dark places book coverReviewed by Bethany Kelly

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn focuses on Libby Day, the sole survivor of “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas,” where her mother and two siblings were murdered. Libby survives that night by hiding in the field next to her home and then testifies against her brother, Ben, putting him in jail for the murder. Fast forward over twenty years later and Libby is approached by the Kill Club – a group of individuals who are obsessed with notorious murders and other crimes – to get information regarding the murders. On top of this, the members of the Kill Club are convinced that Ben did not commit these brutal murders. This puts Libby in danger again while she searches for the truth about what really happened the night that she lost her mother and sisters.

This book was written not only from the point of view of Libby, but also from the points of view of Libby’s mom, Patty, and brother, Ben through intermittent flashbacks. This stylistic choice allows for the reader to have access to information that Libby does not have herself. Because of this, the reader is given the opportunity to put the pieces of the puzzle together on his/her own.

As someone who is a bit squeamish, I will say that there were some parts of this book that I did not like because of the blood and gore. Not only were there very descriptive depictions of the murders, but there were also detailed scenes of animal brutality and torture. I do think that the depictions of the murders were necessary but did not see the point for the detailed descriptions of how some of the characters tortured and killed an animal.

Also, Libby is not a very likeable main character. She is selfish throughout the whole novel, and although by the end of the book I started to like her a little better and understood why she acted the way she did, she almost ruined it for me. I didn’t find myself rooting for her as much as I just wanted to know the truth about what happened the night that her family died.

Overall, I don’t regret reading this book, I just probably won’t read it again.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Broadway Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.