Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dark Places

Author:  Gillian Flynn
Year:  2009
Publisher:  Random House Audio
Narrators: Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, Robertson Dean

Goodreads Summary:
"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.

Wow! I have never read a book with so many unlikable characters. Libby, the main character, is totally unlikeable and it so hard to feel sorry for her even though she went through this horrible tragedy. It's actually that tragedy that made her so unlikeable. But despite not liking the characters, I still got caught up in the mystery and wondering exactly what happened that night Libby's family was killed. Was Ben guilty? Or was someone else the murderer and Ben set up? I kept trying to figure out the killer and I was partly correct. I must say, I do like Gillian Flynn's writing style. I read Gone Girl and was amazed by the twists and turns. This book didn't have the twists and turns but she painted a horribly accurate picture of families living in poverty. I think I will go on to read Sharp Objects and see what that one's about and compare it to these two.


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