Books Magazine

Dark Days

By Crossstitchyourheart @TMNienaber

untitled (24)Dark Places by Gillian Flynn


Libby Day’s family is dead.  Massacred.  And her brother Ben did it.  Or at least, her brother Ben was convicted of it on Libby’s testimony.  But years later, young Libby is now an adult scrapping for money and clinging on to her notoriety for hand outs and ways to make money that don’t require actual work.  This is what leads her to a group of crime enthusiasts, all of whom think Ben is innocent and try to convince Libby of the same thing, so Libby sets off to explore her past and try to make sense of an event she thought was already put behind her.


Flynn is a master of the disturbing crime novel and the apparent massacre that happens to the Day family is no different.  However, in the case of this particular book I was very disappointed with the ending of the mystery.  I gave the book four stars because the book has so many good qualities throughout and Flynn’s writing really does deserve the praise, but based on the ending alone I’d probably drop it a star or two.


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Libby Day is not a likable character.  She’s almost even a dislikable character, but since the reader is introduced to the Day family’s tragedy before the character of Libby you feel guilty for not liking her.  This girl went through an unimaginable crime and survived, as callous as selling her dead family’s possessions for money to enthusiasts might seem…you can’t really not  like her, because she is the survivor not the villain.  Flynn has created an interesting moral dilemma for the reader in the character of Libby Day, she is not a likable person and yet you almost have to force yourself to care about her because anything else seems callous.  It’s an interesting effect.


In addition to the strange situations Flynn puts you in with the odd circumstances of her characters she does an excellent job of building the tension.  Even though you’re lulled

into thinking you know the outcome before you’ve even read the first chapter (the back cover tells  you Ben Day is the convicted killer) you still force yourself to turn each page faster than the next to find out what happens.  Even if the final conclusion is that Libby was right all along, you just have to know for sure (although if you’re good at connecting dots you’ll know how things are going to fall into place after the first few chapters).


While I was a little disappointed with the actual end of the mystery the trip to get from chapter to one to the final page was fantastic.  Flynn’s characters are not likable, none of them, some downright hate-able, but the way she sets them up and drives the plot makes this book a true page-turner.

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