I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas. As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who ve long forgotten her. ...
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas. As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who ve long forgotten her. The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details proof they hope may free Ben Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she ll admit her testimony wasn t so solid after all. As Libby s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby s doomed family members including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started on the run from a killer."
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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.
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