Dark Places Aug 9, 2009
Libby Day is a survivor, a professional victim, and not a very nice person. For her entire adult life Libby has lived off a victim's trust fund established by well-wishers across the country, after the brutal massacre of her entire family. The bloody slaying of Libby's mother and two sisters happened when she was seven, at the hands of her fifteen year old brother Ben. Or so she testified in his trial, and so she has believed in the intervening 24 years. Recently, however, she's begun to doubt the veracity of her own testimony. Did she really see what she thought she saw? Was she fed lines by the shrinks and the prosecutors, lines that she eventually came to believe? By Libby's own admission, though, the impetus driving her to find the truth comes from the dwindling of her trust fund and a request by a member of a true crime club devoted to her case--more specifically, to the proof of her brother's innocence--that she use her connections, for a fee, to lead them to the real killer or killers.
The crime occurred in January of 1985, when the country was seeing Satanic ritual abuse in every basement and behind the locked doors of every pre-school. The Day family, mother Patty, Ben, and three daughters, Michelle, Debbie, and Libby, are a painfully poor farm family in rural Kansas. Their story unfolds in third person chapters told from the points of view of Patty and Ben, which alternate with present day first person chapters narrated by the not particularly reliable Libby.
Dark Places unfolds at a tantalizing pace, each short chapter fitting another little piece of the puzzle into place. There are so many pieces that when the last one is finally locked into place, not only is the reader relieved finally to see the big picture, but the revelation is truly original and surprising.