DARK PLACES

5/5 stars

  • Author: Gillian Flynn
  • Publication date: 5.5.2009
  • Shaye Areheart Books

“I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.” Gillian Flynn, Dark Places

Gillian Flynn is the MUTHA of all domestic noir. She’s my spirit animal. I feel defensive about her books, I think sometimes she gets a bad rap because her novels are so dark. Her characters unlikeable. Her plots are crazy. True, true, true.

Underneath it all, it is impossible to overlook her talent in characterization. Every book I read in this genre, I cannot help but compare the writing to Flynn’s.

She can craft a character out of thin air that is as real to a reader as the book they are holding. She doesn’t just tell about a character, she SHOWS us the character. The mannerisms, the habits, the insecurities, the tics and tells of their face. How they walk, talk, eat, drink, drive a car. As a reader, you are whisked into her novels for the plot and get so much more in return. My favorite kind of book!

Libby Day, our flawed protagonist, is one carefully constructed and disturbed character. She is the sole survivor of a Kansas massacre. Final Girls, anyone? The story begins 25 years after the murders and Libby Day is being dragged into resolving the mystery by a group of true crime aficionados (even though she fingered her own brother as the killer). The setting is rural, impoverished America; a stark contrast with most of the urban London-ish settings in this genre.

This is my least favorite of Flynn’s books, mainly because the plot is too crazy and contrived even for me. However, the writing is so first rate, I gladly give it full 5 stars.
Amazon  Dark Places

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