Gone Girl? To some very Dark Places…
In need of a good book to read on your summer hols? Our contributor Olivia gives us a taste of Gillian Flynn’s not-so-summery Dark Places…
After reading Gone Girl the moment payday came around, I was at my local bookstore buying Gillian Flynn’s two other novels, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. I tore through each book like a madwoman, hungry for that familiar revulsion and shock that accompanies Flynn’s writing. I am a huge fan of Gillian Flynn because much like the book’s title, I believe that Flynn’s mind dwells in Dark Places. She has an incredible eye for detail and searches for the ugly ones. Her words always paint vivid and disturbing imagery. The characters are often so deeply flawed, they make you feel somewhat sane and normal. (And trust me, I’m not!)
The first pages of Dark Places introduce Libby Day, and we learn that she is a survivor of “The Kinnakee Kansas Farmhouse Massacre” where her mother and two sisters were strangled, shot, and chopped up; the walls painted with bloody satanic symbols. She was only seven years old when the murders took place, and she would later testify that her fifteen year old brother, Ben Day, killed her mother and sisters. He would be charged with life in prison.
Fast forward almost twenty five years later, and Libby Day is living alone and still struggling with her past. Although she doesn’t like to dwell there too long.
Libby meets up with Jim Jeffreys, her banker, at the local dive and they discuss her finances. Hold on, I mean, what finances? Libby Day is broke and all her options are run out. She asks about the tell-all book she published on the murders. Jim Jeffreys tells her it isn’t selling. She wants to know about donations, the murder’s 25th anniversary is coming up. Jim Jeffreys tells her that no one is interested anymore. A new case has captured the public’s eyes. Libby Day is old news. She has exactly 982 dollars and 12 cents left to her name.
When Libby gets home, she finds a letter in the mail inquiring if she makes appearances and offers to pay a price. She contacts the man, Lyle Wirth, and they meet up to discuss details. Turns out that Lyle Wirth is a member of the Kill Club, a club dedicated to crime cases and murderers and those obsessed with them. Libby agrees to make an appearance but negotiates the price. She needs the money!
At the Kill Club convention, she is confronted with her past and is asked to question her own memories of the night. She had believed her whole life that Ben was guilty, but everyone at the Kill Club seems to think otherwise.
We are taken back in time, switching between points of views during the day of the murder and present day. As the story unfolds, the mystery of “The Kinnakee Kansas Farmhouse Massacre” is uncovered. The book takes a series of unexpected twists and turns and deals with dark subject matter such as Satanism, murder, and pedophilia. Like Gone Girl, the book has been made into a movie starring the likes of Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Nicholas Hoult. The movie is set to release later this year.
What do you think of Flynn’s writing? Let us know!