Friday, 20 February 2015

Review | Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Image and video hosting by TinyPicDark Places by Gillian Flynn
Published By: Phoenix
Published On: June 10, 2010
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 424
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★½

Amazon | Goodreads

Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars. 
Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben's innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother's? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back? 
She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day... especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find. 
Who did massacre the Day family?

When Libby Day’s family was murdered, the seven year old testified against her brother, putting him behind bars. Twenty-four years later, Libby is contacted by a group who believe her brother to be innocent and she begins to doubt her memories of that night. With so many unanswered questions, Libby is determined to finally uncover the truth about the Day Massacre.

This book, as is to be expected from Flynn’s work, is insanely messed up. This was the first point I made in my review of Gone Girl so I was expecting this book to be a very strange read but I wasn’t expecting this. Flynn really says it all in the acknowledgements for this book when she says, when thanking her husband, “What do I say to a man who knows how I think and still sleeps next to me with the lights off?”

I can’t say I liked these characters, as they are very difficult to like, but they were fantastic, intriguing characters. Our main character, Libby, is one of the strangest and most difficult to like characters I have ever read, rivalling Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne, but she was so interesting. I must admit, Flynn is incredible at writing characters.

I spent the majority of the book not knowing what to feel. I had such mixed emotions while reading this that I was so confused about how I felt about characters or plot twists. This book seriously screwed with my head, in the best way possible.

One thing that contributed to the screwing of my head was the intriguing mystery. While reading, as you do with this kind of book, I was developing my own theories about what happened and those theories were forever changing. The mystery element to this book was not at all predictable and I never once felt as though I had it all worked out, it was a continuous guessing game.

The multiple points of view and the jump between past and present were very well written. I am not usually a fan of jumping between people and times throughout the story but I really enjoyed the way Flynn did this. The jumping about of the story really emphasised how messed up this plot and the characters were. It didn’t feel in any way disjointed but more like everything was slightly jumbled, which complemented the story perfectly.

Unlike with Gone Girl, I really liked this ending. I know it has had some criticism but I thought it was a great final twist. I was not expecting it to end the way it did and could never have guessed that outcome.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I went into it looking for Flynn to redeem herself after not loving Gone Girl, which I can’t help but compare it to, and she definitely did. So why didn’t I give it 5 stars? For me, there was a little too much animal killing and I can’t condone that. However, Flynn has most definitely become an auto buy author for me. Having both loved and not really loved her books, I will always be intrigued to see what she can come up with next.

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