The Book Review | Dark Places Gillian Flynn

Written about Catch-ups
28th August 2015


I'm just going to separate myself from the rest of the world, I know Gone Girl was this phenomenal best seller, but I just couldn't get into it. I've read my fair share of time skipping stories, but that one I just couldn't understand for some reason. So Dark Places appeal didn't come from the author of the moment.

Dark Places follows adult Libby, who survived the massacre of the rest of her family when she was a little girl. She witnessed the trail of killings and testified against her brother, subsequently assisting in sending him to jail. Libby has lived her life off being the star of the show, the one survivor of a terrible massacre.
When her money is running out, she turns to the 'Kill Club' who have forever been interested in the case and believe her brother to be innocent. The story follows Libby as she takes more of a detective role in getting to the bottom of what really happened on 'that night', interspersed with flashbacks from her childhood told from a few different character perspectives.

I guess the flashback/flashforward and multi-character narrative is Gillian Flynn's author style, but with Dark Places, for me it actually worked. I couldn't put the book down and I was left desperate just to finish it so I could get the closure that the main character was looking for! It was leading up to a plot twist that delivered and had me trying not to tell two friends who were reading it behind me.

It's a slowly unravelling mystery novel but it keeps the pace throughout, there aren't any slow bits to the story which is why I could commit to it. Was it just me that thought the beginning of Gone Girl was really slow? Maybe that's why I never finished it, but the film told me it was a very good story...

Writing this review, I've realised the film adaptation of Dark Places has just been released. Nicholas Hoult, Charlize Theron and Christina Hendricks headline, but the trailer isn't selling it to me. I'm definitely going to have to watch it, but I don't think it will carry the same mystery as the book did.

The book, highly recommended. I sped through it and it left me looking for more of Gillian Flynn's stuff. I imagine if you happened to like Gone Girl, you'd like this. Likewise, if you liked Sharp Objects then the same goes. Another Flynn book I massively enjoyed.