tracks down an old girlfriend of Ben’s, Diondra, who was pregnant at the time of the murders and disappeared.

She finds her and is shocked to meet Crystal, her niece, alive and well. Diondra and Crystal attack and try to kill her, but Libby escapes once again. Diondra is found and arrested, while her daughter remains in hiding.

It turns out Diondra and Ben wanted to escape, but one of Libby’s sisters caught them and threatened to tell everyone about the pregnancy. Diondra attacked her, enraged, and strangled her. As this was happening, a men entered their home. Nobody knew that their mother had met up with a man earlier, who promised her a better future for her children. He would kill her, and the kids would get her life insurance, pay off the debts and be happy – but she would have to die. She agreed to this, thinking it was for the best. As the men came into the house, Libby’s mother prepared to die, but the other sister waddled in, surprising the killer. He ended up killing both the mother and the child as she was a witness. He is convicted as he has committed many similar crimes, and does not confess to any of them, except to the murder of Libby’s sister, which has been haunting him for years.

As the novel ends, Ben is released from prison and vows to start with small changes, reuniting with Libby and maybe even finding Crystal, who is still on the run. I loved the gory scenes as gore sometimes does not translate well to text, but in this case it was amazing. I loved Libby, I think she was very strong despite her difficulties.