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 ...
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.
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I had a hard time staying interested in the story.
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.
Publishers Weekly, 2009-03-23 Edgar-finalist Flynn's second crime thriller tops her impressive debut, Sharp Objects. When Libby Day's mother and two older sisters were slaughtered in the family's Kansas farmhouse, it was seven-year-old Libby's testimony that sent her 15-year-old brother, Ben, to prison for life. Desperate for cash 24 years later, Libby reluctantly agrees to meet members of the Kill Club, true crime enthusiasts who bicker over famous cases. She's shocked to learn most of them believe Ben is innocent and the real killer is still on the loose. Though initially interested only in making a quick buck hocking family memorabilia, Libby is soon drawn into the club's pseudo-investigation, and begins to question what exactly she saw-or didn't see-the night of the tragedy. Flynn fluidly moves between cynical present-day Libby and the hours leading up to the murders through the eyes of her family members. When the truth emerges, it's so twisted that even the most astute readers won't have predicted it. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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