Author(s): Gillian Flynn
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. It is 2 January 1985 - the day of the murders. Ben is a social misfit, ground down by the small-town farming community in which he lives. His family is extremely poor, and his father Runner is violent, gambles and disappears for months on end. But Ben does have a girlfriend - a brooding heavy metal fan called Diondra. Through her, Ben becomes involved with drugs and the dark arts. When the town suddenly turns against him, his thoughts turn black. But is he capable of murder?In a brilliantly interwoven plot, Gillian Flynn keeps the reader balanced on a knife-edge, as Libby delves into her family's past and Ben spirals towards destruction.
Derek Dryden of Better Read Than Dead writes:
This is Gillian Flynn's second book after Sharp Objects which was published for Christmas 2006 and was fabulously dark and spooky. Flynn's new book, Dark Places, lacks the initial punch which made its predecessor so good, but as it unfolds it becomes increasingly compelling. It's the story of Libby Day who was just seven years old when her devil-worshipping older brother massacred her family - well that's what the book jacket screams at us anyway. Libby Day is now 24 years on from the event that killed her family and she's managed to spend her way through the $300,000+ donated by caring well-wishes. The money spent Day, who is initially hard to warm to, casts about for other means of rasing some cash and happens upon an odd group of crime followers, called The Kill Club, who will pay her to speak to their group. It's obvious from the outset that they want more than Libby can give - in terms of information and the whereabouts of her step-father, but that aside, over time the group starts to persuade Libby that maybe her brother wasn't guilty of the murders at all. This is a problem for Libby. She hasn't seen her brother since he was incarcerated, mainly on her evidence twenty years before, but as her eyes slowly open she reaches out to her brother and the remaining elements of the family to try to discover the truth. The book is told from the viewpoint of Libby, her brother Ben and her Mother Patty and the time shifts from the present to the events leading up to the killings in 1985. We learn that Patty was struggling to bring up four young children as a single mother and her home was about to be repossessed. The children's hand me downs were passed from one to another to another, and there was barely enough money to put food on her table. Ben, as the only male in the house is certainly a troubled child but as unlikely a devil-worshipper as you could hope to meet. But the whole family suffers from poor self-esteem and very little hope that their circumstance might improve. The history of the Day family unfolds alongside Libby's present day story as she slowly uncovers the events of fifteen years previously. Like Sharp Objects it's creepy and atmospheric and Libby Day is a seriously flawed young woman. But she's beautifully crafted by Gillian Flynn and as you read this book you'll be drawn into the hopelessness and complexity of the little lives and you'll find that the final twist is a real kicker. September 2009
<p><p>&lt;p&gt;&amp;lt;p&amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;gt;Gillian Flynn is the chief TV critic for Entertainment Weekly. Her first novel Sharp Objects was the winner of two CWA daggers, and was shortlisted for the Gold Dagger, and also for an Edgar.&amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&lt;/p&gt;</p></p>