Jenn Reads: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Hey there old friends. Been a while.

Sorry for leaving you for so long, but I’ve been caught up in DVD land for quite some time now, with little time to write a proper post. And I really haven’t read anything worth writing a review for, until the past week, when I’ve finished two books in a row. Yay me!

I must be one of the ten people in the reading world who has not yet read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I like to keep those super popular, everyone-and-their-grandmother-has-read-it-right-now books until the popularity has worn off. Since Gone Girl is still going strong, I’ll hold off.

However, Dark Places fell into my lap due to the mystery book club I belong to. Our youngest member selected it as her choice for January, and I was finally introduced into the twisted and weird world of Gillian Flynn.

I’ll start off right away by saying that I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. It had the potential for 4 stars, but there were several serious flaws. I listened to DP,

Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn

which was masterfully read by a full cast, with voices for Libby Day, Patty Day, and Ben Day, it was easy to breeze through this book.

A brief premise: Libby Day is now in her early 30’s, but as a seven year old, her mother and two older sisters, Michelle and Debbie, were allegedly murdered by her 15 year old brother, Ben. Libby’s life is a mess- she’s never worked a day in her life and has no money left. Libby herself is a mess- she’s rude, snapping, surly, angry, and just nasty. She would never be your best friend, or a bridesmaid at your wedding.

Libby receives a letter from a college-aged guy named Lyle, requesting her to appear at a group he belongs to. The group is called The Kill Club, and they are intent on proving that Ben did not kill Patty and her two daughters. If that isn’t weird enough, they agree to pay Libby to talk with people from her past who may know more about the story and who was the actual murderer.

The story flashes between present day (2009) Libby and 1985 Patty and Ben, and the events that occurred that fateful January day. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Ben is not the killer- but who is?

That to me, was the biggest flaw of the book. I’m not one of those mystery readers who sets out from the very beginning to figure out whodunnit. I’d rather take the journey along with the main character and discover with them who the culprit is. Unfortunately, from almost the very beginning, I had figured out who the killer was.

And that was a big bummer.

This is not a book for those who do not like reading books with violence against children, violence, unpleasant circumstances, or those who are easily scared. DP is a dirty, filthy, foul book, with a scenario that could happen in real life. I wasn’t bothered by the violence or foulness of this book, but rather by the lack of depth in the main character, Libby. Only after her life is threatened again (spoiler!) does she finally start to grow as an adult, and the potential to move out of the dark places is opened.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

See you in the stacks,


PS- DP is being made into a film, starring Charlize Theron as Libby Day.