Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

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Photo: Ellie Tudor

Photo: Ellie Tudor

With the incredible success of Gone Girl both in print and onscreen, author Gillian Flynn’s earlier works are now becoming increasingly popular. Her second book, Dark Places, was written 3 years before Gone Girl and is a bleak and menacing thriller.

Set in Missouri, the novel alternates between the present day and 1985, when Libby Day’s mother and sisters are brutally massacred. Libby is just 7 years old when she gives evidence in the subsequent trial that puts her teenage brother behind bars for their murders.

25 years later, Libby is contacted by the “Kill Club”, an investigative group who are certain of Ben’s innocence. Strapped for cash, she initially helps with their enquiries in return for payment but as more evidence presents itself she begins to question what really went on all those years ago.

Not only does the book travel back in time to give us a sinister look into the events of the day, but the narrative also changes between characters. This change of perspective could be confusing but Flynn pulls it off excellently. We meet numerous characters that tell their side of the story which allows us to see all angles of the murders.

Although the novel delves into dark issues such as Satanic worship, drugs and brutal killings, underneath it all the book remains a great murder mystery. Flynn keeps us gripped throughout, regularly creating cliff hangers and leading us down paths that sometimes, but not always, bring us closer to a conclusion.

The novel is a constant page turner as we do not find out all of the answers until the end. You will be immersed in this novel from the offset, diving into the incredible, complex mind of Gillian Flynn.

Words by Ellie Tudor

Jess is your Deputy Editor

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